Bill Gates owns 275,000 acres of farmland

The Microsoft co-founder's assets go beyond technology. From 2021 to 2022, he increased his agricultural domains by 30,000 acres.

For decades, Bill Gates was the richest man on the planet thanks to Microsoft, the technology company he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1975 which is still the main source of his wealth. He no longer tops the list. but still remains among the world's wealthiest people. His fortune has been used for different purposes: from philanthropic donations through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to a variety of investments such as the acquisition of private agricultural land.

According to a study conducted by the magazine The Land Report, Bill Gates is the 41st largest landowner in the United States. He owns some 275,000 acres of arable land in 19 states. In 2021, there were about 900 million acres of farmland in the U.S., according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2022. The area of his agricultural domains is greater than the size of countries such as Hong Kong or Bahrain.

The British newspaper The Guardian reported that the Microsoft co-founder owned 242,000 acres in 2021, worth about $690 million. From one year to the next, he expanded his farming power by 30,000 acres. The following image shows the statewide distribution of farmland (in acres) owned by Bill Gates two years ago.

At the beginning of 2023, Bill Gates participated in an Ask Me Anything on the Reddit platform after the public learned how many acres of farmland he owns. One user asked him what he would do with all of them, to which the billionaire replied:

My investment team bought the farmland. It is less than 0.1% of all US farmland because the ownership is so diverse. We invest in the farms to raise productivity. Some are near cities and might end up having other uses.

The largest U.S. landowners

Bill Gates is far from the largest landowner in the United States. However, he could become one if he wanted to, given his financial fortune. There are forty individuals or families ahead of him that own more acres of farmland.

According to The Land Report, these are the top ten largest U.S. landowners in 2022:

  1. Emmerson family: 2,411,000 acres.
  2. John Malone: 2,200,000 acres.
  3. Ted Turner: 2,000,000 acres.
  4. Reed family: 1,661,000 acres.
  5. Stan Kroenke: 1,627,500 acres.
  6. Irving family: 1,267,792 acres.
  7. Buck family: 1,236,000 acres.
  8. Singleton family: 1,100,000 acres.
  9. Brad Kelley: 1,000,000 acres.
  10. King Ranch Heirs: 911.215 acres.