28+ Fascinating Pork Production Statistics

The pork industry is a major global player, generating around $23 billion annually and facing challenges like environmental concerns and market fluctuations.

Close up view of pig feed granules and piglets in background.

The pork industry is a significant player in the global food production landscape, supplying staple meat that is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. From succulent pork chops to sizzling bacon, pork holds a prominent place on dinner plates and in culinary traditions across various cultures.

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Top Pork Production Statistics 

Here are a few of the most important pork production statistics to know: 

  • The pork industry has around a $23 billion output.
  • Pork is one of the most widely consumed meats in the world.
  • Pig farms typically have different stages of production, including farrowing (birth), nursery, and finishing.
  • Most pork production systems involve raising a large number of pigs together. 
  • The use of antibiotics in pork production has been a topic of concern.
  • The industry is always developing new practices. 
  • Pork production can have environmental impacts, particularly related to manure management.
  • The top pork-producing countries are China, the European Union, and the United States.
  • Pork is very versatile.
  • In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for pork products that are produced using sustainable and ethical practices.

Overall Pork Production Statistics 

How important is the pork industry? What kind of revenue does it bring in every year? This section examines the entire pork production industry and its impact on day-to-day life. 

The Pork Industry Is a Major Component of the Global Meat Industry (NPPC)

The industry plays a significant role in agricultural economies worldwide and is depended on by many for their monthly income. 

China Is the Largest Producer and, Likely, Consumer of Pork in the World (USDA)

China holds the title of the largest producer and consumer of pork globally. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), China accounts for more than half of the world’s pork production and consumption.

Countries Like the United States, Serbia, and China Eat the Most Pork in the World (Copork)

Pork is also very popular in the EU, although less so than in the United States. 

The United States Is One of the Leading Pork-Producing Countries, With Iowa Being the Largest Pork-Producing State in the Country (Iowa Pork)

Following behind Iowa in the amount of pork they produce are Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.

Today’s Pork Is Leaner Than It Used To Be (Copork)

Over the years, the pork industry has undergone remarkable changes, and one notable transformation is the leaner composition of today’s pork compared to its counterparts from the past. Current pork products are approximately 75% leaner than those produced in the 1950s.

The Pork Industry Contributes to Food Security (FAO

The size of the pork industry, and the sheer number of people who eat it daily, means that it is a significant source of animal protein for human consumption.

The Number of Farms in the United States Has Decreased Over the Last Generation (Copork)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of farms nationwide is fewer than were in existence only a generation ago. This is due to advances in technology and transportation. 

Pork Is One of the Oldest Processed Meats in the World (Oklahoma AGClassroom

Historical records indicate that China played a pivotal role in the early domestication of pigs for meat. As early as 1500 BC, the Chinese recognized the potential of raising pigs as a valuable source of sustenance. 

They developed techniques for pig rearing, breeding, and butchering, establishing a foundation for pork production that would later spread across different regions of the world.

Female Pigs Are Known as Sows (Oklahoma AGClassroom)

In the world of pig farming, it is common practice to differentiate between male and female pigs by using specific terms. Female pigs are referred to as “sows,” a term that is widely recognized in the industry. This distinction helps to categorize and identify the different genders within the pig population.

Pork Is the World’s Favorite Meat (Copork)

Around the world, pork is regarded as a highly popular meat and is ranked as the largest per capita of any other meat product. 

Pork Is a Versatile Meat (Scottsdale Pork)

Pork is a meat that’s consumed in various forms worldwide, including fresh cuts, processed meats (such as sausages and bacon), and traditional dishes in different cuisines.

Pig Farming Practices Vary Widely Across Different Countries (Pork Checkoff)

These practices exhibit significant variations across different countries, reflecting the diverse agricultural landscapes and cultural contexts in which they operate. These variations can range from small-scale family farms to large commercial operations, each with its own unique characteristics and production methods.

The Pork Industry Faces Various Challenges (WOAH)

These challenges include disease outbreaks such as African swine fever and a growing trend among consumers to cut meat from one’s daily diet. 

Culture Is a Major Influence on Pork Consumption (NCBI)

Pork consumption and production patterns are influenced by cultural and dietary preferences across different regions and countries.

The Pork Industry Has Been Impacted by Concerns Related to Animal Welfare (AWIOnline)

This has led to increased attention and regulations in some regions, with some consumers turning their backs on the industry.

New Technological Advancements Are Made All the Time (Agrisales)

Technological advancements and innovations are being introduced in the pork industry, enhancing productivity, animal health, and environmental sustainability.

Trade Has an Important Role To Play in the Pork Industry (NPPC)

Trade plays a significant role in the global pork industry, with countries engaging in import and export activities to meet consumer demand and optimize market conditions.

The Industry Has Updated Its Sustainability Practices (Extension)

Efforts are being made within the pork industry to improve sustainability practices, including resource efficiency, waste management, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Different Breeds Mean Different Things (Pork Checkoff)

Different pig breeds are raised for pork production globally, each with specific characteristics related to meat quality, growth rate, and adaptability to different environments.

Food Safety and Quality Control Are of the Utmost Importance (FSIS)

Food safety and quality control measures are implemented within the pork industry to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of pork products for consumers.

The Pork Industry Is a Major Employer (SwineTech)

The pork industry contributes to employment opportunities and rural development, particularly in regions with significant pig farming and processing facilities.

There Are More Than 60,000 Pork Producers Around the United States (Copork)

The pork industry is a major employer in the United States and worldwide. 

Pork By-Products Are Also Important (FarmCreditofVirginias)

Pork by-products play a vital role in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, pet food, cosmetics, and biodiesel production, making the pork industry economically diverse.

The Industry Is Also Changing Due to Research and Development (ThePigSite)

Research and development efforts within the pork industry focus on areas such as genetics, nutrition, disease prevention, and production efficiency to enhance sustainability and meet evolving consumer demands.

The Industry Has Around a $23 Billion Output (Copork)

The pork industry stands as a highly profitable sector within the global economy, generating substantial revenue year after year. With an impressive gross profit of around $23 billion annually, the industry’s financial impact is undeniable.

The Pork Industry Is Subject to Market Fluctuations (SwineWeb)

The pork industry faces periodic market fluctuations influenced by factors such as feed costs, disease outbreaks, trade policies, and consumer preferences, requiring adaptation and strategic management.

The Average American Eats Around 50 Pounds of Pork a Year (Statista)

The average American consumes approximately 51 pounds (23 kilograms) of pork annually. However, it’s important to note that consumption patterns can vary over time.

The United States Produces 11% Of the World’s Pork (Pork Checkoff)

The United States is prominent in global pork production, accounting for approximately 11% of the world’s total pork output. While this represents a significant contribution, it is important to note that other countries, most notably China, surpass the U.S. regarding pork production volume.

Generally, Pork Is More Popular Than Beef (Ask USDA)

Pork is the most widely consumed meat globally, accounting for over 36% of total meat consumption, while beef accounts for around 24%.

Final Thoughts 

This collection of fascinating pork production statistics highlights the significance of the pork industry globally. Pork is a staple protein source for many people worldwide and continues to play a vital role in meeting global food demands. From the impressive feed conversion ratio of pigs to the rise of intensive production systems, the pork industry has evolved to efficiently meet the growing demand for pork products.

However, it is essential to address the environmental and welfare concerns associated with intensive pig farming to ensure a sustainable future for the industry. The ongoing discussions surrounding the use of antibiotics, animal welfare practices, and environmental impacts demonstrate the industry’s commitment to adapting to changing consumer preferences and societal expectations. 

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