The 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 highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.3% (8th highest)

Nearly 87% of Nevada is 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 is 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 is farmland, the fourth lowest figure in the country.

47. New Mexico
> Value of land per acre:
$1,931
> Total value: $150 billion (11th lowest)
> Total acres: 77.7 million (4th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.3% (6th highest)

An acre in New Mexico is 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 is developed, and a relatively high percentage is federally owned. Just 1.2% of land is developed, and 37% is owned by the U.S. government. More than 46% of the state’s land is agricultural, roughly in line with the national rate.

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48. Wyoming
> Value of land per acre:
$1,558
> Total value: $97 billion (4th lowest)
> Total acres: 62.3 million (8th highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 99.8% (tied — the highest)

An average acre in Wyoming is 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 is federally owned, and government property accounted for the majority of Wyoming’s overall value — the only state where this is the case. Lower population density tends to correlate with lower land value, and Wyoming has the least dense population in the lower 48 states, with just 5.8 residents per square mile, compared to a national population density of 87.4 people per square mile.