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California Data and Statistics

Welcome to the California Statistics page. Here you will find frequently requested data specific to this state from AFT's Farms Under Threat: The State of the States report, the National Resources Inventory, the Census of Agriculture, and the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) program survey. You also can link to additional information and data sources.

On This Page

Farms Under Threat

National Resources Inventory

Census of Agriculture

Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs

California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program

Other Data Sources

Farms Under Threat: The State of the States

All estimates represent figures for the Conterminous U.S.

Total and Agricultural Land Cover/Use

Data Item Acres
Total land area in 2016 101,246,100
Agricultural land in 2016 34,006,800
Cropland in 2016 10,637,000
Pastureland in 2016 1,505,200
Rangeland  in 2016 21,702,100
Woodland in 2016 162,500
Agricultural land in 2001 34,359,500

High-quality Agricultural Land

Data Item Acres
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2016 6,280,500
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2001 6,264,500
Best agricultural land in 2016 15,411,200
Best agricultural land in 2001 15,615,600
Nationally Significant agricultural land is the land best-suited to long-term, intensive crop production within the Conterminous United States; and each state’s “best land” is approximately the better half of all agricultural land in each state. For more information about these categories of high-quality agricultural land and how they were identified, see the interactive website for Farms Under Threat: The State of the States, and the fact sheet about AFT’s Productivity, Versatility, and Resiliency (PVR) Analysis.

Agricultural Land Converted from 2001-2016

Data Item Acres
Agricultural land developed or compromised 465,900
Agricultural land converted to urban and highly-developed land use (UHD) 316,600
Agricultural land converted to low-density residential land use (LDR) 149,400
Nationally Significant agricultural land developed or compromised 49,000
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to UHD 24,800
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to LDR 24,200
Best agricultural land developed or compromised 319,000
Best agricultural land converted to UHD 225,300
Best agricultural land converted to LDR 93,700

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2012 National Resources Inventory

1997-2002 2002-2007 2007-2012 1982-2012
Agricultural land converted to developed land (acres) 341,500 295,200 145,600 1,842,000
Agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 30,783,700 29,933,400 29,501,400 32,543,700
Prime agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 5,453,200 5,390,100 5,114,800 6,006,100
Forest land converted to developed land (acres) 73,8000 40,400 17,700 329,000
Other rural land converted to developed land (acres) 17,000 10,100 5,000 66,300
Total surface area (acres) 101,510,200 101,510,200 101,510,200 101,510,200

Census of Agriculture

2002 2007 2012
Farms 79,631 81,033 77,857
Land in farms (acres) 27,589,027 25,364,695 25,569,001
Total land area (acres) 99,813,971 99,689,515 99,698,909
Principal operators 79,631 81,033 77,864
Total operators 125,095 130,756 126,099
Principal operators 34 and younger 2,663 2,758 3,221
Principal operators 65 and older 22,196 25,130 29,053
Land owned by principal operators 65 and older (acres) 5,631,634 6,557,509 7,329,977
Beginning farmers 24,228 26,859 20,648
Market value of agricultural products sold ($1,000) 25,737,173 33,885,064 42,627,472

Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs

For summaries of PACE activity by state, use the links for the downloadable table or most recent fact sheets on the national statistics page under Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs.

California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program


Other Data Sources

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