EU Cow Numbers

Published 11 April 17

  • The number of dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2016 stood at 23.5 million, a decrease of 0.2% (46,890) from 2015
  • Germany held the most dairy cows out of all EU-28 countries in 2016 with 4.2 million, making up 17.9% of the total EU-28 dairy cow population. Malta continues to be the smallest milk producer with just 6,500 dairy cows in 2016, up 2.0% on 2015
  • Over half of the EU-28 countries declined in cow numbers year on year in 2016, with Germany seeing the largest absolute decrease – down 66,940 cows on 2015
  • The Netherlands had the largest absolute increase of dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2016, up 77,000 (4.5%) year on year
  • The UK accounted for 8.2% of the total dairy cows in the EU-28 in 2016, standing at 1.9 million. This is a 2,000 cow (0.1%) increase 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 2014 2015 2016
Austria 538 534 540
Belgium 519 529 530
Bulgaria 302 283 280
Croatia 159 152 147
Cyprus 25 26 28
Czech Republic 372 369 367
Denmark 547 570 565
Estonia 96 91 86
Finland 283 282 275
France 3,699 3,661 3,630
Germany  4,296 4,285 4,218
Greece 135 111 113
Hungary 255 251 242
Ireland 1,128 1,240 1,295
Italy 2,069 2,057 2,060
Latvia 166 162 154
Lithuania 314 301 286
Luxembourg  47 49 52
Malta 7 6 7
Netherlands 1,610 1,717 1,794
Poland 2,248 2,134 2,161
Portugal 234 243 239
Romania 1,188 1,191 1,173
Slovakia 143 139 133 (e)
Slovenia 108 113 108
Spain 845 844 820
Sweden 344 337 326
United Kingdom 1,883 1,918 1,920
EU-15 18,176 18,377 18,377
EU-25 21,910 21,969 21,949
EU-27 23,400 23,443 23,401
EU-28 23,559 23,595 23,548

Provisional
(e) Estimate

Source: Eurostat