Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Pork is an extremely popular import and export item in the agriculture world. Many people around the world eat pork, so there’s a rather large pig population in both the US (around 75 million) and the world (around 675 million). But pigs are also seen as occasional pets, with owners who enjoy snuggling up with their snorting pals.
Top 10 Pig Population Statistics
- There were approximately 74.77 million hogs and pigs in the US in 2021.
- In 2021, 68 million pigs were market hogs and 6.18 million were breeding pigs.
- Iowa produced the most pigs in 2021 with about 23.8 million pigs
- In 2020, US pork exports surpassed $7.7 billion in value with more than 6.56 billion bounds exported to other countries.
- As of 2021, there are currently about 677.6 million pigs worldwide.
- China is the largest pig producer in the world and had about 406 million pigs in 2021.
- In 2020, African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks affected about 1 million domesticated pigs and 30,000 wild boars worldwide.
- It has taken Chinese researchers about 6 years to announce that they will finally sell genetically modified micropigs as pets.
- Estimates of pet pigs in the US range from 250,000 to 1 million.
- An estimated 90% of pigs taken in as pets in the US end up relinquished to animal rescues or sanctuaries.
The Pig Statistics in the US
1. There were approximately 74.77 million hogs and pigs in the US in 2021.
The number of hogs in the US has risen by 15 million since 2000. The most common pork products include bacon, ham, and sausage, and pork continues to be one of the most prevalent sources of meat in the US.
2. In 2021, 68 million pigs were market hogs and 6.18 million were breeding pigs.
A significantly smaller amount of pigs in the US are used as breeding pigs. Some of the most popular swine breeds include Berkshires, Chester Whites, Durocs, Hampshires, Landraces, Poland Chinas, Spotted Pigs, and Yorkshires.
3. Iowa produced the most pigs in 2021 with about 23.8 million pigs.
Iowa consistently produces about a third of the US’ pork products. There are more than 5,400 pig farms in this state and the top five pig producing counties are Washington, Sioux, Lyon, Hamilton, and Plymouth.
4. In 2020, US pork exports surpassed $7.7 billion in value with more than 6.56 billion pounds exported to other countries.
Along with feeding Americans their favorite pork products, the US also exports pork to many countries, including Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Canada. The US exceeded its revenue record of pork exports by 11% from the previous year.
The Pig Statistics Worldwide
5. As of 2021, there are currently about 677.6 million pigs worldwide.
Pork falls second to poultry when it comes to the category of most consumed types of meat in the world. Therefore, the pork industry is a giant in agriculture and commerce, and many countries heavily rely on each other for importing and exporting pork.
6. China is the largest pig producer in the world and had about 406 million pigs in 2021.
China is home to more than half of the world’s pig population. The country’s pork exports decreased over the past several years, but it’s still the largest pig producer in the world. The EU is the second-largest pig producer in the world, and the US is third.
7. In 2020, African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks affected about 1 million domesticated pigs and 30,000 wild boars worldwide.
ASF is an extremely contagious and deadly virus that quickly spreads from pig to pig. Although the virus can’t transfer to humans, it’s still important to contain outbreaks as quickly as possible because of the fatal effects it has on pigs.
The Statistics for Pigs as Pets
8. It has taken Chinese researchers about 6 years to announce that they will finally sell genetically modified micropigs as pets.
Mini genetically modified pigs were originally developed for scientific research processes. However, BGI in Shenzhen, a genomics institute, announced that micropigs would be for sale as pets in September 2021. The pigs will retail for $1,600. They will grow to about 30 pounds and will be about the same size as dogs.
9. Estimates of pet pigs in the US range from 250,000 to 1 million.
(Ohio State News)
No formal census of pet pigs has been taken in the US, but experts estimate that there are up to 1 million pet pigs in US households. One of the most popular pig breeds for pets is the Vietnamese Potbellied Pig. The number of pet pigs fluctuates as trends for pet pigs die down and resurface due to media coverage and viral social media content.
10. An estimated 90% of pigs taken in as pets in the US end up relinquished to animal rescues or sanctuaries.
Pet pigs can be adorable at first, but they can grow to large sizes and can easily weigh around 200 pounds when they reach adulthood. Pet pig owners commonly rehome their pigs because they weren’t prepared for taking care of pigs once they reach adulthood.
Unlike dogs, pig owners don’t often do extensive research on caring for pigs before bringing one home. However, pigs have very unique behavioral traits that owners must become familiar with to help build a bond with their pigs and make sure that the pig’s needs are being met.
Here are some answers to additional questions that many people have about pigs.
What are the top five pork-producing states in the US?
We already know that Iowa is the top pork producer in the US. Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana are among the five states that produce the most pork. When combined, these states have almost 70% of the country’s pig population.
What US state eats the most pork?
Although there isn’t data collected for individual states that eat the most pork, available data shows that the Midwest consumes the most pork. The South is second, then the Northeast, and then the West eats the least amount of pork.
Also, rural communities tend to consume more pork than urban communities. Higher-income consumers are less likely to eat as much pork as consumers in lower-income brackets.
Which US state has more pigs than humans?
Along with producing the most pigs in the US, Iowa is home to more pigs than humans. For every man, woman, and child in Iowa, there are about eight pigs. Although the pig industry creates many jobs for Iowans, they also face significant problems with pig waste. Some pig waste can be used as fertilizer, but people are still working to problem-solve the issue of excessive pig waste.
Which country has more pigs than humans?
Denmark is the only country in the world that has pigs outnumbering the human population. Denmark produces high-quality bacon and has about 215 pigs for every 100 people.
Although pigs don’t outnumber people in the Netherlands, it comes close. There are about 70 pigs per 100 people in the Netherlands. Then, Spain has 63 pigs per 100 people, and Belgium has 54 pigs per 100 people.
Which US state is the “Hog Capital of the World”?
You might think that the Hog Capital of the World would be in Iowa. However, Kewanee, a small town in Illinois, holds this designation. The Illinois State Legislature deemed this title to Kewanee in 1948. Today, this town hosts an annual hog festival in late summer.
Overall, pigs and pork play a significant role in the global market. There are currently ASF outbreak scares that have significantly hurt pork producers, especially small farmers. If it’s not properly contained, this virus can potentially create a detrimental loss in the pork industry.
Although pigs are mainly used to produce pork products, some pig breeds have become popular pets in the US. Although it’s not impossible to have a pig as a pet, it’s a lot more challenging than people anticipate, so it’s essential to do extensive research on caring for pet pigs before bringing one home.
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Featured Image Credit: dyoma, Shutterstock