Global number of chickens 1990-2017

How many chickens are in the world?

The number of chickens worldwide has more than doubled since 1990. In 2017, there were some 22.85 billion chickens in the world, up from 14.38 billion chickens in 2000.

Chicken farming

There are two major types of chickens that are farmed globally: egg laying hens, and broiler chickens. As the names suggest, one produces eggs and the other is raised for meat. In terms of egg production, China produced the highest number of eggs in 2017, at an amazing 529 billion. In contrast, the second leading producer, the United States, only produced about 106.7 billion eggs in that year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. state with the largest chicken population is Iowa.

Broiler meat production

In the last several years, poultry has overtaken pork as the most produced type of meat worldwide. The United States has the highest volume of broiler meat production of any country, at around 19.71 million metric tons in 2019. Brazil and the European Union came in second and third in terms of broiler meat production, at 10.2 million and 7.8 million metric tons, respectively.

Number of chickens worldwide from 1990 to 2017

Number of chickens in millions
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Release date

January 2019



Survey time period

1990 to 2017

Special properties

Data accessed on January 28, 2019

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