Degree of urban influence has increased since 1980

A map of the U.S. showing the degree of urban influence between years 1980 to 2000

Only a relatively small fraction of the American landscape is dedicated to urban uses (about 3 percent), however, the U.S. population continues to grow which, in combination with household formation, influences the use and value of agricultural and forestland. Nationally, about 20 percent of the land in farms was subject to some form of urban influence in 2007. On average, ERS estimates that an additional 4 percent of agricultural land became newly subject to urban influence between 1980 and 2000. The relative influence of urban areas expanded the most in the Appalachian and Southeast regions, where ERS estimates an additional 13 percent of land became newly subject to urban influence over this 20-year period. On a State level, the greatest proportion of land in Delaware-an additional 40 percent of farmland-became newly subject to urban influence by 2000.This map is found in the ERS report, Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2007, EIB-89, December 2011. The data that underpin the report are available in Major Land Uses, a data product on the ERS website, updated February 3, 2012.

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