How big is an acre? Explained

Have you ever wondered how big an acre is? An acre is the typical measurement of a piece of land, used by buyers and sellers to have an understanding of the size of a piece of property.


Today we’re going to look at the acre – a unit of area commonly used for measuring tracts of land.

Let me begin with a question. Did you know that during the Middle Ages, an acre was defined as the amount of land ploughable in one day by one man and an ox? Not very specific, then – especially if your ox is feeling particularly lethargic. Thankfully, these days the acre unit is more clearly defined.

Land and sale board for acres of land - photo

Ox at the ready, let’s take a look at the task at hand. Perhaps you’re considering purchasing a new property attached to several acres of land and you’re wondering how big it is?

Or maybe you’re studying for an exam and want to know how to convert square feet to acres or acres to square meters, hectares or other units of area? Well, look no further, The Calculator Site is here to help with some facts and a handy acre conversion tool.

Let’s start with the facts…

An acre equates to the following:

  • 4046.86 square meters
  • 4840 square yards
  • 43,560 square feet
  • 0.404686 hectares

It is important to realise that an acre can be measured in any shape – from rectangles to circles or even hexagons – so long as the total area of land is 43,560 square feet.

The most common shape for an acre is 1 furlong by 1 chain, or 660 feet by 66 feet. (source: Infoplease)

If you’re struggling to get your head around just how big that area actually is, try visualising 60% of a soccer pitch, 75% of an American football field or 16 tennis courts in a 4×4 formation. If that doesn’t help, consider a car park containing 150 cars parked in a square.


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