Outcomes Environmental impacts

Cropland expansion



Average change in total cropland over previous 5 years in percentage terms relative to the total cropland (total cropland as of year 5 of each 5-year window, the year to which the change value is assigned). Computed for every year except the first five years in the time series (1961-1966). Cropland is defined according to the FAO land use classification, based on the World Census of Agriculture.


The increasing demand for food can be met by increasing yields or expanding agricultural lands. Land use change is a major driver of biodiversity loss and climate change. Even with improved production efficiency, the total impact of the food system can still increase. Halting or reducing cropland expansion is another crucial step towards reducing the impact of the food system.