Restricting Foreign Ownership Of Land In Southern States

The conversation on restricting foreign ownership of U.S. land has grown in recent years as debates continue over how the issue affects national security and food security within the country. As a result, state legislators across the country have introduced bills to curb the number of foreign individuals, entities, or governments that can acquire or invest in U.S. real estate, specifically agricultural land and land located near military installations or key infrastructure.

In 2023, more than half of the states in the country took some form of action on this issue and nearly all Southern states have passed legislation enacting some form of restriction of foreign ownership of local land.

As of March 2024, the only states in the South without general prohibitions or restrictions on foreign ownership of land are Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, and North Carolina, though each of these states has introduced legislation on the issue. In addition, South Carolina and Mississippi currently have restrictions, but legislation has been introduced in both states to create additional measures to curb foreign ownership of land. Currently, South Carolina allows up to 500,000 acres and Mississippi allows up to 320 acres.