Most Americans grow up with the dream of owning their own home and/or other real estate. Some more wealthy U.S. citizens have realized the American dream in a very big way.The most recent issue of The Land Report (H/T Zero Hedge), published by Fay Ranches, points out that the top 100 landowners in the U.S. own more than 33 million acres of land, or close to 2% of the total land in the United States. Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) chairman John Malone is currently the biggest U.S. landowner, with holdings of 2.2 million acres of nearly all undeveloped land. Fellow media mogul Ted Turner came in a close second with just less than two million acres of land.
Top five holders own land at least equal to Delaware
It’s difficult to intellectually grasp how much land millions of acres represents, so the website Visual-statistix has provided some useful charts and figures as visual aids. It turns out that Malone and Turner each own land roughly comparable to the total land area of the island of Puerto Rico, and the all of the top 5 land holders own land greater than the state of Delaware.
Changes and new faces in top 100 list
Stan Kroenke moved up from No. 10 to No. 8 on the list following his purchase of the historic Broken O Ranch last year, known as “one of the largest agricultural operations in the Rocky Mountain West.” This makes Kroenke the King of the Rockies as he also owns the historic 540,000-acre Q Creek Ranch in the area.
New faces on the 2014 Top 100 landowners list include No. 28, Dan and Farris Wilks, billionaire brothers who just bought over 400 square miles of land in eastern Montana. The Wilks brothers own the nationally-known N Bar Ranch in Montana, famous for for its wildlife and fishing. Arthur Nicholas also makes his debut on the top 100 list this year. He is the co-founder of Nicholas Investment Properties.
Landowner may benefit from land
The Land Report also emphasized that the super-rich are not just buying land to try and make a quick buck. “America’s largest landowners continue to recognize land as a compelling asset, one whose numerous attributes go well beyond ROI,” said Eric O’Keefe, editor-in-chief of The Land Report. “It’s a story you’ll see again and again in the Land Report 100, one that features familiar faces and some new ones I’m sure readers will instantly identify. ”