Major uses of land in the United States, 2012.

Published online
08 Nov 2017
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Bigelow, D. P. & Borchers, A.

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The United States has a total land area of about 2.3 billion acres. In 2012, the major land uses were grassland pasture and rangeland at 655 million acres (29 percent of U.S. total); forest-use land at 632 million (28 percent); cropland at 392 million acres (17 percent); special uses (primarily parks and wildlife areas) at 316 million acres (14 percent); miscellaneous uses (such as wetlands, tundra, and unproductive woodlands) at 196 million acres (9 percent); and urban land at 70 million acres (3 percent). This study presents findings from the most recent (2012) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from USDA, the U.S. Census Bureau, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources. The data are collected for each State to estimate the use of several broad classes and subclasses of agricultural and nonagricultural land over time. National and regional trends in land use are compared with earlier major land-use estimates.

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