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    Working Land Loss

    Texas lost approximately 2.2M acres of working lands from 1997 to 2017 with a decline of nearly 1.2M acres converted in the last 5-year period.

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    Population Growth

    Since 1997, the Texas population increased nearly 470,000 new residents annually, or 1,287 people per day, accounting for a total population of 29M by 2017.

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    Land Fragmentation

    Average ownership size declined from 581 acres in 1997 to 509 acres in 2017.


Explore Land Trends Data

View and compare 20-year trends in land use, market value and other metrics in private lands across Texas.


A Changing Texas

Texas working lands are undergoing a fundamental change, one that has implications for rural economies, national and food security, and conservation of water and other natural resources. Native landscapes are increasingly threatened by suburbanization, rural development and land fragmentation driven by rapid population growth.

Texas Land Facts

From 1997 to 2017

Texas population increase 48%

Total population increase in top 25 fastest growing counties 86%

Total land conversion from top 25 fastest growing counties 56%

Increase in farming and ranching operations 8%

What does this mean?


The state’s increasing population, particularly within or in surrounding urban centers, continues to have a significant influence on the continued loss of working lands, changing ownership sizes, and land values.

Land Conversion

Like more traditional home real estate values, rural land values vary by location, land use, property size, and other characteristics. Changes in land value were closely tied to distance from major metropolitan growth areas. The average land value, for example, within the top 25 fastest growing counties was $5,266 per acre in 2012, compared to the state-wide average of $1,573 per acre.

Farming and Ranching Operations

The shift in ownership size or loss of larger ownerships through fragmentation may have potential implications for profitability and continued stability of working lands.


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About Land Trends

Texas Land Trends was developed by the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute in cooperation with Texas A&M AgriLife ResearchTexas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Texas Agricultural Land Trust. Texas Land Trends was funded by the Meadows Foundation, Houston Endowment, Mitchell Foundation, Hershey Foundation, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Learn about Land Trends data and sources.