Australia again tops rankings of world’s meat consumers

Beef Central, 29/03/2016

THIS bar chart doing the rounds of social media over the Easter long weekend aroused lots of comment and sharing among beef industry stakeholders.

It plots average annual consumption of the four ‘main’ animal proteins across the world in 2014, revealing that Australians just pipped the US as the largest red and white meat protein consumers in the world.

Click on image for a larger view

Click on image for a larger view

A similar OECD report a year earlier, in 2013, had Australia even further ahead, at 93kg per person, with the US second at 91.1kg and Israel third on 86kg.

While Argentina and Brazil are often thought-of as voracious beef eaters – historically close to double volumes consumed by Australians – their overall consumption of the four main red and white meats is not unusually large, by global standards.

A couple of further observations:

  • Japan looks relatively lowly-ranked at 35.7kg per person per year, but the survey does not take into account the fact that the Japanese are among the world’s largest consumers of seafood.
  • Goatmeat consumption was not included, but would have changed some rankings in areas where goatmeat is popular and eaten in large quantities, including the Middle East and parts of India.
  • Given China’s population of 1.361 billion, its average consumption of the four meat proteins is huge, on a volume scale. It accounts for almost 68 million tonnes of meat protein each year. Contrast China with India, whose population of 1.25 billion consumes just 3.2kg of red and white meat on average per person each year.


Source: OECD






Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Martin Smith, 29/03/2016

    Israel 3rd?
    You need to read the graph better.

    Thanks for your comment, Martin. The reference to Israel being third is clearly linked in the article to an earlier 2013 survey, not the 2014 version on which the graph published here is based. Editor

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -