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Massachusetts Data and Statistics

Welcome to the Massachusetts 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

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 5,192,900
Agricultural land in 2016 500,200
Cropland in 2016 167,400
Pastureland in 2016 90,400
Rangeland  in 2016 0
Woodland in 2016 242,400
Agricultural land in 2001 523,100

High-quality Agricultural Land

Data Item Acres
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2016 215,000
Nationally Significant agricultural land in 2001 225,700
Best agricultural land in 2016 247,700
Best agricultural land in 2001 255,500
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 27,200
Agricultural land converted to urban and highly-developed land use (UHD) 14,300
Agricultural land converted to low-density residential land use (LDR) 12,800
Nationally Significant agricultural land developed or compromised 11,300
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to UHD 5,400
Nationally Significant agricultural land converted to LDR 5,900
Best agricultural land developed or compromised 11,900
Best agricultural land converted to UHD 5,200
Best agricultural land converted to LDR 6,700

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2012 National Resources Inventory

1997-2002 2002-2007 2007-2012 1982-2012
Agricultural land converted to developed land (acres) 13,100 6,800 2,800 93,300
Agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 393,100 384,800 370,500 485,400
Prime agricultural land at the beginning of the reporting period (acres) 140,300 133,500 128,800 160,600
Forest land converted to developed land (acres) 72,600 52,900 29,900 544,000
Other rural land converted to developed land (acres) NA NA NA 17,600
Total surface area (acres) 5,339,000 5,339,000 5,339,000 5,339,000

Census of Agriculture

2002 2007 2012
Farms 6,075 7,691 7,755
Land in farms (acres) 518,570 517,879 523,517
Total land area (acres) 5,017,610 4,992,934 4,992,113
Principal operators 6,075 7,691 7,755
Total operators 9,768 12,265 12,595
Principal operators 34 and younger 210 341 419
Principal operators 65 and older 1,369 1,941 2,333
Land owned by principal operators 65 and older (acres) 122,457 131,229 164,930
Beginning farmers 1,633 2,017 1,954
Market value of agricultural products sold ($1,000) 384,314 489,820 492,211

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.

Other Data Sources

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