U.S. has 9.5 million horses, most in world, report says

Equine population up 300,000 in year; Texas and California lead the states
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Oct 01, 2007
By dvm360.com staff

The United States has, by far, the most horses in the world — approximately 9.5 million, according to the 2006 Global Horse Population report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It shows 58,372,106 horses in the world.

Nine other countries have horse populations of more than a million. They are: China (7,402,450), Mexico (6,260,000), Brazil (5,787,249), Argentina (3,655,000), Colombia (2,533,621), Mongolia (2,029,100), Ethiopia (1,655,383) Russian Federation (1,319,358) and Kazakhstsan (1,163,500). Guam (20) and Grenada (30) had the lowest totals.

Two countries, Rwanda and St. Helena, reported no horses.

A separate independent study by the American Horse Council (AHC) in 2005 (based on 2004 statistics) showed a U.S. horse population of 9,223,000, which would indicate that U.S. equine numbers rose by nearly 300,000 in just over a year.

Among U. S. states, the AHC report puts Texas in the lead with 978,822 horses, followed by California with 698,345, Florida with 500,124, Oklahoma with 326,134, Kentucky with 320,173, Ohio with 306,898 and Missouri with 281,255.

Rhode Island had the fewest horses, with 3,059, followed by the District of Columbia, reporting a fluctuating total of about 33.

The AHC says the horse industry has a direct impact of $39 billion on the U. S. economy and an overall impact of $102 billion when factoring in indirect and induced spending.

Recreational horse use is the largest segment of the horse industry, with 3.9 million horses.

The industry supports 1.4 million full-time jobs, AHC says.