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Total number of sheep and lambs in the U.S. 2001-2020

In the United States there were about 5.2 million head of sheep and lambs as of 2020. This figure has been dropping steadily over the last several years. To put this in perspective; in 2001, there were nearly seven million sheep and lambs in the United States.

Sheep and lambs in the United States

Sheep are wonderful livestock in that they serve multiple purposes; they produce wool and milk, they are an easy and natural way to clear away shrubbery and keep grass short as a fire safety measure, and they can be slaughtered for their meat. The value of sheep varies considerably from year to year, but in 2018 an average head of sheep in the United States was valued at 204 U.S. dollars, down from 214 U.S. dollars in 2015.

U.S. wool production

Wool has many benefits over other varieties of textile material. In addition to being all-natural and biodegradable, it has thermal insulation properties and gives off very little static electricity. In 2018, the United States produced some 42.77 million U.S. dollars worth of shorn wool. The number of sheep and lambs shorn in the United States has seen a sharp decline in the last two decades.

Total number of sheep and lambs in the United States from 2001 to 2020

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period

2001 to 2020

Supplementary notes

All figures as of January 1 of each year.
* Preliminary (first estimate).

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