How Much Land Area Do US Cities Comprise?

Cities make up only about 3% of the US's total land, despite the fact that around 80% of people in the US live in cities. Of a total of about 2.3 billion acres (about 930 million hectares), US cities comprise about 60 million acres (about 24 million hectares) and contain about 250 million occupants, or about a quarter of an acre per person, if all the land were divided exactly equally. About half of the land in the US is used for pastures, grazing lands, or crops, with an additional 30% being forests and 15% used for parks.

More about US land use:

  • To be considered an urbanized area in the US, a city has to have at least 50,000 people living in it, while an urban cluster can have anywhere from 2,500 to 50,000 people. There were about 3,600 urban areas and clusters in the US, according to the 2010 US Census.

  • Urban areas greatly increased in the US in the second half of the 20th century, going from about 15 million acres (about 6 million hectares) in 1945 to over 60 million acres (about 24 million hectares) in the early 2000s.

  • Over 60% of land in the US is privately-owned.

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Is it possible to do such a study for all the countries of the world?

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