- Milk is an essential element in human nutrition. It is the base for our meals, snacks, and silly treats. With complementary foods, such as cereal, yogurt, butter, and chocolate-chip cookies, milk dominated the breakfast tables during the last century.
Although it has been the core of human nutrition for centuries, milk and dairy products are being debated today. Many authorities dispute its use in humans and recommend cutting down on dairy products. These dairy statistics aim to reveal just how nutritious and valuable milk really is.
Is milk good for us? How is it produced? How much do dairy farmers make? How many dairy cows are there, and who consumes the most milk in the world? These are just some of the questions that we were determined to answer.
Read on, and find out how skimmed milk, cheese, and butter impact our everyday lives and the global economy.
The Top 10 Most Compelling Dairy Statistics and Facts
Before we unveil a myriad of dairy statistics and facts, there are ten particularly catchy facts and stats dairy lovers should know:
- An average person spends $251.97 on dairy products annually.
- Liquid milk is the most popular dairy in the world.
- A dairy cow eats between 90 and 100 pounds of food daily.
- Cattle feed costs account for 40–60% of milk production.
- The dairy market in the EU made $207 billion in revenue in 2019.
- In the US, 1.02 billion pounds of milk are utilized at places of production.
- Approximately 45 million tons of fresh dairy products are consumed in the EU annually.
- India has the largest volume of dairy cattle in the world, with an estimated 43,600,000 cows.
- Europe accounts for 33% of global cow milk production.
- The global dairy market value may hit an astonishing $1032.7 billion by 2024.
Facts About Dairy Products
Milk and its products – cheese and yogurt – are our everyday favorites. But most people have never heard of multiple milk-based products that are dominating the market out there. Read on and be amazed.
1. Dairy products are produced out of mammal milk.
The market is saturated with products labeled as “Milk.” However, oat and almond milk are not considered dairy, according to official dairy food facts.
Dairy is primarily produced by mammals, such as cows, goats, sheep, camels, and humans. Yes, human milk-based products are also dairy and are essentially intended for infant use.
2. Liquid milk is the most popular dairy in the world.
There are hundreds of different types of milk products out there. According to milk consumption statistics, the most popular ones are actual milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, milk powder, and whey-based products.
3. The most expensive milk in the world is made in Japan.
Japan’s Nakazawa Foods makes the most expensive cow milk in the world. It’s milked from cows only once a week at dawn when it contains the most tryptophan — a stress-relieving amino-acid. It costs approximately $43 a quart.
4. Cheese is the most expensive dairy product in 2020.
One of the most appealing facts about the dairy food group is that raw milk is the cheapest of all. The average price of milk and cream is around $1.32, yogurt is at $2.61, while a unit of cheese costs $9.12.
5. There are more than 300 varieties of cheese on the US market today.
US residents consume cheese in high numbers, and, in 2017, the average annual amount of cheese per capita was 39 pounds. Interesting facts about dairy reveal that the US is the largest cheese importer in the world, with 455,000 pounds imported every year.
6. The month of June is National Dairy Month.
(World Milk Day)
Every year in June, the US citizens celebrate the dairy industry for its nutritious and delicious contribution to health and wellbeing. It is a time to appreciate and honor dairy farmers.
Grocery stores created this tradition in 1937 to boost milk consumption awareness. This celebration was initially performed between June 10th to July 10th every year. In 1939 it was moved to June and named National Dairy Month.
Dairy Nutrition Facts
Dairy products are a good source of nutritional calcium, digestible amino acids, and vitamin D. Having milk-based products in our nutrition contributes a great deal to our teeth and bone density, and it supports our overall wellbeing. Let’s see some dairy products’ nutrition facts.
7. A cup of milk contains 8g of protein, regardless of the fat content.
An eight-ounce (0.22 liters) cup of milk is the essential nutritional reference used in milk assessments. Depending on the type of milk, the overall caloric values can significantly change, while the protein content remains the same.
- Whole milk contains about 3.2% of milk fat, making it 8g of fat per cup.
- Reduced-fat milk has around 2% (5g) of milk fat in it.
- Low-fat milk usually has 1% (2.5g) of fat.
