Take It or Leave It

A state-by-state breakdown of who is more frugal with their resources and who is in ecological debt.

July 16, 2015

Courtesy of National Geographic

A new report by the Global Footprint Network looks at the amount of land that residents in each of the 50 states use for things like food, housing, and clothes (the ecological footprint), along with the amount of land that’s actually available to meet those demands (the biocapacity). In the above infographic, National Geographic compares the two measures to see which states are overdrawing their natural resources and which are coming in under budget.  

Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia all have serious IOUs—these states top the list of ecological debtors whose residents suck up far more resources than their natural surroundings can provide. On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska have plenty to spare. How does your state stack up? Head over to National Geographic for a deeper dive into the data. 


onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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