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How much do you spend on your lawn?

Statistics and Facts Concerning Lawn Care and Landscaping

A surprisingly high (80%) of U.S. households have a private lawn. The potential collective effect on our daily lives is significant. Consumers annually spend around $40 billion per year to maintain and improve their yards, and the growth is accelerating as the U.S. population matures. Lawns, flower gardening, shrub care and general landscaping are important components of local economies. The personal and public benefits are well-documented.

A healthy and vigorous landscape traps pollution, prevents runoff, improves the air we breathe and can significantly increase property values. Gardening is a healthful activity both physically and emotionally. Contact with nature for the typical urban dweller is often limited to the patch of green that surrounds their home. An estimated 63 million U.S. adults watch wildlife around their home.

  • Improper design, plant selection and maintenance of our lawns and gardens can negatively affect our environment and waste precious water resources.
  • Improperly applied pesticides and fertilizers that end up on impervious surfaces can be washed into a nearby stream with the next rain.
  • Urban areas generate nine times more runoff than a woodland area of the same size.
  • Selecting appropriate plant varieties and proper maintenance of turf areas can greatly reduce water use and off-target movement.

This fact sheet was developed as a resource for responsible Lawn Care and Landscaping and to provide background information. The referenced list contains statistics and facts concerning the size, expenditures, social benefits and costs of residential lawn care and landscaping.

Total lawn acreage and average size

• 27.6 million acres of turf grass in U.S.; 21 million acres in home lawns. [REF 1]

• 80% of all U.S. households have private lawns. [REF 2]

• Average American lawn is 1/3 acre. [REF 2]

• Close to 80% of homes have a lawn and account for 18 million acres. [REF 3]

• 50 million homeowners maintain residential lawns. [REF 4]

• In the U.S, alone, it is estimated that there are more than 31 million acres of grass…an area equal to the New England states. Over 80% of this grass is found in residential lawns. [REF 4]

• A comprehensive 1995 study estimates that the total amount of residential lawns in the United States ranges from 14 to 26 million acres, with 17.7 million acres as a conservative estimate. The national average lawn size is about 1/5 of an acre for the 85 million households with a private lawn. Estimated average lawn size varies from state to state, ranging from 0.06 acre in Washington, DC to 0.51 acre in Georgia. [REF 5]

• Residential lawns comprise the largest component of turfgrass in many states for which data are available, and this component is increasing. In North Carolina, residential lawns account for 69% of total turfgrass acreage in the state and have increased in acreage 29.8% between 1994 and 1999. [REF 21] In Virginia, 52% of turfgrass acreage is in home lawns, and this component has increased 43% between 1982 and 1998. [REF 6]


[1] Borman, F.H., Bamori, D., & Geballe, G.T. (2001). Redesigning the American lawn: A search for environmental harmony. (2nd ed.). Connecticut: Yale University Press.

[2] Templeton, S.R., Zilberman, D., & Yoo, S.J. (1998). An economic perspective on outdoor residential pesticide use. Environmental Science & Technology, 2, 416A – 423A.

[3] Kline and Company syndicated studies on professional and consumer turf and ornamental markets (1976 thru 2000) and EPA’s National Home and Garden Pesticide Use Survey (1990).

[4] The Lawn Institute, 1855-A Hicks Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008.

[5] Vinlove, F.K. & Torla, R.F. (1995). Comparative estimations of U.S. home lawn area. Journal of Turfgrass Management, 1(1), 83-97.

[6] Virginia Agriculture Statistics Service. (no date). Turfgrass Industry. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Agriculture Statistics Service. Available online:

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