6 min read May 26, 2022

How Big Is An Acre?

DID YOU KNOW? An acre is a fixed unit of measurement for an area. Commonly used to measure land, an acre of land constitutes 43,560 square feet of surface area.

Still confused? Houzeo’s guide is here to help you understand how big is an acre of land!

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how big is an acre

In the past, there were no set standards for measuring an area. During the middle ages in England, an acre was measured as a patch of agricultural land a pair of oxen can plow in a day. Naturally, this metric system was highly unreliable due to its circumstantial nature. Here’s a small explanation as to how big is an acre.

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Birth Of The Acre

Originally, the word ‘acre’ is derived from the Latin word ager, which stands for a ‘field.’ It was in the 13th century when the ruler of England, Edward I came up with a standard measurement for it. An acreage was to be measured as the area of a rod 4 times wide and 40 times long, i.e. 66 by 660 feet. This measurement was based on the previous practice of oxen plowing in a certain area within a day.

    🐎 Fun Fact: A rod is a historical unit for length of about 5 1/2 yards. A distance of 40 rods is called a furlong, which was the distance a pair of oxen could plough in a straight line. Today, furlough is only used in horse racing to measure the race distance.

This area was used to mark as an acre of land for centuries before the Weights And Measures Act was enacted in 1878, further solidifying its legality. The international yard and pound agreement of 1959 declared that the international

Today, the the term is used as a statutory measurement unit in the United States. However, it does not have any fixed dimensions, rather, any area that measures 43,560 sq. ft. is considered an acre.

Here’s a table to briefly summarize how big is an acre of land in different units:

UnitAreaMeasurement
Acre1Acre
Feet43,560Sq. Ft.
Miles0.0015625 OR (1/640 of an Acre)Sq. Miles
Yards4840Sq. Yards
Meters4046.86Sq. Meters
Hectares0.404686Hectares
Kilometeres0.00404686Sq. Km.

How Big Is An Acre Visually?

Although the above table explains the metrics of acreage, it is quite difficult to visualize a surface area based on some numbers. To make it easier, let’s see how much an acreage looks like.

how big is an acre

*The above image is only an approximate visual representation.

The above image is a layout of an American football field, which measures about 88 by 55 yards. An acreage comprises of about 90% of the football field. The part highlighted in red is an acre on a football field.

If one was to measure acreage with equal dimensions, it would be 208 by 208 feet. In order to understand the surface area more clearly, just take a walk around the block, as the average size of blocks in the USA is about 300 to 325 feet long, which is approximately 2 or more acres.

How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth In The US?

Land prices vary widely across every state. The price of land greatly depends on its use. The land in more developed areas with better amenities is going to be different than a remote piece of land. An acre of land in New Jersey goes for an average price of more than $196k, while in Wyoming, it can be purchased for only about $1,500! Hence, it is quite difficult to put a price on land and make it a standard everywhere.

    🌽 Did You Know? The price of agricultural lands is usually lesser compared to the land being sold for commercial uses or building a house. According to a 2021 survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, the average price of farmlands in the US was $3,380 per acre.

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What’s A Commercial Acre?

Commercial acre is a term invented by US real estate agents that is significantly different from that of regular acreage. It measures roughly around 36,000 sq. ft., i.e. only 82.6% of an acre.

A commercial acre comprises of the land excluding all the non-developable regions for public use attached to the property, for instance curbs, sidewalks, streets, etc. To summarize it briefly, commercial acre is the area on which the owner can actually make build on.

Here’s a difference between acreage and commercial acre in numbers:

UnitAcreCommercial Acre
Feet43,560 sq. ft.36,000 sq. ft.
Yards4,840 sq. yards4,000 sq. yards

Here’s a visual representation of the difference between acreage and commercial acre. The following is an image of a football field, wherein acreage is marked in red, while a commercial acre is marked in blue.

*The above image is only an approximate visual representation.

US Survey Acre & International Acre

The international yard and pound agreement in 1959 set a standard distance of a yard to be exactly 0.9144 meters. Accordingly, the US and five countries of the Commonwealth of Nations were parties to the agreement. During that time, The US authorities decided to retain the measurement units for footage and acreage until necessary, which came to be known as US Survey Footage.

Subsequently, it was declared in October 2019 by the US National Geodetic Survey and National Institute of Standards and Technology to end the temporary use of US survey foot. The change is to be implemented by the end of 2022.

Final Word

Selling your property in the US can cost you up to 6% commission from the selling price, which goes into agents’ pockets. In reality, it is quite easy to sell your property yourself, using the high-tech tools provided by Houzeo. These tools help you with your real estate process, organizing everything from listing to showings and legal paperwork. Plus, you get to keep the listing agent’s commission all to yourself!

Houzeo is a Flat-Fee MLS platform for people who are looking to sell their property, including homes and land. For a one time charge, you get to list your property on the MLS and give it maximum exposure. Whether it is an acre or five acres, or more, you get to list it on Houzeo for a Flat Fee!

The comprehensive paperwork that comes with listing a property has been intuitively digitized, and you can finish all listing formalities in under 60 minutes. If you feel lost or need additional assistance during the process, you can check in with our 5-Star Customer Support team.

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We’ve got you covered. Check out the following video to understand how Houzeo works and why it is the best FSBO and Flat Fee MLS platform in the United States.

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many feet are in acre?

An acre comprises of 43,560 square footage.

How big is 1 acre?

Visually, it covers about 90% of a football field. If an acre of land hand equal length on all 4 sides, each side would measure about 208 feet.

What is the football field acreage?

A football field measures about 1.32 acres. That's slightly more than an acre of land.

How many square feet in quarter acre?

A quarter of an acre measures about 10,890 square feet.

How big is 5 acres?

Measuring about 20,235 square foot in area, 5 acres of land can look approximately like 4 football fields large.

Is a football field an acre?

A standard size football field is 1.32 acres in surface area, slightly larger than an acre.

How big is a hectare compared to an acre?

An acre if land when converted to hectare measures about 0.404686 hectares.

What's an acre?

It is a unit of measurement for calculating surface area. It does not have any fixed dimensions, but any area of about 43,560 square feet forms an acre. In US, it is used as a statutory measurement to measure the surface area of plots of land.

How big is an acre in meters?

4046.86 square meters of surface area equals one acre.

What is the average cost of an acre of land in US?

Land prices vary widely across every state. The price of land greatly depends on its use. The land in more developed areas with better amenities is going to be different than a remote piece of land. An acre of land in New Jersey goes for an average price of more than $196k, while in Wyoming, it can be purchased for only about $1,500! Hence, it is quite difficult to put a price on land and make it a standard everywhere.

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