The Most (and Least) Valuable States

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41. Idaho
> Value of land per acre:
$3,435
> Total value: $182 billion (14th lowest)
> Total acres: 53.0 million (10th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.4% (5th highest)

A majority of Idaho land, 65%, is federally owned, the third highest percentage nationwide. The U.S. government’s land accounts for nearly half of Idaho’s overall value, the second highest such contribution. Like many other states with relatively low land valuation, less than 2% of Idaho has been developed.

42. Nebraska
> Value of land per acre:
$2,936
> Total value: $144 billion (9th lowest)
> Total acres: 49.1 million (14th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.3% (7th highest)

In no state is a larger share of land — 92.7% — comprised of farmland than Nebraska. This partly accounts for the state’s relatively low value, as developed land tends to be valued far more. An average acre in Nebraska is valued at less than $3,000.

43. North Dakota
> Value of land per acre:
$2,517
> Total value: $110 billion (6th lowest)
> Total acres: 43.7 million (18th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.7% (3rd highest)

Nearly 91% of land in North Dakota is used for agriculture — second only to Nebraska. Farmland accounts for more than a third of the state’s total value, the fourth largest such share. The land estimate does not fully account for North Dakota’s ongoing energy boom, and the state’s value is likely far higher.

44. Montana
> Value of land per acre:
$2,283
> Total value: $213 billion (16th lowest)
> Total acres: 93.3 million (3rd highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.8% (tied — the highest)

Like many states with less valuable land, Montana is a geographically large and sparsely populated state. Montana spans more than 93 million acres, one of the largest land masses in the country. Each acre is worth just $2,283 on average, however, the sixth lowest value among the lower 48 states. The state as a whole is worth just $213 billion, the 35th most valuable. More than 65% of Montana is classified as agricultural, the 10th largest percentage.

45. South Dakota
> Value of land per acre:
$2,135
> Total value: $103 billion (5th lowest)
> Total acres: 48.2 million (15th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.7% (4th highest)

More than 90% of South Dakota is agricultural in nature, the third highest percentage in the contiguous U.S. And land used for farming purposes accounted for 44.1% of South Dakota’s overall value, the second highest such contribution. By contrast, less than 3% of the state is developed property, which tends to be far more valuable than other types of land. South Dakota is worth an estimated $103 billion, the fifth lowest total value.