Which Countries Have The Most Horses?
Have you ever wondered just how many horses there are in the world? In many places it’s hard to go a day without seeing at least one, and that’s because the planet is bustling with these beautiful animals. The United Nations use their Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to collect some impressive levels of data, everything from crop production to government expenditure. Live Animal Population is another useful dataset that they’re able to produce, which means that we can put this info into some handy maps that allow you to take a look for yourself. Read on to find out which countries and continents possess the most equines, as well as some other interesting figures about the world’s horse population.
Here are the top 5 nations:
1. USA - 10.26 Million
2. Mexico - 6.35 Million
3. China - 6.02 Million
4. Brazil - 5.25 Million
5. Argentina - 3.60 Milion
World and Continental Totals
From the most recent collection period in 2014, FAOstat suggest that there are almost 60 million horses in the world (58,832,221) which is expected to be pretty similar in present day. That means there is about 1 horse per every 120 people. In 2004, there were an estimated 58,419,322 in the world, meaning there has been an increase in over 400,000 individuals in 10 years. This is a really positive figure to see as a large rise could mean horses are happier and being treated a lot better. It could also mean that equine science has developed a lot; we are understanding how horses live in greater detail.
As you can see, it’s North America who top the rankings and by a long way - over 5 million more than Asia behind them. Their total comes in at 19,487,398 which means that they are home to almost a third of the entire world’s horses. The majority of this value is split into just two countries as well (Unites States and Mexico) and in fact these two countries alone would still top the leaderboard.
The second largest continent is Asia with 14,322,137 horses in estimation. This is no surprise as it is home to some of the most open landscapes on the planet. A large percentage of Asia’s equine animals are wild due to having expansive open and fairly uninhabited spaces.
Europe falls massively behind with the 5th lowest population (5,739,271). It could be argued that this would be expected as it is the second smallest continent in existence, with racing and eventing being so popular in Europe and with the continent having 5 of the top 6 countries in relation to exportation value, you could expect it to be more.
Despite this, they are still well ahead of Oceania, who only have 404,766 horses. This is an even more surprising value when we realise this is less than 1% of the world population!
So as we might have expected, the United States have the most horses by nation. They possess around 18% of the world’s horses (10,260,000) which is a staggering number considering there are 195 nations around the world. There are some nations in the top 10 however that might come as more of a surprise. Mexico are the second biggest horse owners with 6,355,000. This probably comes as a shock as they are not really known for their equine successes. However they do import over 130,000 horses each year, as seen in our other FAO report. Two other nations that come as a surprise are Mongolia (2,995,754) and Kazakhstan (1,784,500). Well known horse history states that the animal nearly became extinct around 7000 years ago, but managed to keep its legacy alive in small areas of central Asia, notably Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine in Europe. This explains the thriving population of these countries.
The United Kingdom is way down the list with only 400,000 horses, this is approximately one horse per every 165 people; below the world average. Although they do not have a large total of horses, they are known to produce the highest quality equines, hence their consistent success in racing and eventing.
There are some very interesting results at the other end of the results too - take Grenada for example. They only have around 30 horses in the entire nation, which is crazy to believe that any country can have that little an amount! That’s one horse per every 3,577 people.
There are some really interesting results to discover, so take time over the maps above to find out values for hundreds of nations. To take a look at the importation and exportation values of each nation, check our article here. To look at buying your own horse, click here.