Edition 2023

Foto omschrijving: Pigs crammed into a pigsty.

How many cattle and pigs in the Netherlands?

Dutch farms kept 3.8 million heads of cattle and 11.3 million pigs on 1 April 2022. Nearly half of all Dutch cattle are dairy cows and most pigs are bred for meat.

Hoeveel runderen en varkens telt ons land? How many cattle and pigs in the Netherlands? 11,3 mln 3,8 mln

At 1.6 million, the number of dairy cows was around the same in 2022 as twelve months previously. The number of dairy youngstock did increase, to 982 thousand. Female youngstock are reared to become dairy cows. Sûdwest-Fryslân is the municipality with the most cows: 65.6 thousand.

Large dairy farms in Flevoland

Last year, there were 14.7 thousand dairy farms in the Netherlands, with an average 107 dairy cows per farm. The largest farms were located in the province of Flevoland, with 151 dairy cows on average.

Over 1 million calves were raised for meat consumption in 2022. This is nearly the same number as one year previously.

Cattle herd (x million)
Perioden Dairy and calving cows (2 yrs and over) Young dairy cattle Young beef cattle Veal calves Other bovines Bulls (2 yrs and over)
2022 1.57 0.98 0.17 1.04 0.05 0.01
2021 1.57 0.97 0.17 1.05 0.06 0.01
2020 1.59 0.94 0.17 1.07 0.06 0.01
2019 1.58 0.92 0.17 1.07 0.06 0.01
2018 1.62 1.03 0.17 1.02 0.06 0.01
2017 1.69 1.20 0.17 0.95 0.06 0.02

Slightly fewer pigs

The number of pigs fell to 11.3 million in 2022, 1.6 percent down on one year previously. Porkers (46 percent) and piglets (45 percent) account for the majority of the Dutch pig population; the remainder are breeding sows.

Nearly 3.3 thousand Dutch farms kept pigs in 2022, 4 percent fewer than the year before. The average number of pigs per farm has risen by nearly 20 percent in the last five years, to 3.4 thousand. The reason for this is that smaller farms have stopped rearing pigs in recent years.

Pig herd (x million)
Perioden Fattening pigs Piglets Breeding pigs
2022 5.16 5.12 1.00
2021 5.26 5.17 1.03
2020 5.45 5.41 1.09
2019 5.62 5.55 1.10
2018 5.63 5.65 1.15
2017 5.63 5.61 1.16

Noord-Brabant has most pigs

Nearly half of all Dutch pigs are located in Noord-Brabant. Although the number of pig farms has fallen by one third in the last five years, the number of pigs has decreased by less. The municipalities Land van Cuijk (682 thousand) and Venray (559 thousand) had the most pigs.


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Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
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Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik, Janneke Hendriks, Richard Jollie

With thanks to Hendrik Zuidhoek


Annelie Hakkenes (final editing)

Elma Wobma (general project leader)

Erik van den Berg

Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Saskia Stavenuiter

Sidney Vergouw


Gabriëlle de Vet, Lieneke Hoeksma, Frans Dinnissen


Ronald van der Bie

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition.