NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Federal Property -- And Rentals

March 24, 1999

How much property does the federal government own nationally, and how much does it rent? Here are some figures as of September 30, 1997.

  • The government owned then 879,843 square miles -- roughly equal to the total area of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
  • In addition, it rented 2,031 square miles of space -- about equal to the total area of Delaware.
  • Owned and rented buildings on these properties totaled 506,947 -- having a floor area of 3.2 billion square feet.
  • Costs and annual rents for these properties amounted to $210.8 billion.

The Interior Department is in charge of 63 percent of all government-owned land, followed by the Department of Agriculture at 34 percent.

But the Army has the most building space at 799.9 million square feet -- followed by the Air Force, 613.5 million square feet; and the Navy, 609.6 million square feet.

Alaska contains the most federal land of any state: 171.8 million acres. But California is home to the most buildings: 59,845 of them.

Source: General Services Administration, "The Government's Property," Washington Post, March 23, 1999.


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