The Most (And Least) Valuable States In The Contiguous United States

By on June 11, 2015 in ArticlesHow Much Does

Have you ever thought about how much the land in the contiguous United States is worth? It is rather mind blowing to imagine the entire country, from sea to shining sea, being sold as one mass of land, but that's exactly what a recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency did. The study estimated that the combined value of all land in the 48 contiguous United States is worth almost $23 trillion. The most valuable state overall is California. The Golden State accounted for 17% of the entire value of the 48 states. However, New Jersey had the most valuable real estate relative to the size of the Garden State. The home of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi has a per-acre value of $196,400. That is 16 times the average value of an acre across America.

Developed urban, suburban, agricultural, and federal lands were all taken into account in the study. States with a bigger population almost always have larger urban centers and this boosts the relative value of the real estate. This is evident in the list of the top 10 most valuable states. California is worth more than the next three most valuable states combined, yet ranks lower on the per-acre average due to the large amount of land it has dedicated to agriculture.

Most Valuable States, Overall

10. Washington

Total value: $716 billion

9. Illinois

Total value: $833 billion

8. Ohio

Total value: $838 billion

7. Michigan

Total value: $865 billion

6. Pennsylvania

Total value: $914 billion

5. New Jersey

Total value: $930 billion

4. Florida

Total value: $1.0 trillion

3. New York

Total value: $1.2 trillion

2. Texas

Total value: $1.3 trillion

 1. California

Total value: $3.9 trillion

Most Valuable States Per Acre

Conversely, states with larger rural areas relative to their size didn't fare as well in this valuation. Agricultural and undeveloped land is worth significantly less than the land that cites and suburbs lie upon. States like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island fared well in the study since they are smaller in land mass and have less rural areas to drag down the average price per acre. In fact, six of the top 10 most valuable states are also among the 10 smallest states by size.

10. Pennsylvania

Value of land per acre: $31,923

Total acres: 28.6 million

9. Ohio

Value of land per acre: $32,077

Total acres: 26.1 million

8. California

Value of land per acre: $39,092

Total acres: 99.9 million

7. New York

Value of land per acre: $41,314

Total acres: 30.1 million

6. Delaware

Value of land per acre: $57,692

Total acres: 1.2 million

5. Maryland

Value of land per acre: $75,429

Total acres: 6.2 million

4. Massachusetts

Value of land per acre: $102,214

Total acres: 5.1 million

3. Connecticut

Value of land per acre: $128,824

Total acres: 3.1 million

2. Rhode Island

Value of land per acre: $133,730

Total acres: 673,000

1. New Jersey

Value of land per acre: $196,410

Total acres: 4.7 million

The Full List of Most Valuable Contiguous States (Per Acre):

