EU Cow Numbers

Published 11 December 15

  • The number of dairy cows in the EU 28 in 2014 stood at 23.56 million, an increase of 0.4% from 2013.
  • Germany has consistently had the highest number of dairy cows in the EU year on year, accounting for 18.2% of the total EU 28 dairy cow population in 2014.
  • Malta was the smallest milk producer with just 6,500 dairy cows in 2014.

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

The number of dairy cows in the EU 28 2014 stood at 23.56 million, an increase of 0.4% (89,000 cows) when compared with 2013 and up 1.6% (364,00 head) on 2012.

Germany held the most dairy cows out of all EU 28 countries in 2014, 4.30 million, an increase of 28,000 cows when compared with 2013 and it coninuted to account for 18.2% of the total EU 28 dairy cow population. Malta continues to be the smallest milk producer with just 6,500 dairy cows in 2014, up 2.7% on 2013.

Twelve countries had reduced dairy herds in 2014 on the previous year. Poland continued to reduce its dairy herd, between 2013 and 2014 this was by 51,000 cows (2.2%). Numbers in Croatia  were down 5.4% on the year to 159,000 head in 2014. Other countries which had a fall in numbers include Denmark, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia.

There were 15 countries that saw dairy cow numbers rise between 2013 and 2014, most noticeably the UK where numbers were up 3.6% on the year to 1.88 million head and also in the Republic of Ireland, up 4.2% to 1.13m. Numbers in France, the second largest EU herd were unchanged on 2013 at 3.70 million head.

For more information on EU milk deliveries click here.

000 head 2011 2012 2013 2014
Austria 527 523 530 538
Belgium 511 504 516 519
Bulgaria 313 294 313 302
Croatia 185 181 168 159
Cyprus 24 24 25 25
Czech Republic 374 367 375 372
Denmark 579 579 567 547
Estonia 96 97 98 96
Finland 282 280 282 283
France 3,664 3,644 3,697 3,697
Germany  4,190 4,190 4,268 4,296
Greece 130 132 130 135
Hungary 252 255 250 255
Ireland 1,036 1,060 1,082 1,128
Italy 1,755 2,009 2,075 2,069
Latvia 164 165 165 166
Lithuania 350 331 316 314
Luxembourg  44 45 48 47
Malta 6 6 6 7
Netherlands 1,504 1,541 1,597 1,610
Poland 2,446 2,346 2,299 2,248
Portugal 242 237 231 234
Romania 1,170 1,163 1,169 1,188
Slovakia 154 150 145 143
Slovenia 109 111 110 108
Spain 798 827 844 845
Sweden 348 346 346 344
United Kingdom 1,800 1,786 1,817 1,883
EU-15     17,409     17,703     18,029     18,174
EU-25     21,385     21,555     21,818     21,908
EU-27     22,868     23,012     23,300     23,398
EU-28     23,053     23,193     23,468     23,557

Source: Eurostat