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Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2002

by Ruben N. Lubowski, Marlow Vesterby, Shawn Bucholtz, Alba Baez, and Michael Roberts

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-14) 54 pp, May 2006

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This publication presents the results of the latest (2002) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the Census, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources. The data are synthesized by State to calculate the use of several broad classes and subclasses of agricultural and nonagricultural land over time. The United States has a total land area of nearly 2.3 billion acres. Major uses in 2002 were forest-use land, 651 million acres (28.8 percent); grassland pasture and range land, 587 million acres (25.9 percent); cropland, 442 million acres (19.5 percent); special uses (primarily parks and wildlife areas), 297 million acres (13.1 percent); miscellaneous other uses, 228 million acres (10.1 percent); and urban land, 60 million acres (2.6 percent). National and regional trends in land use are discussed in comparison with earlier major land-use estimates.

Keywords: Land use, land-use change, agricultural land, nonagricultural land, cropland, forest-use land, forestland, pasture, rangeland, rural residential land, urban land

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Last updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012

For more information contact: Ruben N. Lubowski, Marlow Vesterby, Shawn Bucholtz, Alba Baez, and Michael Roberts

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