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Maps

Vintage Viz: The World’s Rivers and Lakes, Organized Neatly

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Hand colored engraved view of the comparative length of the rivers and size of the lakes in the world. Includes list of rivers and lakes beneath the view.

Vintage Viz: The World’s Rivers and Lakes, Organized Neatly

Rivers and lakes have borne witness to many of humanity’s greatest moments.

In the first century BCE, the Rubicon not only marked the border between the Roman provinces of Gaul and Italia, but also the threshold for civil war. From the shores of Lake Van in 1071, you could witness the Battle of Manzikert and the beginning of the end for the Byzantine Empire.

Rivers carry our trade, our dead, and even our prayers, so when London mapmaker James Reynolds partnered with engraver John Emslie to publish the Panoramic Plan of the Principal Rivers and Lakes in 1850, he could be sure of a warm reception.

The visualization, the latest in our Vintage Viz series, beautifully illustrates 42 principal rivers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, along with 36 lakes across the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Each river has been unraveled and straightened onto an imaginary landscape-–no meandering here—and arranged by size. Major cities are marked by a deep orangy-red.

Top 3 Longest Principal Rivers (in 1850)

According to this visualization, the Mighty Mississippi is among the world’s longest, coming in at 3,650 miles, followed by the Amazon, the Nile, and the Yangtze river in China. The bottom three are the Tay in Scotland (125 miles), the Shannon in Ireland (200 miles), and the Potomac in the U.S. (275 miles).

Surveying methods have come a long way since 1850, and we now have satellites, GPS, and lasers, so we can update these rankings. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Nile (6,650 km / 4,132 miles), the Amazon (6,436 km / 3,998 miles), and the Yangtze (6,300 km / 3,915 miles) are the world’s top three longest rivers.

The table below shows the rivers in the graphic above compared with today’s measurements, as well as the general location of rivers using 1850 location names (including modern day locations in brackets).

RiverTerritoryViz length (miles)Modern length (miles)
MississippiUnited States3,6502,340
AmazonBrazil3,3503,998
NileEgypt and Abyssinia (Ethiopia)3,3254,132
YangtseChina3,3003,915
Hoang-hoChina3,0253,395
ObiSiberia2,8002,268
La PlataLa Plata (Argentina/Uruguay)2,4503,030
VolgaRussia2,2002,193
BurrampootaTibet2,2001,800
GangesHindostan (India)1,9751,569
EuphratesA(siatic) Turkey1,8501,740
DanubeGermany1,8001,770
NigerNigeria1,7502,600
IndusCaubul etc (Afghanistan etc)1,7001,988
McKenzieIndian Territory (Canada)1,6001,080
SenegalSenegambia (Senegal)1,4501,020
DnieperRussia1,3751,367
OronocoGran Colombia (Venezuela)1,3251,700
GambiaSenegambia (The Gambia)1,300740
Bravo del Norta (Rio Grande)Mexico1,1501,900
St. LawrenceCanada1,1251,900
OrangeNamaqualand (Namibia/South Africa)1,1001,367
DwinaRussia1,0001,020
DonRussia9751,198
RhineGermany850766
ElbeGermany750724
VistulaPoland650651
OderPrussia (Germany)625529
ColorandoLa Plato (United States)6001,450
TagueSpain and Portugal575626
SusquehanaUnited States575464
RhoneFrance550505
SeineFrance475485
PoNorth Italy450405
HudsonUnited States425315
EbroSpain400565
SevernEngland350220
DelawareUnited States325301
PotomacUnited States275405
ThamesEngland275215
ShannonIreland200224
TayScotland125117

These figures are a unique look into a time period where humanity’s efforts to quantify the world were still very much a work in progress.

Editor’s note: Some of the rivers and lakes are spelled slightly differently in 1850 than they are today. For example, the map notes today’s Mackenzie River (Canada) as the McKenzie River, and the Yangtze River (China) as the Yangtse.

O Say, Can You Sea?

The largest ‘lake’ in this visualization is the Caspian Sea (118,000 sq. miles), followed by the Black Sea (113,000 sq. miles), and the greatest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior (22,400 sq. miles). While the Caspian Sea is considered a saltwater lake and could reasonably have a place here, the Black Sea—possibly bearing that name because of the color black’s association with “north”—is not a lake by any stretch of the imagination.

