How Much U.S. Farmland Does China Own?

Chinese Ownership of U.S. Agricultural Land

How Much U.S. Farmland Does China Own? China owns approximately 384,000 acres of U.S. agricultural land, according to a 2021 report from the Department of Agriculture. Out of this, 195,000 acres valued at nearly $2 billion belong to 85 Chinese investors, who could be individuals, corporations, or governmental entities. An additional 189,000 acres, worth $235 million at the time of purchase, are held by 62 U.S. companies with Chinese shareholders.

Between 2015 and 2019, Chinese ownership of agricultural land in the U.S. saw a modest increase of around 550 acres. However, this trend shifted dramatically in 2020, with ownership soaring by 30% to about 352,000 acres. U.S. companies with Chinese shareholders drove much of this growth, expanding their holdings by over 100,000 acres. In 2021, China acquired an additional 32,000 acres, marking a 98% increase compared to their cumulative growth from 2015 to 2019.

how much land does china own in united states

Among the 109 countries that own U.S. agricultural land, China ranks 18th, trailing significantly behind Canada, which leads with 12.8 million acres, and even the Cayman Islands with 672,000 acres.

Notable Landowners in the U.S.

Despite China’s substantial holdings, Bill Gates emerges as a significant figure in U.S. land ownership, possessing 248,000 acres, according to The Land Report. Named the largest private farmland owner in January 2021, Gates faced scrutiny in early 2022 when he encountered obstacles in purchasing 2,100 acres of North Dakota farmland. Various conspiracy theories surfaced, alleging Gates’ acquisition of millions of acres for dubious purposes. Gates maintains that his land investments aim to enhance agricultural productivity and generate employment opportunities.

In a surprising revelation, Gates ranks 41st on The Land Report’s 2022 list of top American landowners. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, occupies the 24th position with 420,000 acres, primarily allocated for his aerospace company, Blue Origin.

Chinese, Canadian and Billionaires Owning Land in the United States

I don’t know about you, but it can be a bit scary when you have foreign investors, foreign government entities and billionaires buying up all the farmland in the United States, especially where certain land is nearby military assets.

Who knows what they are capable of?

If you are selling your land, do due diligence on the buyer. We are a small, family-owned real estate firm buying land in Florida.

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