US and International Meat Consumption Chart


I. Overview



source: www.sciencephoto.com (accessed Apr. 11, 2012)

II. Per Capita Meat "Consumption" (lbs/person) in the United States, 1970-2009
III. Ranking of 171 Countries by Per Capita Meat Consumption, 2005
IV. Top Meat Consuming Countries, 2007
V. Per Capita Beef, Chicken, and Pork Consumption of Major Import and Export Countries, 2010


I. Overview
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Americans ate an average of 279.1 pounds of meat per person in 2005—154.1 pounds more than the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) recommended annual maximum of 125 pounds from the entire protein group, which includes meat, eggs, soy products, nuts, and seeds.

According to the FAO, the United States had the third largest per capita meat consumption (behind Luxembourg #1 and Hong Kong #2) out of 171 countries in 2005, and its citizens ate over 41 times more meat than Bangladesh, which ranked #171. The FAO states that "Evidence suggests that poor people, especially young children and their mothers in developing countries, are not consuming enough animal-based food… while other people, particularly in developed countries, are consuming too much.”

Americans eat more beef (37.8 lbs/person in 2009) than any other meat. However, USDA statistics show that beef consumption has declined 27% since 1970 (51.8 lbs/person in 1970) while the consumption of chicken has increased 104% from 15.8 lbs/person in 1970 to 32.3 lbs/person in 2009. Meat consumption data vary by reporting agency and even within agencies, so take the information with a grain of salt.

II. Per Capita Meat "Consumption" (lbs/person) in the United States, 1970-2009
The data below are from the USDA/Economic Research Service, www.ers.usda.gov, Feb. 1, 2011. The per capita meat "consumption" is measured in lbs/year and reflects the total amount of meat supply in the United States adjusted for loss. The USDA calculates "consumption" by dividing the total annual supply of a specific meat by the annual population and adjusting that figure for loss by subtracting 1) the estimated amount of meat lost when converting it from the farm to a market ready product, 2) the estimated amount of meat lost at the retail level due to spoilage, and 3) the estimated amount of meat lost when consumers cook it at home. The fish category includes both fresh and frozen fish.

Year Beef Lamb Pork Veal Chicken Turkey Fish Total Meat
1970 51.8 1.2 28.1 1.0 15.8 4.2 2.8 104.9
1971 51.5 1.2 30.9 0.9 15.8 4.3 2.6 110.2
1972 52.3 1.2 28.1 0.8 16.3 4.7 2.9 106.3
1973 49.4 1.0 25.2 0.6 15.6 4.4 3.2 99.4
1974 52.5 0.8 27.4 0.8 15.6 4.5 2.7 104.3
1975 54.1 0.7 22.4 1.4 15.2 4.3 3.1 101.2
1976 57.7 0.7 23.7 1.3 16.5 4.6 3.4 107.9
1977 56.2 0.6 24.7 1.3 16.7 4.5 3.1 107.1
1978 53.5 0.6 24.7 1.0 17.5 4.5 3.5 105.3
1979 47.8 0.5 28.3 0.7 18.9 4.8 3.4 104.4
1980 46.9 0.6 30.4 0.6 18.9 5.3 3.3 108.0
1981 47.3 0.6 29.1 0.7 19.4 5.5 3.0 105.6
1982 47.2 0.6 26.2 0.7 19.5 5.5 3.1 102.8
1983 48.2 0.6 27.7 0.7 19.6 5.7 3.3 105.8
1984 48.0 0.6 27.6 0.7 20.4 5.7 3.4 106.4
1985 48.5 0.6 27.8 0.7 21.0 6.0 3.8 108.4
1986 48.4 0.6 26.4 0.8 21.3 6.7 3.7 107.9
1987 45.2 0.5 26.6 0.6 22.7 7.6 4.2 107.4
1988 44.6 0.6 28.5 0.6 22.8 8.1 3.7 108.9
1989 42.4 0.6 28.2 0.5 23.3 8.6 4.0 107.6
1990 41.6 0.6 27.1 0.4 24.4 9.1 3.7 106.9
1991 40.9 0.6 27.3 0.4 25.4 9.2 3.6 107.4
1992 40.6 0.6 28.7 0.4 26.8 9.2 3.6 109.9
1993 39.7 0.5 28.3 0.4 27.7 9.1 3.8 109.5
1994 40.9 0.5 28.6 0.4 28.1 9.1 3.9 111.5
1995 41.3 0.5 28.2 0.4 27.8 9.1 3.8 111.1
1996 41.6 0.5 26.4 0.5 28.1 9.4 3.8 110.3
1997 40.7 0.4 26.1 0.4 28.8 8.9 3.6 108.9
1998 41.3 0.5 28.1 0.3 29.1 9.1 3.5 111.9
1999 41.8 0.5 28.8 0.3 30.9 9.1 3.5 114.9
2000 42.0 0.5 27.9 0.3 31.2 9.0 3.4 114.3
2001 41.0 0.5 27.4 0.2 31.1 9.1 3.5 112.8
2002 42.0 0.5 28.1 0.2 32.7 9.2 3.7 116.4
2003 40.3 0.5 28.3 0.2 33.2 9.0 3.5 115
2004 41.0 0.5 28.0 0.2 34.2 8.8 3.4 116.1
2005 40.6 0.4 27.2 0.2 34.9 8.6 3.7 115.6
2006 40.8 0.4 26.8 0.2 35.1 8.7 4.0 116.0
2007 40.4 0.5 27.5 0.2 34.5 9.0 4.0 116.1
2008 38.8 0.4 26.8 0.2 33.8 9.1 3.8 112.9
2009 37.8 0.4 27.2 0.2 32.3 8.7 3.8 110.4

