EU Cow Numbers

Published 5 April 19

  • The number of dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2018 stood at 22.9 million, a decrease of 1.6% from 2017
  • Germany held the most dairy cows out of all EU-28 countries in 2018 with 4.1 million, making up 17.9% of the total EU-28 dairy cow population though they have had a decrease of 98,000 head (2.3%)  Malta continues to be the smallest milk producer with just 6,230 dairy cows in 2018, up 1.5% on 2017
  • 21 of the EU-28 countries declined in cow numbers year on year in 2018, with the Netherlands seeing the largest absolute decrease – down 113,000 cows on 2017
  • Poland had the largest absolute increase of dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2018, up 61,000 (2.8%) year on year
  • The UK accounted for 8.3% of the total dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2018, standing at 1.9 million. This is a 9,000 cow (0.5%) decrease compared to the previous year.

For more information on EU dairy cows per country click here.

For more information on EU milk deliveries click here.

Thousand Head

2016

2017

2018

Austria

540

543

533

Belgium

531

519

529

Bulgaria

279

261

245

Croatia

147

139

136

Cyprus

28

30

31

Czech Republic

367

365

359

Denmark

565

575

570

Estonia

86

86

85

Finland

275

271

264

France

3,630

3,595

3,550

Germany 

4,218

4,199

4,101

Greece

106

97

102

Hungary

244

244

239

Ireland

1,295

1,343

1,369

Italy

2,060

2,040

1,939

Latvia

154

150

144

Lithuania

286

273

256

Luxembourg 

52

52

53

Malta

7

6

6

Netherlands

1,794

1,665

1,552

Poland

2,130

2,153

2,214

Portugal

239

239

235

Romania

1,193

1,175

1,169

Slovakia

133

130

128

Slovenia

108

109

103

Spain

834

823

817

Sweden

326

323

313

United Kingdom

1,898

1,904

1,895

EU-15

18,364

18,189

17,822

EU-25

21,906

21,736

21,388

EU-27

23,378

23,172

22,802

EU-28

23,525

23,311

22,938

 

Source: Eurostat