1. New Jersey

Value of land per acre: $196,410

Total value: $930 billion

Total acres: 4.7 million

2. Rhode Island

Value of land per acre: $133,730

Total value: $90 billion

Total acres: 673,000

3. Connecticut

Value of land per acre: $128,824

Total value: $400 billion

Total acres: 3.1 million

4. Massachusetts

Value of land per acre: $102,214

Total value: $517 billion

Total acres: 5.1 million

5. Maryland

Value of land per acre: $75,429

Total value: $470 billion

Total acres: 6.2 million

6. Delaware

Value of land per acre: $57,692

Total value: $72 billion

Total acres: 1.2 million

7. New York

Value of land per acre: $41,314

Total value: $1.2 trillion

Total acres: 30.1 million 

8. California

Value of land per acre: $39,092

Total value: $3.9 trillion

Total acres: 99.9 million

9. Ohio

Value of land per acre: $32,077

Total value: $838 billion

Total acres: 26.1 million

10. Pennsylvania

Value of land per acre: $31,923

Total value: $914 billion

Total acres: 28.6 million

11. Florida

Value of land per acre: $28,961

Total value: $1.0 trillion

Total acres: 35.3 million

12. Michigan

Value of land per acre: $23,765

Total value: $865 billion

Total acres: 36.4 million

13.  Illinois

Value of land per acre: $23,492

Total value: $833 billion

Total acres: 35.5 million

14. Virginia

Value of land per acre: $21,921

Total value: $555 billion

Total acres: 25.3 million

15. New Hampshire

Value of land per acre: $19,840

Total value: $114 billion

Total acres: 5.7 million

16. South Carolina

Value of land per acre: $17,610

Total value: $339 billion

Total acres: 19.3 million

17. Indiana

Value of land per acre: $16,903

Total value: $387 billion

Total acres: 22.9 million

18. Washington

Value of land per acre: $16,752

Total value: $716 billion

Total acres: 42.7 million

19. North Carolina

Value of land per acre: $16,230

Total value: $506 billion

Total acres: 31.2 million

20. Tennessee

Value of land per acre: $14,411

Total value: $380 billion

Total acres: 26.4 million

21. Georgia

Value of land per acre: $14,242

Total value: $528 billion

Total acres: 37.1 million

22. Louisiana

Value of land per acre: $12,908

Total value: $354 billion

Total acres: 27.4 million

23. Alabama

Value of land per acre: $12,356

Total value: $400 billion

Total acres: 32.4 million

24. West Virginia

Value of land per acre: $10,537

Total value: $162 billion

Total acres: 15.4 million

25. Wisconsin

Value of land per acre: $9,924

Total value: $344 billion

Total acres: 34.7 million

26. Minnesota

Value of land per acre: $8,191

Total value: $416 billion

Total acres: 50.8 million

27. Texas

Value of land per acre: $7,542

Total value: $1.3 trillion

Total acres: 167.9 million

28. Vermont

Value of land per acre: $7,439

Total value: $44 billion

Total acres: 5.9 million

 29. Oklahoma

Value of land per acre: $7,364

Total value: $323 billion

Total acres: 43.9 million

30. Missouri

Value of land per acre: $7,233

Total value: $318 billion

Total acres: 44.0 million

31. Kentucky

Value of land per acre: $7,209

Total value: $183 billion

Total acres: 25.4 million

32. Arkansas

Value of land per acre: $6,739

Total value: $224 billion

Total acres: 33.2 million

33. Iowa

Value of land per acre: $6,590

Total value: $235 billion

Total acres: 35.7 million

34. Oregon

Value of land per acre: $6,503

Total value: $400 billion

Total acres: 61.5 million

35. Colorado

Value of land per acre: $6,462

Total value: $429 billion

Total acres: 66.4 million

36. Maine

Value of land per acre: $6,142

Total value: $122 billion

Total acres: 19.9 million

37. Mississippi

Value of land per acre: $5,565

Total value: $166 billion

Total acres: 29.8 million

38. Utah

Value of land per acre: $4,664

Total value: $247 billion

Total acres: 50.3 million

39. Arizona

Value of land per acre: $4,328

Total value: $315 billion

Total acres: 72.8 million

40. Kansas

Value of land per acre: $4,220

Total value: $220 billion

Total acres: 52.1 million

41. Idaho

Value of land per acre: $3,435

Total value: $182 billion

Total acres: 53.0 million

42. Nebraska

Value of land per acre: $2,936

Total value: $144 billion

Total acres: 49.1 million

43. North Dakota

Value of land per acre: $2,517

Total value: $110 billion

Total acres: 43.7 million

44. Montana

Value of land per acre: $2,283

Total value: $213 billion

Total acres: 93.3 million

45. South Dakota

Value of land per acre: $2,135

Total value: $103 billion

Total acres: 48.2 million

46. Nevada

Value of land per acre: $2,116

Total value: $149 billion

Total acres: 70.4 million

47. New Mexico

Value of land per acre: $1,931

Total value: $150 billion

Total acres: 77.7 million

48. Wyoming

Value of land per acre: $1,558

Total value: $97 billion

Total acres: 62.3 million

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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