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An acre is a standard unit for measuring land area, commonly used in real estate. One acre equals 43,560 square feet or approximately 4,046.86 square meters.

Whether you’re buying a home, planning for a garden, or trying to imagine how large an acre is, we’ll give you some visual representation and equivalent measurements.

What Does an Acre of Land Look Like Visually?

How Big is an Acre?

Image the size of a football field without the end zones – that’s the size of an acre. 

Other ways to visualize an acre include:

  • 9.25 NBA basketball courts
  • About 60% of a FIFA soccer field
  • A square piece of land that measures 200 x 200 feet
  • About 1,034 king-size mattresses laid next to each other

An Acre Compared to Other Measurements

An acre is a unit from the British Imperial and United States Customary systems. The original definition of an acre was 66 feet x 660 feet, also known as one chain by one furlong. It was the area a man with a team of oxen could plow in a single day. While the formal definition is precise, this historical reference highlights the practical origins of land measurement. Today, the acre remains a common unit for land assessment, symbolizing the intersection of historical farming practices and standardized measurements

Here’s how the acre compares to other measurements:

  • An acre contains 43,560 square feet
  • One acre is the equivalent of 0.404686 hectares
  • One square mile equals 640 acres
  • There are 247.105 square kilometers in an acre
  • One acre has 4,046.86 square meters

Statue of Liberty Island

From 12 to 1976 Acres: Landmarks Ranked by Size

  • Statue of Liberty Island: The iconic statue stands on a 12-acre island.
  • Dubai Miracle Garden: Floral attraction sprawling over 17.8 acres.
  • Sydney Opera House: Iconic structure situated on 5.8 acres.
  • White House Grounds: The presidential residence covers 18 acres.
  • Louvre Museum, Paris: Museum courtyard extends over 22.5 acres.
  • National Mall, D.C.: Historic park and monument area totaling 146 acres.
  • Hyde Park, London: Urban park spanning 350 acres.
  • Disneyland Resort, CA: Amusement park complex covering around 500 acres.
  • Vatican City: Independent city-state spanning about 110 acres.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne: Botanical gardens covering 94 acres.
  • Central Park, NYC: 843 acres of urban greenery.
  • Versailles Gardens, France: Palatial gardens encompass 1,976 acres.

How to Measure an Acre

If you have a square or rectangular piece of land, you can measure the length and width in feet and multiply those numbers by each other to determine the square footage. Then, divide the square footage by 43,560 to determine the equivalent amount of acres.

For example, if your land measures 70 ft x 250 ft, your calculations would look like this:

  • 70 x 250 = 17,500 square foot
  • 17,500 ÷ 43,560 = .4017 acres

The most accurate way to determine acreage is through professional land surveyors or digital mapping software. Digital mapping is the most precise way to determine the acreage of irregular lots.

The Average Residential Lot Size in Acres in the United States

The latest US Census Bureau study from 2020 reveals the national average lot size for new homes is 13,896 square feet, equal to .32 acres. Vermont has the biggest lot size at 78,408 square feet, equivalent to 1.8 acres. Nevada has the smallest lot size at 7,405 square feet or .17 acres.

Lot size in the United States has decreased over the last 45 years. In 1978, the national average lot size was 18,760 square feet – the equivalent of .43 acres. 

Average Price of an Acre in the United States

The average price of an acre in the United States is $17,482 for 2023. The state with the lowest acre cost is Wyoming at $5,684 per acre. The most expensive state is Rhode Island, where one acre can cost over $93,000.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What’s a commercial acre?

A commercial acre is smaller than a residential acre, clocking in at 36,000 square feet versus 43,560 square feet of a residential acre. The commercial acre is smaller to account for structures a business owner can’t modify, such as sidewalks and alleyways.

What’s the length and width of an acre?

An acre can be any length and width as long as the space adds up to 43,560 square feet. A perfect square acre is 208.71 feet long and 208.71 feet wide. But an acre can be rectangular, triangle, or irregularly shaped.

How big is a quarter of an acre?

A quarter of an acre is 10,890 square feet. The dimensions of a perfect square quarter acre would be about 104 feet wide by 104 feet long. 

How big is half an acre?

A half an acre contains 21,780 square feet. Imagine it as half of a football field, excluding the end zones.

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