World Dairy Cow Numbers

Published 2 July 18

  • The FAO has reported that there were 274m dairy cows in the world in 2016.
  • Approximately 52% of the world's dairy cows were held by the top 10 countries (based on those who have reported figures for 2016).
  • The UK was 31st in the list with just over 1.8m cows.

Figures for 2016 show that there were nearly 274m dairy cows in the world, an increase of 1.2m (0.4%) compared to the previous year.  India is the largest holder of dairy cattle with a total of 48.6m for 2016, which was an increase of 1.4m (3.1%) on 2015.

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Countries by Cow Numbers (Cows Milk, Whole, Fresh)
    2014 2015 2016
1 India 45,949,160 47,164,610 48,610,350
2 Brazil 23,027,951 21,110,916 19,678,817
3 China 12,560,603 11,859,204 12,717,960
4 Ethiopia 11,381,972 11,326,490 11,833,179
5 Pakistan 11,725,000 12,167,000 11,676,312
6 United States of America 9,257,000 9,314,000 9,328,000
7 Sudan 7,686,000 8,708,000 7,876,089
8 South Sudan 7,372,000 7,375,129 7,380,947
9 Russian Federation 7,572,692 7,362,338 7,194,354
10 Kenya 5,750,000 6,450,201 7,013,642
31 UK 1,851,000 1,901,000 1,822,000
         
  World  273,444,339 272,606,411 273,782,776

Source: FAO