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Who Owns Land in England?

An estimated 160,000 families own 70% of the land in England, according to 2012 estimates. This ownership rate is equivalent to less than 1% of the total population. The history of such a limited portion of the English population being landowners is thought to date to 1067, when William the Conqueror claimed all land as monarch property and then distributed it to his allies. Land in England is generally kept among the aristocratic families and handed down each generation, rather than being sold.

More about land ownership:

  • The British government's Forestry Commission is the largest landowner in England, with more 2.5 million acres (1.1 million hectares), which is about 4% of the country.

  • The Earth is estimated to have about 36.8 billion acres (14.9 billion hectares) of land. As of 2011, 21% of the world's land was owned by just 15 individuals.

  • Queen Elizabeth II of England technically owned the largest amount of land in 2011 — 6.6 billion acres (2.7 billion hectares) — because she rules the British Commonwealth, including Australia and Canada.

Discussion Comments

By anon356526 — On Nov 25, 2013

I do not agree with 352057. How then would you look at people buying properties in India?

By anon352057 — On Oct 19, 2013

It is better that English people own the major chunk of the land ownership in England.If you open up sooner or later the unscrupulous Indian businessman will go and start purchasing the land and corrupt practices will set in. Though I am an Indian myself, I want England to retain its own character. It should maintain its pristine glory in the comity of nations.It should remain different from others. I have visited London more than once and I still feel that it is not without reason that great intellectuals were not only born there, but also were able to cultivate their mind in the enabling atmosphere.

By anon351424 — On Oct 14, 2013

We (UK citizens) need to remove the monarchy and close the loophole in the tax system which allows 'aristocracy' to pass on there land without being taxed! Wake up. We're not living in the middle ages!

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