Foreign Countries That Own the Most U.S. Land

Foreign Countries That Own the Most U.S. Land

August 28, 2023

As of 2021, foreign entities and individuals owned about 40 million acres of agricultural and non-agricultural land in the United States, used for a variety of purposes, including mining, wind farms, forestry, and agriculture. While 29% of foreign-owned lands are cropland, and 22% are pasture and other agricultural lands, the largest segment, at 47%, is forest. These are the states with the most forest.

To determine which foreign countries own the most U.S. land, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land through Dec. 31, 2021. Countries are ranked by the total area of land (agricultural and non-agricultural), in acres, held by individuals and entities from that country as well as by U.S. corporations with foreign shareholders (the report prorated such holdings to attribute them to foreign holders). The list includes two categories — No Predominant Country Code and No Foreign Investor Listed — that we deemed important to add despite the limited information available. All data is from the report.

About half of the foreign-owned land in the U.S. is owned by entities in just six countries, with Canadian investors holding over 12 million acres, and investors in the Netherlands, Italy, the U.K., and Germany also holding millions of acres each. Outside of Europe, some major large land-holding countries include Mexico, Japan, and China.

Some landowning companies have blurred their origins by basing themselves in smaller countries that are known as international tax havens such as Liechtenstein, Panama, and the Cayman Islands — and these countries own a significant proportion of U.S. lands relative to their populations. The 25 biggest landowners in America

Click here to see foreign countries that own the most U.S. land.

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