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How Much Land does the U.S. Military Control in Each State?



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How Much Land does the U.S. Military Own in Each State?

The United States spends an unparalleled amount of money on its military⁠—about $778 billion each year to be precise.

Additionally, the U.S. military also owns, leases, or operates an impressive real estate portfolio with buildings valued at $749 billion and a land area of 26.9 million acres⁠, of which around 98% is located within the United States.

This visual, using data from the Department of Defense (DoD) reveals how much of each state the U.S. military owns, leases, or operates on.

This map visualizes the share of a state comprised by military sites, which the Department of Defense defines as a specific geographic location that has individual land parcels or facilities assigned to it. The geographical location is leased to, owned by, or otherwise under the jurisdiction of the DoD.

What is Military Land Used For?

The DoD is the larger government umbrella under which the military falls and the department operates on over 26 million acres of land stateside.

To further break it down the U.S. military is divided into four main branches:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Marine Corps

There is also the Space Force, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard. However, most of the land is dedicated to the Army, which is the military’s largest branch.

Military bases are used for training and housing soldiers, testing weapons and equipment, conducting research, and running active operations, among other things. A large majority of the square footage is actually designated for family housing.

For example, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is one of the most famous U.S. Army bases, is home to more than 260,000 people including the families of soldiers. The base, which is virtually its own city, is the largest U.S. Army installation with 53,700 troops—nearly 10% of the Army—and over 14,000 civilian employees.

Which States Have the Biggest Military Presence?

Looking at the largest total sites, the top 10 combined cover an astonishing 13,927,470 acres, larger than 10 individual states including New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.

Here’s a look at the size of the military’s sites in each state and how much of that state’s land the sites take up:

StateSite (Acres)Share of State's Total Land
New Mexico3,889,6385.0%
District of Columbia1,5253.9%
New Jersey71,8221.5%
North Carolina411,1521.3%
South Carolina109,9380.6%
New York152,6110.5%
Rhode Island2,2800.3%
North Dakota31,9370.1%
New Hampshire3,2250.1%
West Virginia3,0840.02%
South Dakota9,6810.02%

In Hawaii, 5.6% of the state belongs to the military. The historic Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu is still an active base, housing both the Navy and the Air Force.

In the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., 3.9% of the small district is owned or operated on by the military—there are approximately 18 independent sites in the city.

Most of the DoD’s land is in the southwestern United States. One major benefit is that there are areas large enough in these states to test hugely destructive weapons without harming anyone. The atomic bomb was first detonated in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico at the White Sands Missile Range, the biggest military site in the country.

Almost all of the largest military sites fall under the Army branch, which has over 415,000 active personnel. Here’s a look at the U.S. military breakdown in terms of population:

  • Active Duty:
    • Army: 415,967
    • Navy: 304,118
    • Marine Corps: 146,728
    • Air Force (also includes Space Force): 273,983
    • Coast Guard: 38,829
  • Reserves: 438,645

Beyond just the presence of soldiers across the states, the military also represents a lot of jobs. In total, both on U.S. soil and globally the DoD provides nearly 2.9 million jobs from active duty troops to civilian positions within the military. In California, for example, the military provides over 62,000 civilian jobs.

U.S. Military Presence Beyond its Borders

When it comes to all the land that the military both owns and leases globally, the figure is huge, coming out to 26.9 million acres. The Army controls 51% of the DoD’s land, followed by the Air Force’s 32%.

Military land owned by the DoD can be found outside the U.S. in 8 territories and 45 foreign countries. Here’s a breakdown of where the majority of the U.S.’ foreign bases are:

  • 🇩🇪 Germany: 194 sites
  • 🇯🇵 Japan: 121 sites
  • 🇰🇷 South Korea: 83 sites

In places where there are ongoing conflicts, the U.S. has a few permanent forces. In regular times in Ukraine, there are 23 active duty soldiers permanently stationed. In Russia there are 41 active duty U.S. troops. However, President Joe Biden has recently announced that he will increase the U.S.’ military presence across Europe because of the war in Ukraine.

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Mapped: Renewable Energy and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

This graphic describes new U.S. renewable energy installations by state along with nameplate capacity, planned to come online in 2023.



Renewable and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on real assets and resource megatrends each week.

Renewable energy, in particular solar power, is set to shine in 2023. This year, the U.S. plans to get over 80% of its new energy installations from sources like battery, solar, and wind.

The above map uses data from EIA to highlight planned U.S. renewable energy and battery storage installations by state for 2023.

Total U.S. renewable energy and battery installations, broken down by share

Texas and California Leading in Renewable Energy

Nearly every state in the U.S. has plans to produce new clean energy in 2023, but it’s not a surprise to see the two most populous states in the lead of the pack.

Even though the majority of its power comes from natural gas, Texas currently leads the U.S. in planned renewable energy installations. The state also has plans to power nearly 900,000 homes using new wind energy.

California is second, which could be partially attributable to the passing of Title 24, an energy code that makes it compulsory for new buildings to have the equipment necessary to allow the easy installation of solar panels, battery storage, and EV charging.

New solar power in the U.S. isn’t just coming from places like Texas and California. In 2023, Ohio will add 1,917 MW of new nameplate solar capacity, with Nevada and Colorado not far behind.

Top 10 StatesBattery (MW)Solar (MW)Wind (MW)Total (MW)
New York585095591,125

The state of New York is also looking to become one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making real strides towards this objective with 11% of the nation’s new wind power projects expected to come online in 2023.

According to the data, New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that has no new utility-scale renewable energy installations planned for 2023. However, the state does have plans for a massive hydroelectric plant that should come online in 2024.

Decarbonizing Energy

Renewable energy is considered essential to reduce global warming and CO2 emissions.

In line with the efforts by each state to build new renewable installations, the Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

The EIA forecasts the share of U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources rising from 22% in 2022 to 23% in 2023 and to 26% in 2024.

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