Economic Opportunity

Which State Has the Most Federally Owned Land?

April 21, 2014

Which state has the most land owned by the federal government? With a shocking 81.1 percent of land being owned by the federal government, Nevada takes first place followed by Utah at 66.5 percent and Alaska at 61.8 percent. In fact, in 11 of the westernmost states, the federal government owns approximately 50 percent of the land.

“It seems odd that the federal government owns so much land in the west and so little elsewhere. But between the settlement of most other states and the settlement of the West, American attitudes toward land policy changed. “From its founding, the US assumed that the best thing to do with land was basically to privatize it, and probably turn it into farms, and that would lead to a productive economy.” 

This post originally appeared on CronyChronicles.org, a project of the Charles Koch Institute. The Institute republished it here on September 17, 2015.