Our figure of the month 04/2018: Regional distribution of pig farms and pig stock


The German policy and economy are preparing for the African swine fever (ASF), which is expected to reach German ground. Coming from Eastern Europe, the epidemic is coming closer to Germany – in early 2018 a case was proven approx. 300 km away from the German border.

In case of an epidemic outbreak, fatal consequences are likely for both, animal farming and downstream economic sectors. Depending on the region of an outbreak of the ASF in Germany, the effect on the development on the number of businesses differs. So the question is how is the distribution of pig farms over Germany? And can the biggest numbers of pigs be found? According to the cattle stock survey of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the majority of the 23,500 pig farms in Germany (November 2017) is located in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW, 31 % of all pig farms), followed by Lower Saxony (25%) and Bavaria (22%).


A comparably small number can be found in the East German federal states (approx. 200 in each of them). However, the animal stocks per farm in these five states is comparatively high (3,800 per farm in Thuringia and approx. 6,000 in Saxony-Anhalt; German average: 1,170 pigs per farm).

The highest total number of pigs is kept in Lower Saxony (8.7 million pigs; about 32% of all pigs in Germany), followed by NRW and Bavaria (7.3 million (26%) resp. 3.3 million animals (12%)) (total no. of pigs in Germany: 27.6 million). At the low end, very few pigs are located in Rhineland-Palatinate (0.17 million).

Other figures can be found here.

Source: Statistisches Bundesamt 2018: Land- Forstwirtschaft, Fischerei – Viehbestand. Fachserie 3, Reihe 4.1; Tab. 2.2.1, 20. Februar 2018.

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