Homesteading by the Numbers
Compiled by Homestead National Monument of America Historian Todd Arrington, April 24, 2007
1: Number of National Park Service sites dedicated to the commemoration and interpretation of the Homestead Act of 1862 and the many changes it initiated in the United States and the world.
10: Percentage of U.S. land given away under the Homestead Act.
24: Presidential administrations during which the Homestead Act was in effect (Lincoln to Reagan).
30: Number of states in which homestead lands were located.
40: Percentage of homesteaders that "proved up" on their claims and earned the deed from the federal government.
45: Percentage of Nebraska's acres distributed under the Homestead Act [Largest percentage of any state].
123: Years the Homestead Act was in effect (1863-1986).
160: Number of acres in a typical homestead claim.
4,000,000: Approximate number of claims made under the Homestead Act.
11,000,000: Acres claimed in 1913, the peak year of homestead claims.
93,000,000: Estimated number of homesteader descendants alive today.
270,000,000: Total number of acres distributed by the Homestead Act.
Go to State by State Numbers
Go to graph of Total Number of Acres that were Successfully Homesteaded in Each State
Go to graph of Total Number of Claims that were Successfully Homesteaded in Each State
Go to graph of Percentage of Total Acres in Each State that were Successfully Homesteaded
Go to graph Showing Number of Successful Homesteaders Decade by Decade
Go to graph Showing Number of Acres Successfully Transferred to Homesteaders
Back to History and Culture Page
Did You Know?
To "Prove up" a homestead, the owner was required to make improvements including building a home, breaking the soil, and planting a crop for 5 years.