America’s Most (and Least) Valuable States

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31. Kentucky
> Value of land per acre:
$7,209
> Total value: $183 billion (15th lowest)
> Total acres: 25.4 million (14th smallest)

More than half of Kentucky’s 25.4 million acres were designated as agricultural, just higher than the 47% of the agricultural land in the lower 48 states. Agricultural land accounted for nearly 21.3% of the state’s overall value, the fifth highest share among states reviewed. However, the state was still valued at just $183 billion, 15th lowest in the continental U.S.

32. Arkansas
> Value of land per acre:
$6,739
> Total value: $224 billion (18th lowest)
> Total acres: 33.2 million (23rd smallest)

As with many states in the middle of the country, a large share of land in Arkansas was agricultural. As of 2009, 41.6% of land in the state was designated for agricultural purposes, and it contributed 15.5% to Arkansas’ total state valuation of $224 billion.

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33. Iowa
> Value of land per acre:
$6,590
> Total value: $235 billion (19th lowest)
> Total acres: 35.7 million (22nd largest)

An average acre of land in Iowa was worth roughly $6,600, almost half the comparable figure in the lower 48 states. A low acreage valuation was likely due to the large share of Iowa’s land devoted to agriculture. More than 86% of the state’s land was classified as agricultural, the 5th highest share. Additionally, agricultural land accounted for more than half of Iowa’s total value.

34. Oregon
> Value of land per acre:
$6,503
> Total value: $400 billion (18th highest)
> Total acres: 61.5 million (9th largest)

Nearly 55% of land in Oregon was owned by the federal government, the 4th highest percentages in the country. That share of land was also quite valuable, as it accounted for 28.9% of Oregon’s total value, also one of the highest among states reviewed. However, an average acre of land in Oregon was valued at just $6,500, approximately half the value of an average acre in the contiguous U.S.

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35. Colorado
> Value of land per acre:
$6,462
> Total value: $429 billion (16th highest)
> Total acres: 66.4 million (7th largest)

As little as 2.8% of Colorado’s land was considered developed in 2009, despite accounting for nearly 40% of the state’s total value. Additionally, nearly 40% of the state’s 66.4 million acres were owned by the federal government, the 8th highest share in the lower 48 states.