The acre is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong (66 by 660 feet), which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1640 of a square mile, 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare. Based upon the international yard and pound agreement of 1959, an acre may be declared as exactly 4,046.8564224 square metres. The acre is sometimes abbreviated ac[1] but is usually spelled out as the word "acre".[2]

Comparison of some Imperial and metric units of area
General information
Unit systemUS customary units, Imperial units
Unit ofarea
1 ac in ...... is equal to ...
   SI units   ≈ 4,046.9 m2
   US customary, Imperial   ≡ 4,840 sq yd
1640 sq mi

Traditionally, in the Middle Ages, an acre was conceived of as the area of land that could be ploughed by one man using a team of 8 oxen in one day.[3]

The acre is still a statutory measure in the United States. Both the international acre and the US survey acre are in use, but they differ by only four parts per million (see below). The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.

The acre is commonly used in a number of current and former British Commonwealth countries by custom only. In a few, it continues as a statute measure, although since 2010 not in the UK itself, and not since decades ago in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In many of those where it is not a statute measure, it is still lawful to "use for trade" if given as supplementary information and is not used for land registration.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Acre, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.