Agricultural land (% of land area) - Country Ranking

Definition: Agricultural land refers to the share of land area that is arable, under permanent crops, and under permanent pastures. Arable land includes land defined by the FAO as land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted once), temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded. Land under permanent crops is land cultivated with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted after each harvest, such as cocoa, coffee, and rubber. This category includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber. Permanent pasture is land used for five or more years for forage, including natural and cultivated crops.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Uruguay 82.56 2015
2 Saudi Arabia 80.78 2015
3 Kazakhstan 80.38 2015
4 South Africa 79.83 2015
5 Burundi 79.13 2015
6 Nigeria 77.74 2015
7 El Salvador 77.32 2015
8 Syrian Arab Republic 75.81 2015
9 Eritrea 75.17 2015
10 Lesotho 75.01 2015
11 Moldova 74.81 2015
12 Rwanda 73.44 2015
13 Djibouti 73.43 2015
14 Mongolia 72.67 2015
15 Turkmenistan 72.01 2015
16 Uganda 71.89 2015
17 Comoros 71.47 2015
18 Ukraine 71.25 2015
19 Madagascar 71.18 2015
20 Swaziland 71.05 2015
21 United Kingdom 70.84 2015
22 Bangladesh 70.63 2015
23 Somalia 70.34 2015
24 Togo 70.23 2015
25 Ghana 69.00 2015
26 Morocco 68.54 2015
27 Haiti 66.76 2015
28 Tunisia 64.84 2015
29 Côte d'Ivoire 64.78 2015
30 Lebanon 64.32 2015
31 Ireland 64.31 2015
32 Mozambique 63.52 2015
33 Uzbekistan 62.93 2015
34 Denmark 62.18 2015
35 Malawi 61.41 2015
36 India 60.45 2015
37 Greece 60.38 2015
38 Romania 60.13 2015
39 Tuvalu 60.00 2015
40 Cuba 59.99 2015
41 The Gambia 59.78 2015
42 Hungary 59.06 2015
43 Guinea 59.01 2015
44 Armenia 58.88 2015
45 Afghanistan 58.07 2015
46 Guinea-Bissau 57.97 2015
47 Azerbaijan 57.70 2015
48 China 56.22 2015
49 Paraguay 55.08 2015
50 Kyrgyz Republic 55.04 2015
51 Mexico 54.89 2015
52 Sierra Leone 54.71 2015
53 Czech Republic 54.56 2015
54 Netherlands 54.53 2015
55 Argentina 54.34 2015
56 Spain 52.51 2015
57 France 52.46 2015
58 São Tomé and Principe 50.73 2015
59 Luxembourg 50.68 2015
60 Turkey 50.08 2015
61 Macedonia 50.08 2015
62 Dominican Republic 48.69 2015
63 Kenya 48.55 2015
64 Lithuania 47.98 2015
65 Germany 47.96 2015
66 Australia 47.63 2015
67 Angola 47.48 2015
68 Namibia 47.14 2015
69 Pakistan 47.03 2015
70 Poland 46.93 2015
71 Bulgaria 46.17 2015
72 Senegal 46.06 2015
73 Botswana 45.88 2015
74 Tonga 45.83 2015
75 Tanzania 44.76 2015
76 Yemen 44.60 2015
77 United States 44.37 2015
78 Burkina Faso 44.23 2015
79 Italy 44.01 2015
80 Belgium 43.86 2015
81 Sri Lanka 43.69 2015
82 Thailand 43.28 2015
83 Albania 42.86 2015
84 Bosnia and Herzegovina 42.64 2015
85 Belarus 42.29 2015
86 New Zealand 42.22 2015
87 Nicaragua 42.09 2015
88 Kiribati 41.98 2015
89 Zimbabwe 41.88 2015
90 Mauritius 41.87 2015
91 Philippines 41.72 2015
92 Jamaica 41.00 2015
93 Portugal 40.39 2015
94 Colombia 40.26 2015
95 Andorra 40.02 2015
96 Slovak Republic 39.97 2015
97 Serbia 39.66 2015
98 Chad 39.66 2015
99 Mauritania 38.53 2015
100 Switzerland 38.18 2015
101 Vietnam 37.77 2015
102 Georgia 36.67 2015
103 Ethiopia 36.26 2015
104 Niger 36.06 2015
105 Costa Rica 35.47 2015
106 Guatemala 35.40 2015
107 Bolivia 34.81 2015
108 Tajikistan 34.19 2015
109 Brazil 33.81 2015
110 Mali 33.77 2015
111 Dominica 33.33 2015
112 Benin 33.26 2015
113 Austria 32.94 2015
114 Barbados 32.56 2015
115 Liechtenstein 32.25 2015
116 Zambia 32.06 2015
117 Malta 31.97 2015
118 Indonesia 31.46 2015
119 Congo 31.12 2015
120 Cambodia 30.90 2015
121 Slovenia 30.62 2015
122 Panama 30.36 2015
123 Latvia 30.31 2015
124 Honduras 28.91 2015
125 Nepal 28.75 2015
126 Sudan 28.70 2015
127 Iran 28.21 2015
128 Liberia 28.03 2015
129 Croatia 27.48 2015
130 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25.64 2015
131 Timor-Leste 25.55 2015
132 Israel 24.67 2015
133 Venezuela 24.49 2015
134 Malaysia 23.86 2015
135 Grenada 23.53 2015
136 Estonia 23.44 2015
137 Ecuador 23.31 2015
138 Fiji 23.26 2015
139 St. Kitts and Nevis 23.08 2015
140 Puerto Rico 22.29 2015
141 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 21.84 2015
142 Iraq 21.34 2015
143 Chile 21.23 2015
144 Cameroon 20.63 2015
145 Antigua and Barbuda 20.45 2015
146 Gabon 20.03 2015
147 Nauru 20.00 2015
148 Cabo Verde 19.60 2015
149 Myanmar 19.50 2015
150 Peru 19.01 2015
151 Iceland 18.67 2015
152 Korea 17.81 2015
153 Algeria 17.41 2015
154 St. Lucia 17.38 2015
155 Montenegro 17.20 2015
156 San Marino 16.67 2015
157 Vanuatu 15.34 2015
158 Bhutan 13.79 2015
159 Cyprus 13.77 2015
160 Russia 13.29 2015
161 Samoa 12.37 2015
162 Japan 12.33 2015
163 Jordan 11.90 2015
164 Dem. Rep. Congo 11.56 2015
165 Cayman Islands 11.25 2015
166 Bahrain 11.15 2015
167 Palau 10.87 2015
168 Trinidad and Tobago 10.53 2015
169 Lao PDR 10.26 2015
170 Equatorial Guinea 10.12 2015
171 New Caledonia 10.08 2015
172 Libya 8.72 2015
173 Guyana 8.53 2015
174 Kuwait 8.38 2015
175 Central African Republic 8.15 2015
176 Finland 7.48 2015
177 Sweden 7.46 2015
178 Belize 7.01 2015
179 Canada 6.89 2015
180 Qatar 5.65 2015
181 Hong Kong SAR, China 4.86 2015
182 Oman 4.75 2015
183 United Arab Emirates 4.57 2015
184 Solomon Islands 3.86 2015
185 Egypt 3.84 2015
186 Seychelles 3.37 2015
187 Brunei 2.73 2015
188 Norway 2.70 2015
189 Papua New Guinea 2.63 2015
190 The Bahamas 1.40 2015
191 Singapore 0.93 2015
192 Greenland 0.57 2015
193 Suriname 0.57 2015

