Wednesday, August 01, 2018

How America Uses its Land

America belongs to its cows. More than one-third of U.S. land is used for pasture. It is by far the largest land-use type in the contiguous 48 states. But that's not all a large proportion of the USA's cropland is used to produce feed. This cropland added to all those pastures results in 41 percent of land in the contiguous states given over to livestock. That is a lot of land set aside for America's cows.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land. In Here's How America Uses its Land Bloomberg has used these categories to explore the amount of land dedicated to various economic activities. As you progress through this story map Bloomberg divides a map of the USA into these six major types of land to illustrate how America uses its land.

The U.S. map in this visualization is used as a chart which is divided proportionally to show the percentage of the country given over to each type of land use. As you can see in the screenshot above the amount of land given over to the human population is very small. Just 3.6 percent of the total land in the 48 contiguous states is classified as urban. So cows get 41 percent of the USA while its people have to make do with miserly 3.6 percent.

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