III. Ranking of 171 Countries by Per Capita Meat Consumption (MC), 2005
The data below are from the FAO's 2009 report "The State of Food and Agriculture," available at www.fao.org. 169 of the 171 areas listed are countries. Hong Kong and Macao are special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China with separate governments. The FAO consumption data are based on food balance sheets for each country, which show the amount of meat available for human consumption added to the amount of meat imported into a country. From that total is subtracted the amount of meat exported, fed to livestock, used for seed, and lost during storage and transportation. That figure is then divided by the population.

MC = meat consumption measured in lbs/person/year

Country (by rank) MC Country (by rank) MC Country (by rank) MC
1 Luxembourg 314.6 58 Mainland China 131.2 115 Mali 49.4
2 Hong Kong 295.9 59 Panama 127.2 116 Egypt 49.2
3 United States 279.1 60 Latvia 126.8 117 Sudan 48.5
4 Australia 259.3 61 Kazakhstan 123.5 118 Bosnia and Herzgovina 47.8
5 Austria 240.5 62 Lebanon 120.2 119 Algeria 47.6
6 Spain 237.9 63 Saudi Arabia 120.2 120 Turkey 46.7
7 Cyprus 230.16 64 Russian Federation 114.9 121 Congo 46.3
8 New Zealand 229.3 65 Malaysia 113.1 122 Djibouti 46.1
9 Denmark 222.0 66 Bolivia 113.1 123 Nicaragua 44.8
10 Ireland 222.0 67 Bulgaria 112.9 124 Syria 43.0
11 Israel 219.8 68 Belize 108.5 125 Azerbaijan 42.8
12 Bahamas 217.8 69 Republic of Korea 107.8 126 Maldives 42.8
13 Macao 214.3 70 Dominican Republic 105.2 127 Angola 41.4
14 Canada 212.3 71 Ecuador 102.5 128 Laos 38.8
15 Netherlands Antilles 209.9 72 South Africa 101.9 129 Yemen 37.7
16 Slovenia 207.0 73 Japan 100.1 130 Lesotho 37.7
17 France 195.3 74 Suriname 100.1 131 Zimbabwe 37.3
18 Argentina 195.3 75 Turkmenistan 94.4 132 Cambodia 36.2
19 Saint Lucia 194.2 76 Mauritus 93.5 133 Burkina Faso 35.1
20 Italy 194.0 77 Trinidad and Tobago 92.2 134 Kenya 34.0
21 Czech Republic 190.9 78 Albania 90.2 135 People's Republic of China 32.2
22 Portugal 189.6 79 Costa Rica 87.1 136 Madagascar 31.3
23 Saint Kitts and Nevis 188.3 80 Croatia 85.8 137 Haiti 31.1
24 United Kingdom 185.0 81 Ukraine 85.1 138 Sao Tome and Principe 30.2
25 Iceland 184.5 82 Moldova 84.2 139 Afghanistan 30.0
26 Germany 183.6 83 Colombia 84.2 140 Cameroon 29.8
27 Belgium 181.7 84 Republic of Macedonia 83.6 141 Zambia 29.5
28 Malta 181.7 85 Guyana 81.4 142 Cote d'Ivoire 28.7
29 Serbia and Montenegro 180.8 86 Honduras 80.5 143 Guinea-Bissau 28.4
30 Brazil 178.1 87 Jordan 80.5 144 Chad 27.8
31 Greece 174.6 88 Kyrgyzstan 76.9 145 Senegal 27.3
32 Antigua and Barbuda 173.7 89 Vietnam 76.9 146 Benin 27.1
33 Taiwan 173.5 90 Timore-Leste 75.1 147 Pakistan 26.9
34 Netherlands 171.5 91 Cape Verde 74.3 148 Tajikistan 26.2
35 Sweden 170.0 92 Swaziland 71.9 149 Niger 25.1
36 Poland 169.3 93 Paraguay 71.2 150 Comoros 24.7
37 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 169.1 94 Mauritania 71.0 151 Ghana 23.4
38 Barbados 161.8 95 Cuba 69.7 152 Uganda 22.5
39 United Arab Emirates 159.6 96 Georgia 68.8 153 Indonesia 22.0
40 Switzerland 159.4 97 Central African Republic 68.3 154 Nepal 21.4
41 Mongolia 159.4 98 Iran 67.0 155 Liberia 20.9
42 Dominica 157.0 99 Namibia 66.4 156 Tanzania 20.9
43 Finland 156.1 100 Singapore 65.3 157 Gambia 19.2
44 Lithuania 155.6 101 Armenia 64.4 158 Ethiopia 18.3
45 Chile 155.6 102 Seychelles 63.9 159 Guinea 16.5
46 Uruguay 150.8 103 Libya 60.8 160 Rwanda 16.5
47 Norway 144.8 104 Palestinian Territory 59.5 161 Iraq 15.7
48 Grenada 144.2 105 Thailand 58.9 162 Sri Lanka 15.7
49 Slovakia 142.6 106 Botswana 57.3 163 Eritrea 15.7
50 Gabon 142.0 107 Peru 57.1 164 Togo 14.3
51 Romania 140.9 108 Tunisia 56.7 165 Mozambique 12.6
52 Mexico 137.1 109 El Salvador 54.9 166 India 11.2
53 Jamaica 134.9 110 Guatemala 54.2 167 Sierra Leone 10.8
54 Belarus 134.3 111 Uzbekistan 54.0 168 Democratic Republic of the Congo 10.1
55 Venezuela 134.0 112 Morocco 52.5 169 Malawi 10.1
56 Brunei Darussalam 133.6 113 Somalia 51.8 170 Burundi 8.2
57 Estonia 131.6 114 Myanmar 50.7 171 Bangladesh 6.8


