Abstract: The purpose of the article is to analyze main trends in the development of private plots in the rural area being one of the main heterogeneous forms of the Russian rural economy. The information base of the study consists of the official statistics of the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) of the Russian Federation, the results of a sociological study conducted by the authors in 1993-2016 according to a uniform methodology in different regions (Siberia, the Urals, the Volga region, Altai Region, Republic of Bashkortostan). The study of the role of private plots is actualized in real social adaptation of the Russian peasantry and is aimed at identifying the features of the formation of new ways to ensure sustainable development of rural settlements within the framework of interaction of various social and economic entities. It is concluded that private plots are still the most important structural element of the diversification of rural household income strategies, adaptation factor to the changing socio-economic conditions. At the same time its significance is greatly reduced in a stable socio-economic development.
Keywords: private plots, rural population, adaptation, employment, income diversification