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Knowing who owns U.S. land is important because landownership affects how wealth is distributed nationally and how land is used. Yet the currently fragmented and incomplete status of ownership data means only gross generalities are possible. Private individuals and corporations own about 60 percent of U.S. land while Federal, State, and local governments own the rest. Getting detail is difficult because no central source of information exists and records often do not show separated interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is conducting a national survey of landownership that will resolve several of these data problems.


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