IV. Top Meat Consuming Countries, 2007

The chart below is taken from the Economist's Apr. 30, 2012, article "Kings of the Carnivores," which used data from the FAO. View the full data of all 177 countries in the study.

The chart below measures consumption in kilograms (2.2 lbs = 1 kg) per person and total consumption in metric tonnes (1 metric tonne = 2204.6 lbs).

V. Per Capita Beef, Chicken, and Pork Consumption of Major Import and Export Countries, 2010
The data below are from the United States Department of Agriculture's Apr. 15, 2011, report Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade, available at www.fas.usda.gov. The USDA selects countries for the consumption chart that are major importers or exporters of beef, chicken, or pork. Consumption of chicken is based on 3-5 pound chickens that are slaughtered at 6-8 weeks old. The Middle East consumption of chicken may be overstated due to transshipments in the region and temporary workers who are not included in official population statistics.

Beef and Veal (lbs/person/yr)
Chicken (lbs/person/yr)
Pork (lbs/person/yr)
Uruguay 136.9   Kuwait 132.1   Hong Kong 144.8
Argentina 123.0   United Arab Emirates 130.1   Belarus 104.7
United States 85.5   Brazil 100.1   EU-27 95.2
Brazil 83.3   United States 95.7   China 83.6
Paraguay 78.5   Hong Kong 94.8   Taiwan 78.9
Australia 77.8   Saudi Arabia 93.9   Switzerland 73.1
Canada 65.3   Malaysia 82.2   South Korea 69.7
New Zealand 64.4   Australia 78.3   United States 61.5
Kazakhstan 59.1   Argentina 74.3   Norway 55.1
Hong Kong 52.4   Chile 69.0   Canada 52.7
Chile 52.1   South Africa 67.9   Chile 50.7
Uzbekistan 47.4   Venezuela 66.1   Australia 49.6
Colombia 42.3   Canada 65.5   New Zealand 46.7
Venezuela 40.1   Mexico 65.5   Vietnam 46.3
Mexico 40.0   Taiwan 61.7   Russia 43.9
EU-27 36.6   Iran 54.7   Japan 43.2
Russia 36.6   Colombia 53.4   Ukraine 38.6
South Africa 30.9   Russia 46.3   Mexico 34.8
South Korea 27.6   EU-27 39.2   Kazakhstan 32.6
Iran 21.6   Ukraine 37.9   Argentina 14.8