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Who Owns Most of England?

Updated May 17, 2024
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The growing divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" has been a hot-button issue for ages, but perhaps nowhere illustrates it better than England.

In his book Who Owns England, author Guy Shrubsole reveals a shocking fact: Less than 1 percent of the English population -- approximately 25,000 people -- own half of the nation's land. Shrubsole also calculates that in a completely equitable society, every resident of England would be entitled to just over a half-acre of soil.

Of course, the world isn't perfect, which explains why much of England is in the possession of the Queen, entrepreneur James Dyson, the Duke of Buccleuch, and other members of the aristocracy, as well as corporations.

At least one British politician welcomed the findings. "It’s simply not right that aristocrats, whose families have owned the same areas of land for centuries, and large corporations exercise more influence over local neighborhoods – in both urban and rural areas – than the people who live there," Labour MP Jon Trickett told The Guardian newspaper. "Land is a source of wealth; it impacts on house prices, it is a source of food, and it can provide enjoyment for millions of people."

Who owns the world?

  • Technically speaking, the largest landowners include Queen Elizabeth II, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Pope Benedict, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and King Bhumibhol of Thailand.

  • In the United States, media tycoon John Malone owns the most land, with 2.2 million acres; fellow media mogul Ted Turner is second, claiming 2 million acres.

  • Venezuela has the most land outside of private control; nearly 54 percent of its land area is protected by the government.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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