The population of cows in the country has risen by 18 per cent in the last seven years, while that of oxen dipped by 30 per cent, according to the latest census of livestock. The total number for livestock was pegged at around 536 million.


The provisional data of the 20th Livestock Census released by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying on Wednesday showed that the livestock population increased by 4.6 per cent, from 512.06 million in 2012.

Besides, there was a spectacular 16.8 per cent increase in the poultry population in the country to 851.81 million, mainly on account of a 46 per cent rise in backyard poultry birds, whose numbers have gone up to 317 million.

The number of female cattle is 145.12 million, which is 18 per cent over the 122.98 million in 2012. The number of male cattle, on the other hand, dropped to 47.4 million as against 67.92 million in 2012. Significantly the male to female cattle ratio in the 2019 survey dropped to 1:3 from 1:1.8 in the 2012 livestock survey.

Interestingly, there is a 6 per cent decline in the total number of indigenous cattle over the previous census. On the contrary, the population of total exotic/crossbred cattle has increased by 26.9 per cent in 2019 as compared to previous census.

Among the States, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of livestock of 67.8 million (68.7 million in 2012), followed by Rajasthan 56.8 million (57.7 million), Madhya Pradesh: 40.6 million (36.3 million) and West Bengal: 37.4 million (30.3 million).

While cattle accounted for 35.94 per cent of total livestock in the country, goats accounted for 27.80 per cent, buffaloes: 20.45 per cent, sheep: 13.87 per cent and pigs: 1.69 per cent.

As compared to the previous census, the percentage of sheep and goats has increased whereas the percentage of cattle, buffaloes and pigs has marginally declined.

The total number of milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous census.

The country now has a total of 109.85 million buffaloes as compared to 108.70 million in the 2012 census. The goat population, on the other hand, went up to 148.88 million showing an increase of 10.1 per cent over the previous census. The total number of sheep in the country is 74.26 million in 2019, an increase of 14.1 per cent over the previous enumeration.

For the latest round of census, more than 80,000 personnel were in the field collecting data from more than 27 crore households and non-households using tablets. According to the official statement, this was a unique attempt to digitise household level data transmitted directly from the field.