What Percent of Earth’s Surface Do Urban Areas Comprise?

Although urban areas account for just 1.5% of the Earth's land area, they contain over 50% of the world's population. Much of Earth's population growth also occurs in urban areas: 54% in 2014, which is up from 34% in 1960. Earth has approximately 37 billion acres of land, with nearly 8 billion acres of that land being arable (land capable of being used to grow crops). If by 2050 the world's population reaches the predicted 9 billion, there would be enough land on Earth for every individual to have 4 acres to themselves.

More about land use:

  • Queen Elizabeth II of England owns most of the Earth's land at roughly 6.6 billion acres.
  • In 2009, more than 50% of people were living in urban areas rather than rural areas.
  • Non-arable land can be converted to arable land through various techniques such as creating new irrigation canals, planting trees, adding fertilizer, and greenhouses.

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