Land Use

Total land area of Earth is 149 millions of square kilometers and it is almost equally distributed between agricultural, forest, and other lands with the slight overweight of the former one accounting for about 38% of world's land area.

At the same time, only one third of world's agricultural land is used as arable land, two-thirds is occupied by permanent meadows and pastures and the remaining 3% is referred to permanent crops.

Concerning cross-country distribution of agricultural land, China has the biggest area of agricultural land in the world, while the largest country by total land area - Russian Federation - has twice as little agricultural lands as China. This is mostly because almost a half of Russian land area is occupied by forests, making this country the first one in the ranking by forest area. The things are not so good, however, with the forest area on a global scale: it decreased by nearly 3% through the last 20 years, losing 1% share in the Earth's land area. Africa is leading continent by deforestation: during the same period forest area in this region dropped by more than 10%. Nevertheless, no great loss without some small gain: in Asia, Europe and North America forest land has increased since 1990.

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