The Most (and Least) Valuable States

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6. Delaware
> Value of land per acre:
$57,692
> Total value: $72 billion (2nd lowest)
> Total acres: 1.2 million (2nd lowest)
> Percent land mass rural: 79.1% (5th lowest)

The vast majority of states with more valuable property are older, having gained statehood early in the country’s history. These states tend to have very little undeveloped land, which is less expensive than developed property. In Delaware, the first state, 17.5% of land is considered developed, compared to 5.8% of national land that is developed. The entirety of Delaware is worth just $72 billion, the second smallest total value compared to the other states in the lower 48. On a per acre basis, however, the state is valued at $57,692 on average, the sixth highest in the country.

7. New York
> Value of land per acre:
$41,314
> Total value: $1.25 trillion (3rd highest)
> Total acres: 30.1 million (20th lowest)
> Percent land mass rural: 91.3% (11th lowest)

While the nation’s largest states tend to be worth less per acre, New York is quite large and very valuable per acre. The state’s more than 30 million acres are worth $41,314 each, on average. In total, the Empire State’s acreage is worth $1.25 trillion. Because of the large rural areas in the state, less than 10% of New York’s total area is considered developed. However, that developed property is so valuable it accounts for roughly two-thirds of the state’s total value.

8. California
> Value of land per acre:
$39,092
> Total value: $3.91 billion (the highest)
> Total acres: 99.9 million (2nd highest)
> Percent land mass rural: 94.7% (20th lowest)

Federal land is worth less on the whole than private property. Nearly 52% of California is federally owned, the fifth largest figure nationwide and an exceptionally large percentage compared to other high-value states. The state’s almost 100 million acres were worth an estimated $3.9 trillion, making the state the most valuable in the country. On a per acre basis, however, California is worth just over $39,000, the eighth most valuable in the country. The state’s valuable property is reflected in the cost of California real estate. The typical California house is worth $412,700, the most of any state except for Hawaii.

9. Ohio
> Value of land per acre:
$32,077
> Total value: $838 billion (8th highest)
> Total acres: 26.1 million (15th lowest)
> Percent land mass rural: 89.2% (8th lowest)

While more than half of Ohio’s land is used for agricultural purposes — which tends to be less valuable than other private land — the state’s land is still among the most valuable in the nation. As a whole, Ohio is worth $838 billion, the eighth most valuable compared to other states. And an Ohio acre is worth more than $32,000 on average, versus the national figure of just over $12,000.

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10. Pennsylvania
> Value of land per acre:
$31,923
> Total value: $914 billion (6th highest)
> Total acres: 28.6 million (18th lowest)
> Percent land mass rural: 89.5% (9th lowest)

One acre in Pennsylvania is worth $31,923 on average, the 10th most in the country. Federal land tends to be less desirable and less valuable. Just 3% of the state’s land is owned by the federal government, which accounts for just 1.3% of the state’s total value — a relatively low percentage even when compared to other high-value states. Areas with greater population density are worth more than sparsely populated rural areas, and Pennsylvania’s population density of 284 people per square mile is the ninth highest in the country and roughly three times the national population density.