Given that land accounts for around 30% of the Earth's surface, the total area of land is 0.3 * 515 * 155 million square kilometers, roughly half of which is livable for humans. With around 7 billion people on the planet today, we may deduce that 0.011 square kilometers of suitable land is accessible per person. This number is called the global mean terrestrial productivity and it is estimated to be about 2.5 millimeters (mm) of water equivalent per year.
Now, if we divide the amount of land available annually for human use by the number of people living on earth today, we can estimate the total amount of land available globally every year: 1.9 billion hectares (billion hectares = 10^9 m2).
So, how much land would you need to survive? The amount needed for survival varies depending on whether you are prepared to live off the land or not. If you want to keep shopping at Walmart, for example, you will need more than enough land to support a small farm. Otherwise, you might want to start growing some of your own food.
Since the issue is about surface area, the total amount of human-habitable land on the planet is 15,641,597,556 acres, with 43,560 square feet in one acre. Water covers around 30% of the total surface area of the globe.
The number is calculated by multiplying the total area of all land and water surfaces on Earth by 1,609.4 inches, or 2.9 kilometers. That's why it's important to have a precise measuring tool. The United States Geological Survey provides daily updated estimates of global earth surface measurements in units of distance and area. These tools can help scientists understand how our world has changed over time and how it is changing today.
For example, data from USGS shows that overall average temperature near Earth's surface has increased by 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, when the first comprehensive record was started. That's because the majority of the increase comes from changes to the atmosphere rather than the ocean. However, temperatures at the bottom of the ocean have risen much more than those at the top. This is because most of the oceanic heat content stays where it is stored instead of moving up toward the surface. Therefore, the overall effect of these changes is more ice in some regions and more water in other regions.
Another example is the rate of sea level rise.
The entire land surface area of the Earth is approximately 57,308,738 square miles, of which around 33% is desert and approximately 24% is hilly. After subtracting the unusable 57 percent (32,665,981 mi2) from the overall land area, there are 24,642,757 square miles or 15.77 billion acres of livable land remaining.
This includes land that is covered by water bodies such as oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams. A total of 12,505,000 square miles or 6 million sq km is covered by water, so almost half of the planet is not suitable for human habitation. However, most of this is ice, with only 710 million acres or 1% of the world's land area being classified as fertile soil capable of supporting life.
Despite these figures, the amount of land available for human use is actually much greater than this because not all areas are suitable for human settlement. For example, many highly populated countries have very small percentages of their territory that is suitable for permanent human residence. The United States has about 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of land that is considered wilderness, while Germany has about 80,000 acres (320,000 km2). Japan has about 120,000 acres (480,000 km2) of protected forests.
Almost every country has areas that are unsuitable for human habitation due to factors such as extreme temperatures, disease-carrying insects, or geological instability.
The Earth's surface area exceeds 510 million square kilometers, yet less than 30 percent of this is covered by land. A breakdown of each country's share of the Earth's surface.
|Country / Dependency||Total in km² (mi²)||Percentage of Earth’s Surface|
|United States||9,525,067 (3,677,649)||1.867%|
How much land would each individual possess if all of the world's habitable land was distributed equally among its existing inhabitants? Per person, approximately 2.25 acres (9.1 km2). This is precisely why we construct upwards. We build towers because it's easier to reach higher places.
This estimate does not take into account new discoveries or developments that might change this picture in the future. For example, if we were to discover large deposits of oil or natural gas, this would have a two-fold effect: first, it would increase the value of the land they are found on; second, it would make construction even more profitable, so that more space could be built up. In fact, there are many examples of this happening throughout history - think of the building boom after America discovered gold near Sacramento in 1849 or when Russia started making lots of money with the sale of Alaska - and it will probably happen again in the future.
The value of land is determined by several factors including its location, whether it's used for agriculture or not, and whether it has easy access to water. Since the beginning of time, people have been moving away from densely populated areas in search of less crowded and more peaceful surroundings. This is what drives urban growth and can only be stopped by war or improved living standards.
Regardless of how many continents you count (the old-school technique teaches seven, while contemporary methods teach six), Asia is the largest of them all. It covers 17,139,445 square miles (29.1% of the total land mass of the Earth) and has a population of 4.1 billion people.
Next up is Europe, which is 15,540,775 square miles (14.5% of the total land mass of the Earth) and has a population of 733 million people.
The third largest continent is Africa, which is 12,990,175 square miles (12.4% of the total land mass of the Earth) and has a population of 1.3 billion people.
Finally, the fourth largest continent is North America, which is 10,075,590 square miles (9.4% of the total land mass of the Earth) and has a population of 305 million people.
Asia contains over 3.0 billion people, or almost half the human population. It is also the most populous continent in terms of total area occupied by humans.
Europe is second, with approximately 500 million people, or about 14% of the global total. By comparison, North America only has 305 million people, or about 9% of the world's population.