America’s Most (and Least) Valuable States

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46. Nevada
> Value of land per acre:
$2,116
> Total value: $149 billion (10th lowest)
> Total acres: 70.4 million (6th largest)

Nearly 87% of Nevada was owned by the U.S. government, by far the largest such percentage nationwide. While federally owned land still accounted for a minority of the state’s overall value — 44.6% — the share was still the third highest in the country. Many states with low land values had relatively large proportions of land dedicated to agricultural use. In Nevada, however, just 7.4% of land was agricultural, the fourth lowest figure in the country.

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47. New Mexico
> Value of land per acre:
$1,931
> Total value: $150 billion (11th lowest)
> Total acres: 77.7 million (4th highest)

An acre in New Mexico was worth roughly $2,000 on average, less than every state except Wyoming. Like most states with the lowest estimated values, a relatively small percentage of New Mexico was developed, and a relatively high percentage was federally owned. Just 1.2% of land was developed, and 37% was owned by the U.S. government. More than 46% of the state’s land was agricultural, roughly in line with the national rate.

48. Wyoming
> Value of land per acre:
$1,558
> Total value: $97 billion (4th lowest)
> Total acres: 62.3 million (8th largest)

An average acre in Wyoming was worth just $1,600, less than any other continental state. Like most low-value states, Wyoming is one of the largest states in the country. But Wyoming’s 62.3 million acres were worth a total of $97 billion, less than all but a handful of other states. More than half of Wyoming was federally owned, and government property accounted for the majority of Wyoming’s overall value — the only state where this was the case.