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Acre vs. Hectare: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 26, 2023
An acre is a unit of area primarily used in the US, equal to 4,840 square yards, while a hectare, widely used globally, is 10,000 square meters.
Acre vs. Hectare

Key Differences

The acre, an old English unit, was traditionally defined as the area a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. The hectare, a metric unit, was established during the French Revolution as part of a systematic approach to measurements.
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Dec 26, 2023
The acre is mainly used in the United States, the United Kingdom, and former British colonies. In contrast, the hectare is widely used in most other countries, especially in agriculture and land planning.
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One acre is smaller than a hectare. Specifically, one acre is about 0.4047 hectares. This difference is significant in land measurement, affecting agriculture, real estate, and surveying.
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To convert acres to hectares, multiply by 0.4047. To convert hectares to acres, multiply by 2.471. These conversions are essential in international land-related transactions and reporting.
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The acre is often abbreviated as "ac," while the hectare is abbreviated as "ha." These symbols are universally recognized in their respective measurement systems.
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Comparison Chart

Unit System

Imperial/US customary system
Metric system
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Size

4,840 square yards
10,000 square meters
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Regional Preference

US, UK, former British colonies
Worldwide, except US and UK
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Historical Origin

English unit, agricultural use
French Revolution, systematic unit
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Conversion

1 acre = 0.4047 hectares
1 hectare = 2.471 acres
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Acre and Hectare Definitions

Acre

An acre has historical significance in land division.
Each settler was given 50 acres.
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Hectare

A hectare is a metric unit for land area.
The wildlife reserve spans 300 hectares.
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Acre

An acre is a unit for measuring land.
Their farm is 150 acres.
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Hectare

A hectare is a standard international land measure.
The vineyard is 3 hectares.
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Acre

An acre is used in surveying.
The new park covers 100 acres.
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Hectare

A hectare is important in environmental studies.
This forest covers 5,000 hectares.
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Acre

A unit of area in the US Customary System, used in land and sea floor measurement and equal to 160 square rods, 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet. See Table at measurement.
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Hectare

A hectare is used globally in agriculture.
They cultivate rice on 15 hectares.
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Acre

Acres Property in the form of land; estate.
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Hectare

A hectare is used in urban and rural planning.
The new development covers 10 hectares.
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Acre

(Archaic) A field or plot of arable land.
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Hectare

A metric unit of area equal to 100 ares (2.471 acres). See Table at measurement.
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Acre

Often acres A wide expanse, as of land or other matter
"acres of textureless carpeting" (Anne Tyler).
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Hectare

A unit of surface area (symbol ha) equal to 100 ares (that is, 10,000 square metres, one hundredth of a square kilometre, or approximately 2.5 acres), used for measuring the areas of geographical features such as land and bodies of water.
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Acre

An English unit of land area (symbol: a. or ac.) originally denoting a day's ploughing for a yoke of oxen, now standardized as 4,840 square yards or 4,046.86 square meters.
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Hectare

A measure of area, or superficies, containing a hundred ares, or 10,000 square meters, and equivalent to 2.471 acres.
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Acre

An area of 10,240 square yards or 4 quarters.
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Hectare

(abbreviated `ha') a unit of surface area equal to 100 ares (or 10,000 square meters)
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Acre

Any of various similar units of area in other systems.
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Acre

A wide expanse.
I like my new house - there’s acres of space!
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Acre

A large quantity.
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Acre

(obsolete) A field.
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Acre

(obsolete) The acre's breadth by the length, English units of length equal to the statute dimensions of the acre: 22 yds (≈20 m) by 220 yds (≈200 m).
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Acre

(obsolete) A duel fought between individual Scots and Englishmen in the borderlands.
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Acre

Any field of arable or pasture land.
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Acre

A piece of land, containing 160 square rods, or 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet. This is the English statute acre. That of the United States is the same. The Scotch acre was about 1.26 of the English, and the Irish 1.62 of the English.
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which callsThe burial ground, God's acre.
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Acre

A unit of area (4840 square yards) used in English-speaking countries
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Acre

A territory of western Brazil bordering on Bolivia and Peru
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Acre

A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean
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Acre

An acre is commonly used in farming.
They produce corn on 20 acres.
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Acre

An acre is a real estate measurement.
The lot is 2 acres.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is an acre used for?

An acre is commonly used for land measurement, particularly in agriculture and real estate.
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Why is hectare a preferred unit in most countries?

The hectare is part of the metric system, which is the standard in most countries for its ease of use and international consistency.
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How big is a hectare compared to an acre?

A hectare is larger than an acre; specifically, one hectare is equivalent to 2.471 acres.
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Is acre used worldwide?

The acre is primarily used in the US, UK, and former British colonies.
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How many square meters are in an acre?

There are 4,046.86 square meters in an acre.
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How is hectare abbreviated?

Hectare is abbreviated as "ha."
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Is the hectare part of the International System of Units?

While not an SI unit, the hectare is accepted for use with the SI.
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What is the symbol for acre?

The symbol for acre is "ac."
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Can acres be converted to hectares easily?

Yes, acres can be converted to hectares by multiplying by 0.4047.
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Is the acre still used in the UK?

Yes, the acre is still used in the UK, especially for land measurement.
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What areas are commonly measured in hectares?

Large land areas, like farms and forests, are commonly measured in hectares.
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Do real estate agents use acres or hectares?

In the US and UK, real estate agents use acres, while in other countries, hectares are more common.
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Is hectare used in environmental science?

Yes, hectares are widely used in environmental science for measuring large ecological areas.
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Are acres used in mapping?

Yes, acres are used in mapping, especially in countries where it is the standard unit.
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Why was the hectare created?

The hectare was created during the French Revolution as part of a move towards a more systematic and universal measurement system.
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Is acre a legal unit in the US?

Yes, the acre is a legal unit of measurement in the US.
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How did the acre originate?

The acre originated as a measure of the area that a yoke of oxen could plow in one day.
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Can I find both acres and hectares in land documents?

Depending on the country, land documents may list land size in either acres or hectares, sometimes both.
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How are hectares useful in agriculture?

Hectares provide a standardized way to measure large agricultural plots internationally.
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Do GPS systems use acres or hectares?

GPS systems can use either unit, depending on the settings and the regional preferences.
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Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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