An estimated 160,000 families own 70% of the land in England, according to 2012 estimates. This ownership rate is equivalent to less than 1% of the total population. The history of such a limited portion of the English population being landowners is thought to date to 1067, when William the Conqueror claimed all land as monarch property and then distributed it to his allies. Land in England is generally kept among the aristocratic families and handed down each generation, rather than being sold.
More about land ownership:
- The British government's Forestry Commission is the largest landowner in England, with more 2.5 million acres (1.1 million hectares), which is about 4% of the country.
- The Earth is estimated to have about 36.8 billion acres (14.9 billion hectares) of land. As of 2011, 21% of the world's land was owned by just 15 individuals.
- Queen Elizabeth II of England technically owned the largest amount of land in 2011 — 6.6 billion acres (2.7 billion hectares) — because she rules the British Commonwealth, including Australia and Canada.