Cities With the Smallest Yards 2024

New Jersey leads the charge, with four of the five lawn-liest cities, or cities with the smallest yards, located in the Garden State.

Red push lawnmower on grass
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Normally, we think "bigger is better." After all, who doesn't want a bigger house or a bigger yard?  But bigger is not always better and sometimes homeowners want to worry less about the care (and cost) of large pristine carpets of green turf. 

In a recent survery — 2024's Cities With the Biggest and Smallest Yards — LawnStarter compared 2,000 of the biggest U.S. cities based on the average yard size of single-family homes from data by the Federal Finance Housing Agency. The lower the score, the Lawn-liest your city is, translating to less maintenance, less watering, less fertilizer and fewer lawn care costs. 

Four of the top five were in New Jersey, with San Francisco taking the No. 3 spot. Overall, 11 of the 25 lawn-liest cities were in New Jersey.

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Not sure where your city ranks in the grand scheme of things? Check out LawnStarter’s 25 cities with the smallest yards below.

25 lawn-liest cities in America

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Hoboken, NJ1
Union City, NJ2
San Francisco, CA3
West New York, NJ4 (tie)
Camden, NJ4 (tie)
Philadelphia, PA6
Boston, MA7
New York, NY8
Atlantic City, NJ9
Bayonne, NJ10
Newark, NJ11
Jersey City, NJ12
Chester, PA13
Washington, DC14
Kearny, NJ15
Chicago, IL16
Cliffside Park, NJ17
Newport Beach, CA18
Somerville, MA19
Long Beach, NY20 (tie)
Aliso Viejo, CA20 (tie)
Daly City, CA22
Baltimore, MD23
Central LA24
Paterson, NJ25

Don’t see your city listed here? Check out LawnStarter's full rankings.

Key insights from the study

Small-city living offers the most yard space and each of the top 10 cities in the LawnStarter study has a population below 50,000. But if you're looking for a big-city lifestyle and big backyards, think about house-hunting in places like Charlotte,  NC, Jacksonville, FL or Oklahoma City, OK. 

  • Hoboken, NJ wins the prize as the #1 city with the smallest yards.
  • New Jersey boasts six cities in the top ten and 11 in the top 25. 
  • Populous cities like New York and San Francisco have some of the smallest yards.
  • The average yard size among the lawn-liest 97 cities is less than 0.1 acres.
  • Only one California city — Fallbrook — landed among the top 10 cities with the biggest yards, while 255 California cities landed in the bottom half of the rankings.

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.