Interactive Map Breaks Down What America’s Land Is Used for

If you’ve ever been to Europe, part of what’s fascinating about is how how quickly and easily you can hop from country to country. Most of the nations there aren’t super large, so it’s very possible to visit a few countries in a week, or even a day if you’re feeling very ambitious. That’s an experience that can’t really be replicated in the United States: Only Russia, Canada, and China have larger areas than the U.S., so there’s a ton of land in the U.S.. That leads to the question: What are we doing with all this real estate? That’s a topic that Bloomberg decided to dive into, and they came up with a nifty interactive map that breaks down what American land is being used for (via Boing Boing).

What’s perhaps most fascinating is the amount of land devoted to livestock: The land used for their pastures and to produce food for them is about 781 million acres, or about 41% of all land in the 48 contiguous states. Land used for crops also takes up a ton of room: about 391 million acres, or about a fifth of the continental U.S.. As for urban areas, those would fit into the northeast, as urban areas make up only 3.6% of the contiguous states’ land area. The information Bloomberg has gathered is interesting, and their presentation of the data is completely on point, so it’s worth taking a minute and checking out the interactive map for yourself.

What fact presented here are you most surprised by? Share your shock down in the comments!

Featured image: Matt Lemmon/Flickr

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