- Skimmed milk contains 0% of milk fat.
8. Official dairy milk nutrition facts state that dairy products are among the most naturally nutritious foods in the world.
Nine essential nutrients are abundant in milk and dairy:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
9. Despite not being vegan-friendly, milk is the No. 1 source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D in the US.
Cheese is the second-largest nutritional source of these nutrients in the US. Americans consume two dairy servings per day on average.
10. Milk-based proteins have the highest nutritional value, as postulated by the official dairy facts.
Casein is the dominant (80%) protein in milk. It increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and could interfere with the absorption of iron.
Whey protein (20%) is one of the most digestible in the world and contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in abundance, as reported by dairy fun facts. They are mainly used in fitness for muscle gain and have mood-elevating properties.
11. Whole milk is high in saturated fat.
Generally regarded as unhealthy, saturated fats account for about 70% of milk’s fat composition. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are found in milk by 2.3% and 28%, respectively.
Dairy Consumption Statistics
A 2019 statistic places the US third among the top cow milk consumers globally – behind India and the EU. Here are more dairy consumption-related figures.
12. In 2019, India had the highest cow milk consumption rates in the world.
77.8 million tons of cow milk were consumed in India in 2019, followed by the EU (33.4), the United States (27.8), China (12.8), and Brasil (11.4).
13. According to dairy milk facts, Belarus had the highest milk consumption rates per capita in 2019.
An average person in Belarus consumes approximately 11.09 liters of cow milk annually. Closely following are Ukraine (110.48), Australia (105.76), and New Zealand (105.26).
14. The data on milk consumption in the US reveals that an average person spends $251.97 on dairy products annually.
Globally, the average revenue from milk and cream per capita was $70.01 in 2019.
15. Approximately 45 million tons of fresh dairy products are consumed in the EU annually.
Dairy products statistics show that liquid milk is the most popular product, followed by cheese and other dairy products. The cheese, however, is the product of the highest market value.
16. An average European consumes 3.8 kilograms of butter annually.
In the EU, the French eat the most butter, with an average of 8.2 kilograms per capita annually. Germans eat 6.1 kilograms, while Danish people consume 6.4 kilograms of butter every year.
Dairy Cow Facts
India tops the list of countries with the highest number of dairy cows. Scroll down and view some more interesting facts and stats on dairy cows.
17. A dairy cow eats between 90 and 100 pounds of food daily.
(AgAmerica, The Eagle)
Additionally, a cow can drink up to 35 gallons of water every day. Dairy industry facts state that an average cow is worth about $2000 on the market, and the prices vary depending on the bread and fertility.
18. The average dairy cow produces approximately 6.5 gallons (24.5 liters) of milk per day.
Dairy cattle are specially bred to produce large quantities of milk per day. Dairy production statistics show that an average dairy cow produces about 2,300 gallons (8706 liters) of milk.
19. India has the largest volume of dairy cattle in the world, with an estimated 43,600,000 cows.
India holds 16.5% of the world dairy cow population, followed by Brasil, Sudan, China, and Pakistan. Unlike other countries where cows are also bred for meat, the cows in India are intended for dairy production. India also produces copious amounts of liquid milk. However, it is not the world’s most influential exporter.
20. Diary statistics for 2020 state that Europe recorded the highest milk production in that year.
Statistical reports reveal that in 2020, total cow milk from 28 EU countries reached approximately 157.5 million metric tons.
In the same year, US dairy farmers produced about 101 million metric tones, which earned them a second spot.
Dairy Industry Statistics
Cattles may eat more than half of the total cost of dairy farmers’ investment. There are more figures and facts on the dairy industry worth checking. Let’s take a look at some of them.
21. Cattle feed costs account for 40–60% of milk production.
(Penn State Extension)
Feeding dairy cattle is the highest expenditure in the industry and varies significantly among individual operations. US dairy industry facts state that the average income over feed cost (IOFC) in the US is around $7.
22. In 2018, the total value of milk produced and introduced to the US market was $35.2 billion.
The total value of milk produced is slightly higher. When accounting for the amounts utilized at the place of production and the quantities of milk fed to the calves, the value was estimated at $35.4 billion.
