A considerable number of foreign individuals and entities own U.S. land. This land is used for all sorts of purposes, including agriculture, renewable energy, and mining. Many of the nations that own the most U.S. land are large countries with some of the world’s most developed economies, but there are also several small countries that are known as international tax havens.
To determine the foreign countries that own the most American land, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. landholding estimates by country from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land through December 31, 2021 report. Countries were ranked by the total area of agricultural land held by individuals and entities from that country as well as the interests of U.S. corporations with foreign shareholders as of Dec. 31, 2021. All other data is from the USDA. Individual land ownership data comes from Investigate Midwest’s database on foreign-held agriculture land, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a range of other sources.
The countries at the very top of the list, except Canada, are all from Europe and own wind farms, timber and agricultural lands, and more. European oil giants like BP from the U.K. and Royal Dutch Shell from the Netherlands own several tracts of land around the country. (This is how much land in each state is owned by the government.)
Several countries known as tax havens like Panama, the Cayman Islands, and Liechtenstein own a significant portion of land in the United States for their relatively small size and population. This is likely because some lesser known foreign landowning companies are based in these countries.
Certain U.S. states have put restrictions on foreign ownership of land. Midwestern states generally have the strictest restrictions on foreign land ownership while some states do not have any laws regulating the practice. Current federal laws impose no restrictions on the amount of private U.S. agricultural land that can be foreign-owned, it requires such owners to disclose certain information to the USDA. (These people own the most land in America)
Click here to see foreign governments that own the most land in the US.
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