According to a recent report published in US News on May 28, 2019, almost 30 million acres of farmland in the United States are currently controlled by foreign countries. The bulk of this land is owned by the State of Israel and the Vatican City State.
In 2017, American farmers cultivated over 157 million acres of land, about one-third of the world's total harvest of grains, beans, peas, and potatoes. They employ approximately 70 million people around the world.
The USA has granted most of its agricultural land as bounties after entering into treaties with Native Americans. In return, they were given money and supplies for farming purposes. The largest single group of landowners are the Israeli citizens who receive nearly 4 million acres of land under these agreements. Other large owners include Canadians with more than 2 million acres, Europeans with more than 1 million acres, and Mexicans with more than 250,000 acres.
These figures do not include government ownership of land or land held by non-profit organizations such as universities and religious institutions. Israel is the only country that reports its agricultural holdings in another country. However, according to some estimates, Israel's total land area includes about 200,000 acres of land that it does not disclose.
In total, forestland accounts for 54.9 percent of American land under foreign control, pastureland accounts for 23.6 percent, and farmland accounts for 21.5 percent.
These areas consist mostly of forests in Canada and Mexico, but they also include farms in Europe and Oceania.
The report notes that this amount of land could have significant economic implications for America. For example, if all of this land were harvested for timber, it would be the second largest producer in the world after China. The report also states that if all of this farmland were converted into oil fields, it would be the third largest exporter of oil after Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Foreign ownership of American land dates back to before the United States was even founded. England acquired New France in 1629 and included it in its territory. During the 18th century, Britain acquired more land than any other country in North America. By 1763, when Britain and France went to war again, many people believed that Britain would win because it had so much land. After losing the war, Britain got rid of most of its Indian tribes and claimed all of the land for itself. This is how we get the concept of "British territories" today.
For example, Canada owns 6.87 million acres of American agriculture, followed by the Netherlands (4.87 million acres), Germany (1.94 million acres), the United Kingdom (1.7 million acres), Italy (1.4 million acres), and France (1.04 million acres). And the number is growing. >/span>In fact, the total size of all foreign-owned farms in the United States exceeds 23 million acres—an area larger than Delaware.
The largest owner of agricultural land in the United States is Canada. Canadian farmers own nearly 7 million acres of corn, wheat, soybeans, and other crops in 14 states. They also control about 1 million acres of grazing land for cattle and sheep. The next largest owner is the European Union, which owns more than 1 million acres of farmland in 10 states. This includes nearly 700,000 acres in Iowa, the biggest U.S. producer of grain. Other large owners include China (325,000 acres), Argentina (150,000 acres), and Australia (100,000 acres)
Foreign ownership of American farmland has increased dramatically since 1995, when Canadians owned only 565,000 acres of agriculture land. Since then, the value of goods traded between Canada and the United States has increased eightfold, helping drive up Canadian ownership.
The main reason for this growth is the rising price of food, which is good for farmers but bad for consumers.
Forestland accounts for approximately 54.9 percent of all foreign-owned land in the United States, followed by pastureland (23.6 percent) and cropland (21.5 percent). In 1998, there were 10 million acres of foreign-owned property, 19.8 million acres in 2008, and 27.3 million acres in 2014. Most of these properties are located in one of the following states: California, Florida, New York, Texas, or Virginia.
Foreign ownership of U.S. real estate includes holdings by individuals as well as corporations. In 2014, there were about 1.7 million private owners of American real estate, including families, individuals, and trusts. The largest share of private owners (35 percent) reside in California while the smallest share (4 percent) live in Mississippi.
There are two ways that foreign ownership of American real estate can be calculated. The first is through the acquisition of American companies by foreign investors. For example, China's HNA Group bought a large stake in Dallas-based Southwest Airlines in 2016. The second way is through the purchase of immovable property such as this case study will discuss later in the article. In 2014, foreign investment in U.S. real estate was $7 billion out of a total of $200 billion.
Who are the biggest foreign property owners of America? According to research conducted by the National Association of Realtors, Japan's government agencies own the most residential property in the country with 725,000 units.
Land Use in the United States: The United States has 2.3 billion acres of land. Of this, only about 25 million acres is cultivated farmland, while another 50 million acres is protected federal land including national parks and forests. The rest is unused or used for other purposes including housing and infrastructure.
The amount of unused land varies by region. Alaska has only 700,000 acres of farmland compared with Texas' 160 million acres. Most of Alaska is made up of frozen tundra and mountains, so growing crops here is difficult unless you live near a river or lake that provides water for farming. Texas on the other hand has almost half its land covered by small farms or ranching operations. This shows that regional differences exist within the United States when it comes to land use.
In total, the world's used agricultural land makes up about 15% of all land area, while developed land (roads, cities, etc.) accounts for another 75%. The remaining 10% is natural land such as forest, marsh, and desert.
Within the United States, most farmers operate small businesses using land they own or lease. The average size of a farm in the United States is around 100 acres.