Analysis of the dynamics of the balance of land is one of the possible options for the implementation of the scientific paradigm of "minimum initial information – maximum reasonable generalizations." Priority should be considered "active" indicators – the share of different types of land in certain categories of land from the total area of this category of land. From 2011 to 2017. the share of agricultural land from the total land Fund in the Russian Federation decreased from 22.75% to 22.39%, settlements – increased from 1.15% to 1.19%, industry and other special purpose – increased from 0.99% to 1.02%, which corresponds to modern Russian ideas about the spatial development of territories, but this development is extensive. It is proposed to use the rate of change of shares of different lands from the land area of different categories, %/year, for comparable periods as an integrating indicator for the spatial development of territories, allowing to rank different territories of the same level in the presence of information for the same period of time. From 2011 to 2017 the rate of increase in the share of agricultural land in the Russian Federation increased significantly in the composition of agricultural land (0.19%/year), for land settlements and industry and other special purpose – much lower (0.03%/year). For the latter, it is an indicator of degradation rather than development. The share of forest land has significantly decreased in agricultural land (-0.18%/year) and industrial and other special-purpose land (-0.09%/year). It was forest land that served as the "source" of new agricultural land for agricultural purposes. The share of built-up land (0.06%/year) in the composition of lands of settlements and industry and other special purpose slightly increased, but the share of land under roads decreased (from -0.03 to -0.05%/year), which indicates an unbalanced development of these land categories. The lack of reduction in the share of disturbed lands reminds of the need to intensify recultivation of lands.