How Many Acres Farmland In World

How Many Acres Of Farmland Are Left In The World In 2023?

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Key Points

  • Approximately 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, while the remaining 29 percent is land.
  • The total amount of farmland on Earth is about 30 percent, equivalent to 59.3 billion square miles.
  • Despite having only 8.8 percent of usable farmland, China is the world's largest supplier of grain, rice, specific vegetables, and cotton.
  • The United States ranks first in agricultural production for corn and sorghum.
  • The need for more farms and increased food production is crucial due to the growing global population, which is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. Alternative technologies like vertical farming should also be explored.

If you look at an aerial map of Earth, you will see mostly water.

About 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The other 29 percent of the earth's surface is land. 

The amount of land on earth is finite. Keep that in mind as we further investigate the total amount of farmland on earth and the skyrocketing need for more food shortly. 

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How Much Farmland Is There Across The Planet?

The total land surface of the earth is about 197 billion square miles.

Sounds like a lot, right?

But of this total, about 20 percent is covered by snow land, 20 percent is mountainous, 20 percent is desert, and 10 percent does not have topsoil.

That leaves 30 percent – or 59.3 billion square miles – of land suitable for farming.

A recent US Geological study showed that India has the most cropland at 9.6 percent, followed by the US at 8.9 percent, then China at 8.8 percent, and Russia at 8.3 percent.

Which Country Is The Leader In Agriculture?

Surprisingly, that answer is China.

China has only 8.8 percent of usable farmland in the country. Yet, it is the world’s largest supplier of grain and rice, as well as some specific vegetables such as green beans, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and peas.

In addition, China supplies the world with the most cotton.

Suppose you are wondering how the US ranks in agricultural production. In that case, it holds first place in corn and sorghum, a type of cereal, according to the United Nations Food Agriculture Organization.  


Farms are the world’s primary food supplier, yet the number of farms is shrinking for several reasons.

As the world population booms, the number of farms and the amount of food production need to increase rapidly. By 2050, the global population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion.

We need to expand farms' number and food production and look into other technologies, such as vertical farming.

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