The area of the polygons in a layer, calculated by the field calculator with "$area" is wrong (much too big) for some polygons. If I draw the concerned polygon again, the area is calculated correctly. It looks like the polygons really have a wrong size, but the centroids are calculated correctly.

edit: Thanks for your replies so far. Here is an example with some polygons. For some, the area is calculated right, for some not (as I said much too big). For example the polygon with the ID 669. If I redraw it, the area is calculated right. The problem is, I have >1400 polygons, and I don't have the time to check and redraw every single one.

Maybe someone got an explanation/solution?

  • Can you provide data which exhibits the problem? If so, this would be worth a bug report. Also, I fail to see the question in your post.
    – underdark
    Sep 5, 2014 at 16:54
  • 2
    Is it possible you have multipolygons, and the $area is returning the total area of all constituent pieces? Sep 5, 2014 at 17:10
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    Hi @DarrenCope, your solution was correct. Please post it as an answer :)
    – Joseph
    Oct 20, 2014 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


@DarrenCope made a very good point, your layer contained inconsistencies.

Please note: I only posted this as an answer as to include a screenshot of the results, please accept Darren's answer when he posts one as he came up with the correct solution.

I used the Multiparts to singleparts function (via Vector > Geometry Tools > Multiparts to singleparts) and then re-calculated the area in a new column with Real numbers and precision of 2:

Area results

Ironically, enabling the "on-the-fly" option for CRS gave the correct results as it often provides wrong values. The CRS I used was: EPSG:4326 - WGS 84.


You may have multi-part polygons in your file, and the area column would thus be reflecting the total area of all 'parts' of a polygon. You can use the Vector > Geometry Tools > Multiparts to singleparts tool to create single-part polygons, and calculate the $area on those to get the answer you are expecting.

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