And while many of the surface areas reported could also be updated with modern estimates, the story behind Lake Chad (called Ichad in the visualization), the Aral Sea, and the Dead Sea are altogether different. Human development, unsustainable water use, and climate change have led to dramatic drops in water levels.

The Dead Sea in particular had a surface area of 405 sq. miles (1,050 km2) in 1930, but has since dropped to 234 sq. miles (606.1 km2) in 2016.

LakeTerritoryViz surface area (sq. miles)Modern surface area (sq. miles)
Caspian SeaRussia118,000143,000
Black SeaTurkey113,000168,500
SuperiorNorth America22,40031,700
HuronNorth America15,80023,007
MichiganNorth America12,60022,404
Great SlaveNorth America12,00010,500
Aral SeaTartary (Central Eurasia)11,6506,900
IchadAfrica11,600590
AzovRussia8,80014,500
Baikal SeaSiberia8,00012,248
WinnepegNorth America7,2009,416
MaracaiboSouth America6,0005,130
TiticacaSouth America5,4003,030
LadogaRussia5,2006,700
BalkashMongolia5,2007,000
ErieNorth America4,8009,910
OntarioNorth America4,4507,340
Great BearNorth America4,00012,028
OregaRussia3,3003,700
AthabascaNorth America3,2003,030
NicaraguaNorth America2,9053,149
OtehenantekaneNorth America2,5002,500
WenerSweden2,1002,181
WinnepagosNorth America2,0002,070
ZaizanMongolia1,600700
DembiaAbyssinia (Ethiopia)1,3001,418
TontingChina1,2001,090
WetterSweden945738
OreboSweden900186
OuroomiaPersia9001,126
EnareLapland (Finland)8701,040
ConstanceScotland456209
GenevaSwtizerland400224
Dead SeaSyria370605
Lough NeaghIreland80153
Loch LomondScotland2727

You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

Over time, natural and anthropogenic forces cause rivers to change their course, and lakes to shift their banks. If Reynolds and Emslie were alive today to update this visualization, it would likely look quite different, as would one made 100 years from now. But so goes the river of time.

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Agriculture

Mapped: Meat Consumption By Country and Type

By examining meat consumption by country, we uncover regional differences in how much, and what type of meat people around the world prefer.

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A map detailing meat consumption by country, including fish & seafood.

Mapped: Meat Consumption By Country and Type

Meat is always on the menu in many parts of the world, as we can see when we map out meat consumption by country.

How do countries differ in how much, and what type of meat, they eat? In this colorful graphic, our creator theWORLDMAPS highlights the most consumed type of meat in every country in the world, using data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Each color denotes a different category of meat—beef, pork, mutton, poultry, seafood, or other—with annual consumption calculated per capita in kilograms (kg).

Let’s dig in to the data.

Is Fish Considered Meat?

Since meat is normally defined as the flesh of any animal (with the primary components being water, fat, and protein), that includes fish and other seafood.

But whether fish is considered “meat” or not depends a lot on cultural practices and dietary preferences, and has varied throughout history. Some earlier definitions of meat focused only on mammals, for example.

In Christianity for example, many denominations allow eating fish on fasting days when abstaining from meat. This was both due to distinctions between meat from warm-blooded land animals and cold-blooded animals (like fish), as well as the importance of fish consumption in parts of Europe where Christianity flourished.

To account for both sides of the debate, we’ll cover meat consumption by country both with and without fish and seafood.

The Most Consumed Meat by Country (Including Seafood)

Just by glancing at the map and the below table, poultry stands out as the most popular meat by weight consumption in 70 countries, or about 40% of the entire database.

Note: Other meat includes less frequently farmed animals like rabbit, horse, and camel, as well as game—meat from wild animals.