23. Official dairy statistics state that the US has the largest dairy market volume in the world.
The United States has an estimated $85 million worth of dairy products on the market and attracts the most substantial revenue. China has the second biggest dairy market in the world, followed by India, Brazil, and Russia.
24. The dairy market in the EU made $207 billion in revenue in 2019.
The cheese was the most valuable good on the market in 2019, cashing in about $83.75 in revenue.
25. One of the most exciting dairy facts is that Nestlè is the leading company in dairy production worldwide.
Commonly known for its chocolate, coffee, and other food products, this Swiss milk production company had a turnover of $24 billion in 2016.
In the same year, French companies held second place. Namely, two milk giants, Lactalis and Danone, each worth revenue of $18 billion, supply the EU market with a variety of dairy products, from those for the general population to special baby formulas and medicinal nutrition as reported from dairy industry facts and figures.
26. In 2019, the French dairy company – Danone – ranked first in dairy production based on brand value.
In 2019, Danone hit the top spot with an $8.15 billion brand value. Yili, a Chinese dairy company, came second in the same year with a $7.66 billion brand value.
27. Milk and dairy products facts reveal that there’s an increasing demand for milk deliveries in the UK.
The increase in milk deliveries is likely a result of the increasing initiative to replace plastic packaging with environmentally friendly, reusable packaging. The COVID-19 pandemic influenced the rapid growth of the delivery industry, which additionally boosted the demand.
US Dairy Industry Statistics
Here, we offer you some astonishing facts and figures that depict the stature of the US dairy industry.
28. There were approximately 9,4 million dairy cows in the US in 2018.
California is the leading state in the number of dairy cows, with 1.73 million cows counted in 2018, as reported by California dairy statistics for 2018. Wisconsin is the second-largest dairyland, with 1.27 million dairy cattle on its farms. In the same year, the number of dairy farms in the US was about 65 thousand.
29. Milk produced in the US has 3.89% of milk fat on average.
The data on US milk production reveals that the fattest milk is produced in South Dakota, with 4.17% of fat. According to the US dairy farming facts, the leanest milk comes from Hawaii, and it has 3.46% of fat on average.
30. The US dairy industry produced 13 billion pounds of cheese in 2018.
In contrast to 2017, cheese production has inclined for 3%. Wisconsin dairy statistics state that Wisconsin is one of the leaders in dairy farming in the USA and accounts for 26.3% of total cheese manufacturing.
31. There were 553 cheese plants in the US in 2018.
The same number of plants was reported in 2017 and 2016. However, by comparing US dairy production by state, some countries experienced a reduction in the number of dairy plants, while others recorded exactly the same increase. The states in the Central US recorded a decrease in production, while the Atlantic Region experienced a significant incline.
32. California is the official “butter state” of the US.
Golden State is the leader in both butter production and consumption in the US, accounting for 30.6% of total US butter manufacturing. According to the USDA statistics from 2018, the dairy industry in the US produced 1.89 pounds of butter that year.
33. Recent USDA dairy statistics state that, in 2018, California produced 40,4 billion pounds of milk.
Wisconsin holds second place, with 30.5 billion pounds of milk produced, followed by Idaho (15.1 billion) and the state of New York (14.8 billion).
34. In the US, 1.02 billion pounds of milk are utilized at places of production.
Interesting facts about dairy products for 2018 state that 929.0 million pounds of milk were fed to calves, while 89 million pounds were transformed into cream, butter, and skimmed milk.
35. Dairy farmers earn about $2 for each gallon of milk.
This amount ($2) accounts for about 40 to 45% of milk costs at grocery stores. Averagely, dairy products get to grocery stores in less than 48 hours after leaving dairy farms.
World Dairy Production Statistics
India, the US, Australia, and Europe top the list of world dairy producers. Let’s quickly run through other global dietary statistics.
36. Europe accounts for 33% of global cow milk production.
Asia is second with 27%, followed by North America (16%), Central and South America (12%), Africa (5%), and Oceania (4%).