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Development Relevance: Agricultural land covers more than one-third of the world's land area, with arable land representing less than one-third of agricultural land (about 10 percent of the world's land area). Agricultural land constitutes only a part of any country's total area, which can include areas not suitable for agriculture, such as forests, mountains, and inland water bodies. In many industrialized countries, agricultural land is subject to zoning regulations. In the context of zoning, agricultural land (or more properly agriculturally zoned land) refers to plots that may be used for agricultural activities, regardless of the physical type or quality of land. FAO's agricultural land data contains a wide range of information on variables that are significant for: understanding the structure of a country's agricultural sector; making economic plans and policies for food security; deriving environmental indicators, including those related to investment in agriculture and data on gross crop area and net crop area which are useful for policy formulation and monitoring. There is no single correct mix of inputs to the agricultural land, as it is dependent on local climate, land quality, and economic development; appropriate levels and application rates vary by country and over time and depend on the type of crops, the climate and soils, and the production process used.

Limitations and Exceptions: The data are collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from official national sources through annual questionnaires and are supplemented with information from official secondary data sources. The secondary sources cover official country data from websites of national ministries, national publications and related country data reported by various international organizations.. The FAO tries to impose standard definitions and reporting methods, but complete consistency across countries and over time is not possible. Thus, data on agricultural land in different climates may not be comparable. For example, permanent pastures are quite different in nature and intensity in African countries and dry Middle Eastern countries. Data on agricultural employment, in particular, should be used with caution. In many countries much agricultural employment is informal and unrecorded, including substantial work performed by women and children. To address some of these concerns, this indicator is heavily footnoted in the database in sources, definition, and coverage.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Agriculture is still a major sector in many economies, and agricultural activities provide developing countries with food and revenue. But agricultural activities also can degrade natural resources. Poor farming practices can cause soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. Efforts to increase productivity by using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and intensive irrigation have environmental costs and health impacts. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers can alter the chemistry of soil. Pesticide poisoning is common in developing countries. And salinization of irrigated land diminishes soil fertility. Thus, inappropriate use of inputs for agricultural production has far-reaching effects. Agricultural land is also sometimes classified as irrigated and non-irrigated land. In arid and semi-arid countries agriculture is often confined to irrigated land, with very little farming possible in non-irrigated areas. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded from Arable land. Data on agricultural land are valuable for conducting studies on a various perspectives concerning agricultural production, food security and for deriving cropping intensity among others uses. Agricultural land indicator, along with land-use indicators, can also elucidate the environmental sustainability of countries' agricultural practices. Total land area does not include inland water bodies such as major rivers and lakes. Variations from year to year may be due to updated or revised data rather than to change in area.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual