Arable land (hectares) - Country Ranking

Definition: Arable land (in hectares) 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.

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

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 India 156,463,000.00 2015
2 United States 152,262,500.00 2015
3 Russia 123,121,800.00 2015
4 China 119,000,000.00 2015
5 Brazil 80,017,000.00 2015
6 Australia 46,126,000.00 2015
7 Canada 43,606,400.00 2015
8 Argentina 39,200,000.00 2015
9 Nigeria 34,000,000.00 2015
10 Ukraine 32,541,300.00 2015
11 Pakistan 30,440,000.00 2015
12 Kazakhstan 29,395,000.00 2015
13 Indonesia 23,500,000.00 2015
14 Mexico 22,913,100.00 2015
15 Turkey 20,645,000.00 2015
16 Sudan 19,823,160.00 2015
17 France 18,478,700.00 2015
18 Thailand 16,810,000.00 2015
19 Niger 16,800,000.00 2015
20 Ethiopia 15,119,000.00 2015
21 Iran 14,687,000.00 2015
22 Tanzania 13,500,000.00 2015
23 South Africa 12,500,000.00 2015
24 Spain 12,338,000.00 2015
25 Germany 11,849,000.00 2015
26 Poland 10,887,000.00 2015
27 Myanmar 10,879,000.00 2015
28 Romania 8,757,000.00 2015
29 Morocco 8,130,000.00 2015
30 Afghanistan 7,765,000.00 2015
31 Bangladesh 7,764,210.00 2015
32 Algeria 7,462,100.00 2015
33 Dem. Rep. Congo 7,100,000.00 2015
34 Vietnam 6,998,000.00 2015
35 Uganda 6,900,000.00 2015
36 Italy 6,601,000.00 2015
37 Mali 6,411,000.00 2015
38 Cameroon 6,200,000.00 2015
39 United Kingdom 6,011,000.00 2015
40 Burkina Faso 6,000,000.00 2015
41 Kenya 5,800,000.00 2015
42 Belarus 5,685,000.00 2015
43 Mozambique 5,650,000.00 2015
44 Philippines 5,590,000.00 2015
45 Iraq 5,034,000.00 2015
46 Chad 4,900,000.00 2015
46 Angola 4,900,000.00 2015
48 Paraguay 4,800,000.00 2015
49 Ghana 4,700,000.00 2015
50 Syrian Arab Republic 4,662,000.00 2015
51 Bolivia 4,472,500.00 2015
52 Hungary 4,412,200.00 2015
53 Uzbekistan 4,400,000.00 2015
54 Japan 4,201,000.00 2015
55 Peru 4,151,600.00 2015
56 Zimbabwe 4,000,000.00 2015
57 Malawi 3,800,000.00 2015
57 Zambia 3,800,000.00 2015
57 Cambodia 3,800,000.00 2015
60 Bulgaria 3,509,700.00 2015
61 Saudi Arabia 3,502,000.00 2015
62 Madagascar 3,500,000.00 2015
63 Senegal 3,200,000.00 2015
64 Czech Republic 3,136,000.00 2015
65 Guinea 3,100,000.00 2015
66 Cuba 3,013,700.00 2015
67 Côte d'Ivoire 2,900,000.00 2015
67 Tunisia 2,900,000.00 2015
69 Egypt 2,895,860.00 2015
70 Venezuela 2,700,000.00 2015
70 Benin 2,700,000.00 2015
72 Togo 2,650,000.00 2015
73 Serbia 2,591,000.00 2015
74 Sweden 2,581,000.00 2015
75 Uruguay 2,410,600.00 2015
76 Denmark 2,351,000.00 2015
77 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 2,350,000.00 2015
78 Finland 2,242,300.00 2015
79 Greece 2,224,000.00 2015
80 Lithuania 2,173,100.00 2015
81 Nepal 2,113,700.00 2015
82 Turkmenistan 1,940,000.00 2015
83 Azerbaijan 1,937,700.00 2015
84 Moldova 1,822,900.00 2015
85 Central African Republic 1,800,000.00 2015
86 Libya 1,720,000.00 2015
87 Colombia 1,688,600.00 2015
88 Sierra Leone 1,584,000.00 2015
89 Lao PDR 1,525,000.00 2015
90 Nicaragua 1,504,000.00 2015
91 Korea 1,464,500.00 2015
92 Slovak Republic 1,382,500.00 2015
93 Austria 1,346,100.00 2015
94 Chile 1,313,000.00 2015
95 Sri Lanka 1,300,000.00 2015
96 Kyrgyz Republic 1,280,600.00 2015
97 Yemen 1,248,000.00 2015
98 Latvia 1,229,800.00 2015
99 Burundi 1,200,000.00 2015
100 Rwanda 1,151,700.00 2015
101 Portugal 1,132,380.00 2015
102 Somalia 1,100,000.00 2015
103 Haiti 1,070,000.00 2015
104 Ecuador 1,067,400.00 2015
105 Netherlands 1,033,000.00 2015
106 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,029,000.00 2015
106 Ireland 1,029,000.00 2015
108 Honduras 1,020,000.00 2015
109 Malaysia 954,000.00 2015
110 Guatemala 933,800.00 2015
111 Croatia 844,100.00 2015
112 Belgium 829,500.00 2015
113 Norway 805,600.00 2015
114 Namibia 800,000.00 2015
114 Dominican Republic 800,000.00 2015
116 El Salvador 750,000.00 2015
117 Tajikistan 730,000.00 2015
118 Eritrea 690,000.00 2015
119 Estonia 669,700.00 2015
120 Albania 615,100.00 2015
121 New Zealand 590,000.00 2015
122 Mongolia 567,200.00 2015
123 Panama 563,000.00 2015
124 Congo 550,000.00 2015
125 Liberia 500,000.00 2015
126 Mauritania 450,000.00 2015
127 Georgia 448,000.00 2015
128 Armenia 446,700.00 2015
129 The Gambia 440,000.00 2015
130 Guyana 420,000.00 2015
131 Macedonia 415,000.00 2015
132 Botswana 399,000.00 2015
133 Switzerland 398,300.00 2015
134 Gabon 325,000.00 2015
135 Papua New Guinea 300,000.00 2015
135 Guinea-Bissau 300,000.00 2015
137 Israel 297,200.00 2015
138 Lesotho 272,300.00 2015
139 Costa Rica 232,000.00 2015
140 Jordan 228,200.00 2015
141 Slovenia 184,050.00 2015
142 Swaziland 175,000.00 2015
143 Fiji 165,000.00 2015
144 Timor-Leste 155,000.00 2015
145 Lebanon 132,000.00 2015
146 Iceland 121,000.00 2015
147 Equatorial Guinea 120,000.00 2015
147 Jamaica 120,000.00 2015
149 Bhutan 100,200.00 2015
150 Cyprus 98,900.00 2015
151 Belize 78,000.00 2015
152 Mauritius 74,000.00 2015
153 Suriname 65,000.00 2015
153 Comoros 65,000.00 2015
155 Luxembourg 62,800.00 2015
156 Puerto Rico 61,000.00 2015
157 Cabo Verde 50,000.00 2015
158 Oman 38,000.00 2015
159 United Arab Emirates 37,500.00 2015
160 Trinidad and Tobago 25,000.00 2015
161 Vanuatu 20,000.00 2015
161 Solomon Islands 20,000.00 2015
163 Tonga 18,000.00 2015
164 Qatar 13,100.00 2015
165 Barbados 11,000.00 2015
166 Malta 8,970.00 2015
167 Montenegro 8,700.00 2015
167 São Tomé and Principe 8,700.00 2015
169 The Bahamas 8,000.00 2015
169 Samoa 8,000.00 2015
171 Kuwait 7,700.00 2015
172 New Caledonia 6,240.00 2015
173 Dominica 6,000.00 2015
174 St. Kitts and Nevis 5,000.00 2015
174 Brunei 5,000.00 2015
174 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5,000.00 2015
177 Antigua and Barbuda 4,000.00 2015
178 Hong Kong SAR, China 3,100.00 2015
179 St. Lucia 3,000.00 2015
179 Grenada 3,000.00 2015
181 Liechtenstein 2,160.00 2015
182 Djibouti 2,000.00 2015
182 Kiribati 2,000.00 2015
184 Bahrain 1,600.00 2015
185 Palau 1,000.00 2015
185 San Marino 1,000.00 2015
187 Greenland 900.00 2015
188 Andorra 810.00 2015
189 Singapore 560.00 2015
190 Cayman Islands 200.00 2015
191 Seychelles 150.00 2015

