Based on an innovative smallholder-specific dataset, this report illustrates the lives of smallholder farmers in nine developing and emerging countries, using economics to analyse data from rural household surveys. It examines different dimensions of smallholders’ lives: their farm and families; their production and the inputs they use for it; their work both on- and off-farm; their income and how it is made up; their consumption; and, their participation in markets. Smallholders choose how to live their lives. But these choices are both constrained and inter-dependent. The report synthesizes the information from the data together with those from the literature to focus on what smallholders choose and why.