CountryMost Consumed Meat
🇦🇫 AfghanistanMutton & Goat
🇦🇱 AlbaniaPoultry
🇩🇿 AlgeriaMutton & Goat
🇦🇴 AngolaFish & Seafood
🇦🇬 Antigua & BarbudaPoultry
🇦🇷 ArgentinaBovine
🇦🇲 ArmeniaBovine
🇦🇺 AustraliaPoultry
🇦🇹 AustriaPork
🇦🇿 AzerbaijanPoultry
🇧🇸 BahamasPoultry
🇧🇭 BahrainPoultry
🇧🇩 BangladeshFish & Seafood
🇧🇧 BarbadosPoultry
🇧🇾 BelarusPork
🇧🇪 BelgiumPork
🇧🇿 BelizePoultry
🇧🇯 BeninFish & Seafood
🇧🇹 BhutanBovine
🇧🇴 BoliviaPoultry
🇧🇦 Bosnia & HerzegovinaPoultry
🇧🇼 BotswanaOther
🇧🇷 BrazilPoultry
🇧🇬 BulgariaPork
🇧🇫 Burkina FasoPork
🇧🇮 BurundiFish & Seafood
🇨🇻 Cabo VerdePoultry
🇰🇭 CambodiaFish & Seafood
🇨🇲 CameroonFish & Seafood
🇨🇦 CanadaPoultry
🇨🇫 Central African RepublicBovine
🇹🇩 ChadBovine
🇨🇱 ChilePoultry
🇨🇳 ChinaFish & Seafood
🇨🇴 ColombiaPoultry
🇰🇲 ComorosPoultry
🇨🇬 CongoFish & Seafood
🇨🇷 Costa RicaPoultry
🇨🇮 Côte d’IvoireFish & Seafood
🇭🇷 CroatiaPork
🇨🇺 CubaPoultry
🇨🇾 CyprusPork
🇨🇿 CzechiaPork
🇩🇰 DenmarkFish & Seafood
🇩🇯 DjiboutiBovine
🇩🇲 DominicaPoultry
🇩🇴 Dominican RepublicPoultry
🇨🇩 DR CongoFish & Seafood
🇪🇨 EcuadorPoultry
🇪🇬 EgyptFish & Seafood
🇸🇻 El SalvadorPoultry
🇪🇪 EstoniaPork
🇸🇿 EswatiniBovine
🇪🇹 EthiopiaBovine
🇫🇯 FijiPoultry
🇫🇮 FinlandFish & Seafood
🇫🇷 FranceFish & Seafood
🇵🇫 French PolynesiaPoultry
🇬🇦 GabonPoultry
🇬🇲 GambiaFish & Seafood
🇬🇪 GeorgiaPoultry
🇩🇪 GermanyPork
🇬🇭 GhanaFish & Seafood
🇬🇷 GreecePoultry
🇬🇩 GrenadaPoultry
🇬🇹 GuatemalaPoultry
🇬🇳 GuineaFish & Seafood
🇬🇼 Guinea-BissauPork
🇬🇾 GuyanaPoultry
🇭🇹 HaitiPoultry
🇭🇳 HondurasPoultry
🇭🇰 Hong KongFish & Seafood
🇭🇺 HungaryPork
🇮🇸 IcelandFish & Seafood
🇮🇳 IndiaFish & Seafood
🇮🇩 IndonesiaFish & Seafood
🇮🇷 IranPoultry
🇮🇶 IraqPoultry
🇮🇪 IrelandPork
🇮🇱 IsraelPoultry
🇮🇹 ItalyPork
🇯🇲 JamaicaPoultry
🇯🇵 JapanFish & Seafood
🇯🇴 JordanPoultry
🇰🇿 KazakhstanBovine
🇰🇪 KenyaBovine
🇰🇮 KiribatiFish & Seafood
🇰🇼 KuwaitPoultry
🇰🇬 KyrgyzstanBovine
🇱🇦 LaosFish & Seafood
🇱🇻 LatviaPork
🇱🇧 LebanonPoultry
🇱🇸 LesothoPork
🇱🇷 LiberiaPoultry
🇱🇾 LibyaPoultry
🇱🇹 LithuaniaPork