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Development Relevance: Agricultural land covers more than one-third 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. 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. There is significant geographic variation in the availability of land considered suitable for agriculture. Increasing population and demand from other sectors place growing pressure on available resources. According to FAO, the world's cultivated area has grown by 12 percent over the last 50 years. The global irrigated area has doubled over the same period, accounting for most of the net increase in cultivated land. Agriculture already uses 11 percent of the world's land surface for crop production. It also makes use of 70 percent of all water withdrawn from aquifers, streams and lakes. Agricultural policies have primarily benefitted farmers with productive land and access to water, bypassing the majority of small-scale producers who are still locked in a poverty trap of high vulnerability, land degradation and climatic uncertainty. Land resources are central to agriculture and rural development, and are intrinsically linked to global challenges of food insecurity and poverty, climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as degradation and depletion of natural resources that affect the livelihoods of millions of rural people across the world. 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.

Limitations and Exceptions: The Food and Agriculture Organization (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. The data collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations from official national sources through the questionnaire 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. 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. True comparability of the data is limited, however, by variations in definitions, statistical methods, and quality of data. Countries use different definitions land use. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the primary compiler of the data, occasionally adjusts its definitions of land use categories and revises earlier data. Because the data reflect changes in reporting procedures as well as actual changes in land use, apparent trends should be interpreted cautiously. Satellite images show land use that differs from that of ground-based measures in area under cultivation and type of land use. Moreover, land use data in some countries (India is an example) are based on reporting systems designed for collecting tax revenue. With land taxes no longer a major source of government revenue, the quality and coverage of land use data have declined.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Temporary fallow land refers to land left fallow for less than five years. The abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation is not included in this category. Data for "Arable land" are not meant to indicate the amount of land that is potentially cultivable.

Periodicity: Annual