37. US dairy farmers produced 217.5 billion pounds (98.7 billion liters) of milk in 2018.
When extrapolated to the number of cows, one cow produces approximately 23,149 pounds (10,500 liters) of milk each year, which is 19% above the global average.
38. According to the US dairy industry overview, cheese plants produced 13 billion pounds (5.6 million tons) of cheese in 2018.
American-type cheese accounts for 40.3% of all cheese production. Mozzarella is the most popular type of Italian cheese and accounts for 78.3% of the total foreign cheeses.
39. In 2019, Australia produced 8,793,372 liters of milk.
Milk production in Australia significantly surpluses the consumption, as the milk industry recorded sales of about 2,484,100 liters in the same year.
40. The official EU dairy statistics record that Germany had the highest number of dairy cows in the EU in 2018.
Nineteen million tons of milk were produced in the EU in 2018. At that time, there were 4.1 million dairy cows in Germany. France held second place in dairy farming, with the cattle number at 3.55 million.
41. The EU is the largest exporter of milk in the world, with 20.5 million tons of milk exported in 2018.
New Zealand is the second largest exporter (18.75 million tons), according to the official milk statistics, followed by the United States (11.7 million), Belarus (3.8 million), Australia (3.1 million), and Argentina (1.9 million).
42. Australia produced 362,895 tons of cheese in 2019.
53.6% of total cheese produced in Australia was cheddar, while the remaining 46.4% accounted for the non-cheddar variants. In the same year, the Australian dairy industry produced 40,567 tons of butter and 48,385 tons of whey powder.
43. The Netherlands produced about 866 thousand tons of cheese in 2017.
One of the fun facts about dairy products is that cheese could be considered a rare specialty, while the whole milk from which it came cannot. There are 15 types of authentic Holland cheeses on the market today. However, the country is famous for its cheese brands like Edamer and Gauda. France, on the other hand, is respected for its moldy cheeses, and in 2016, this country exported 684,000 tons of these specialties to nearby countries.
44. International dairy product export value was estimated at 54 billion US dollars in 2019.
Dairy export statistics for 2018 recorded less export value, with 52 billion US dollars international dairy trade. The EU is the top cow milk producer worldwide and has also ranked as the leading dairy product exporter.
45. The global dairy market value may hit $1032.7 billion by 2024.
The global dairy market was valued at $673.8 billion in 2019. The indicators forecast that the market will record an exponential growth by 2024, approaching $1032.7 billion.
What are some facts about dairy?
Dairy products are made from mammal milk, such as cows, goats, sheep, and camels. There are hundreds of dairy products on the market, out of which the most popular are cheese, yogurt, powder milk, and cream. Milk is regarded as very nutritious, and it is one of the essential social goods in the world. India consumes the most milk annually, while the US market leads the world in the dairy trade.
Why do we need dairy?
Milk-based products are some of the most nutritious products in the world. Currently, the world population relies on milk consumption for the bodily acquisition of vitamins A and D and calcium. Milk is also abundant in phosphorus, potassium, and usable protein. However, excessive milk consumption might interfere with iron absorption.
What are considered to be dairy products?
Dairy products are the ones produced out of mammal milk, including cows, sheep, goats, camels, and humans. There are varieties of dairy products out there, but the majority is produced out of cow milk, including cheddar cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.
How much money does the dairy industry make?
The global dairy industry is estimated to be worth about $200 billion. In 2018, the US dairy industry produced $35.2 billion worth of milk. The dairy market in the EU made $207 billion in revenue in 2019. Nestle is the largest dairy company in the world.
How much milk is produced in the US each year?
In 2018, the US dairy industry produced 217.5 billion pounds of milk and 13 billion pounds of cheese. There were approximately 9,4 million dairy cows in the US in 2018. California is the leader in butter production, while Wisconsin leads in cheese manufacturing.
Dairy products are among the most essential in the world, primarily because of their nutritious potential. Billions of people worldwide rely on milk daily for obtaining optimal nutrition.
The dairy industry is one of the most lucrative in the world. However, an average farmer does not earn that much per pound of produced milk, since tending to cows consumes a lot of resources.
These dairy statistics have clearly shown us how this industry affects everyday life, the global market, and how delicious and costly dairy products can be.