🇱🇺 LuxembourgPork
🇲🇴 MacaoFish & Seafood
🇲🇬 MadagascarFish & Seafood
🇲🇼 MalawiPork
🇲🇾 MalaysiaFish & Seafood
🇲🇻 MaldivesFish & Seafood
🇲🇱 MaliFish & Seafood
🇲🇹 MaltaBovine
🇲🇷 MauritaniaMutton & Goat
🇲🇺 MauritiusPoultry
🇲🇽 MexicoPoultry
🇫🇲 MicronesiaFish & Seafood
🇲🇩 MoldovaPork
🇲🇳 MongoliaMutton & Goat
🇲🇪 MontenegroPork
🇲🇦 MoroccoPoultry
🇲🇿 MozambiqueFish & Seafood
🇲🇲 MyanmarFish & Seafood
🇳🇦 NamibiaFish & Seafood
🇳🇷 NauruFish & Seafood
🇳🇵 NepalBovine
🇳🇱 NetherlandsPork
🇳🇨 New CaledoniaPoultry
🇳🇿 New ZealandFish & Seafood
🇳🇮 NicaraguaPoultry
🇳🇪 NigerBovine
🇳🇬 NigeriaFish & Seafood
🇰🇵 North KoreaFish & Seafood
🇲🇰 North MacedoniaPoultry
🇳🇴 NorwayFish & Seafood
🇴🇲 OmanFish & Seafood
🇵🇰 PakistanBovine
🇵🇦 PanamaPoultry
🇵🇬 Papua New GuineaOther
🇵🇾 ParaguayBovine
🇵🇪 PeruPoultry
🇵🇭 PhilippinesFish & Seafood
🇵🇱 PolandPork
🇵🇹 PortugalFish & Seafood
🇶🇦 QatarPoultry
🇷🇴 RomaniaPork
🇷🇺 RussiaPoultry
🇷🇼 RwandaFish & Seafood
🇰🇳 Saint Kitts & NevisPoultry
🇱🇨 Saint LuciaPoultry
🇻🇨 Saint Vincent & the GrenadinesPoultry
🇼🇸 SamoaPoultry
🇸🇹 Sao Tome & PrincipeFish & Seafood
🇸🇦 Saudi ArabiaPoultry
🇸🇳 SenegalFish & Seafood
🇷🇸 SerbiaPork
🇸🇨 SeychellesFish & Seafood
🇸🇱 Sierra LeoneFish & Seafood
🇸🇰 SlovakiaPork
🇸🇮 SloveniaPoultry
🇸🇧 Solomon IslandsFish & Seafood
🇿🇦 South AfricaPoultry
🇰🇷 South KoreaFish & Seafood
🇸🇸 South SudanBovine
🇪🇸 SpainPork
🇱🇰 Sri LankaFish & Seafood
🇸🇩 SudanBovine
🇸🇷 SurinamePoultry
🇸🇪 SwedenFish & Seafood
🇨🇭 SwitzerlandPork
🇸🇾 SyriaMutton & Goat
🇹🇼 TaiwanPoultry
🇹🇯 TajikistanBovine
🇹🇿 TanzaniaBovine
🇹🇭 ThailandFish & Seafood
🇹🇱 Timor-LestePork
🇹🇬 TogoFish & Seafood
🇹🇹 Trinidad & TobagoPoultry
🇹🇳 TunisiaPoultry
🇹🇷 TürkiyePoultry
🇹🇲 TurkmenistanBovine
🇺🇸 U.S.Poultry
🇦🇪 UAEPoultry
🇺🇬 UgandaFish & Seafood
🇬🇧 UKPoultry
🇺🇦 UkrainePoultry
🇺🇾 UruguayPoultry
🇺🇿 UzbekistanBovine
🇻🇺 VanuatuFish & Seafood
🇻🇪 VenezuelaPoultry
🇻🇳 VietnamFish & Seafood
🇾🇪 YemenPoultry
🇿🇲 ZambiaFish & Seafood
🇿🇼 ZimbabweBovine

