New Zealand has fewer than five sheep per capita, which is at an all-time low

New Zealand has fewer than five sheep per capita, which is at an all-time low

The number of sheep is still far greater than the population in New Zealand, but the ratio is at its lowest levels since the 1850s: fewer than five sheep per resident, according to figures published by the public body responsible for the census on Monday.

The country had 25.3 million sheep in June 2022, a decrease of 400,000 head (-2%) compared to the last census, according to a report on domestic agricultural production published every five years by Statistics NZ.

The world's leading wool exporter

“In 1982, there were 22 sheep per person in New Zealand,” the organization recalls. “Australia now has three times as many sheep as New Zealand, although the ratio is only three per capita,” the report continues.

New Zealand, with a population of 5.2 million, is one of the world's largest wool exporters. Last year, the country sold $284 million (260 million euros) worth of wool abroad.

But high production costs and Wool prices fall This affected the sizes of the herds, which began to gradually decrease since the 1980s, when the number of sheep reached 72 million.

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