In this article the agricultural income situation in the less favoured areas (LFA) of EUR 12 in the years 1987-1988, 1988-1989 and 1984-1990 is examined by using an agricultural typology of EC regions. This typology is based on the relationship of regional gross domestic product per inhabitant and farm net value added per annual work unit. In this typology, three main geographical areas can be distinguished: Northwest, Central and South. Within each main geographical area farm income in LFA is below that in normal areas. Quite large differences in the income gap between normal areas and LFA exist: in Northwest and Central the income gap is larger than in South. Moreover, the level of farm income in Northwest and Central is considerably above that in South. Within each main geographical area, farmers in LFA receive a higher amount of direct income subsidies than farmers in normal areas; the difference in South is small and in Northwest rather large. A considerable number of LFA are located in the area of regional and agricultural backwardness.