How much land per person

At present some 11 percent (1.5 billion ha) of the globe’s land surface (13.4 billion ha) is used in crop production (arable land and land under permanent crops). This area represents slightly over a third (36 percent) of the land estimated to be to some degree suitable for crop production. The fact that there remain some 2.7 billion ha with crop production potential suggests that there is still scope for further expansion of agricultural land. However, there is also a perception, at least in some quarters, that there is no more, or very little, land to bring under cultivation. ( From United Nations FAO).  This exercise explores land per capita (per person).

GIVEN That the total agricultural (cultivatable) land is 13,4 billion hectares.

COMPLETE the table below to show how much land was available per person in the years shown, and give an estimate for 2030.

Estimated world population at various dates (in millions)

1900 1,650
1960 2,982
2010 6,972
2030 8,000


Mapping out

GIVEN  the estimated land per person

MAP OUT in the schoolyard or similar place, an area equivalent to the areas given in your table, to get a feel of just what that amount of land feels like.

Analysing your neighborhood

IDENTIFY an area to study, close to your shcool or home for convenience.

FIND OUT or ESTIMATE the total area in hectare of the place

FIND OUT the population

FIND OUT or estimate how much cultivateable land there is in the area

CALCULATE the amount of land per capita that is available.


Is there enough land to feed the population in your area?

  • If not, where does the food come from?
  • If there is, is it the case or does food go elsewhere?



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