Fish & Seafood ranks as the second most popularly consumed meat in 56 countries, most of them with significant coastlines.

Here’s a breakdown of how much of each type of meat is eaten per capita in each country, measured in kilograms.

CountryPoultryPork Fish &
Seafood
Bovine Mutton
& Other
🇦🇫 Afghanistan1.70.00.43.24.3
🇦🇱 Albania13.95.38.711.78.3
🇩🇿 Algeria6.40.03.83.88.4
🇦🇴 Angola8.47.014.13.41.1
🇦🇬 Antigua &
Barbuda
61.814.354.15.01.0
🇦🇷 Argentina46.214.46.846.92.6
🇦🇲 Armenia15.38.15.523.93.6
🇦🇺 Australia48.724.224.137.011.5
🇦🇹 Austria15.745.014.314.91.4
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan14.40.62.013.58.4
🇧🇸 Bahamas54.423.824.25.21.7
🇧🇭 Bahrain44.00.816.313.722.2
🇧🇩 Bangladesh1.60.026.71.31.4
🇧🇧 Barbados49.312.342.98.03.4
🇧🇾 Belarus32.239.211.818.60.4
🇧🇪 Belgium12.432.822.714.02.6
🇧🇿 Belize23.820.813.33.60.3
🇧🇯 Benin8.70.716.23.61.5
🇧🇹 Bhutan4.61.97.39.30.3
🇧🇴 Bolivia40.99.72.821.64.9
🇧🇦 Bosnia &
Herzegovina
20.09.37.312.80.6
🇧🇼 Botswana3.50.52.610.214.3
🇧🇷 Brazil48.414.28.135.41.2
🇧🇬 Bulgaria21.530.07.43.52.0
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso9.515.28.95.34.3
🇧🇮 Burundi0.60.92.60.90.8
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde19.47.310.81.71.9
🇰🇭 Cambodia2.85.945.84.20.0
🇨🇲 Cameroon3.31.219.13.14.0
🇨🇦 Canada40.121.420.727.51.6
🇨🇫 Central African
Republic
2.64.17.420.810.4
🇹🇩 Chad0.50.26.627.518.7
🇨🇱 Chile36.122.114.823.71.3
🇨🇳 China15.635.539.96.84.2
🇨🇴 Colombia33.810.58.913.70.1
🇰🇲 Comoros26.80.114.33.01.2
🇨🇬 Congo23.26.824.51.98.1
🇨🇷 Costa Rica34.312.718.011.40.0
🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire2.91.023.21.46.5
🇭🇷 Croatia16.649.619.111.22.1
🇨🇺 Cuba37.721.66.17.44.9
🇨🇾 Cyprus28.436.825.55.94.6
🇨🇿 Czechia23.544.510.510.20.9
🇩🇰 Denmark24.613.526.524.31.3
🇩🇯 Djibouti3.60.13.56.25.4
🇩🇲 Dominica39.411.427.98.11.1
🇩🇴 Dominican
Republic
32.29.98.56.30.2
🇨🇩 DR Congo1.30.54.20.31.2
🇪🇨 Ecuador18.912.98.213.30.4
🇪🇬 Egypt14.30.027.17.41.5
🇸🇻 El Salvador25.94.76.58.20.0
🇪🇪 Estonia21.137.714.78.50.5
🇸🇿 Eswatini7.32.04.316.12.0
🇪🇹 Ethiopia0.60.00.53.83.5
🇫🇯 Fiji28.83.726.53.15.3
🇫🇮 Finland21.130.833.518.41.1
🇫🇷 France23.031.033.220.83.5
🇵🇫 French
Polynesia
48.814.347.321.43.7
🇬🇦 Gabon39.78.328.74.714.3
🇬🇲 Gambia10.60.325.23.41.1
🇬🇪 Georgia18.29.310.05.81.8
🇩🇪 Germany18.344.012.614.61.8
🇬🇭 Ghana11.61.224.91.64.2
🇬🇷 Greece25.625.021.714.59.4
🇬🇩 Grenada37.414.633.84.11.4
🇬🇹 Guatemala28.73.63.011.70.3
🇬🇳 Guinea2.70.29.78.22.8
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau3.17.21.23.71.3
🇬🇾 Guyana41.45.025.04.21.2
🇭🇹 Haiti10.94.05.04.20.9
🇭🇳 Honduras21.65.02.66.00.1
🇭🇰 Hong Kong55.555.265.822.53.0
🇭🇺 Hungary29.848.36.44.60.3
🇮🇸 Iceland30.021.890.614.024.4
🇮🇳 India2.60.28.01.10.6
🇮🇩 Indonesia13.70.944.42.80.5
🇮🇷 Iran26.00.012.67.64.5
🇮🇶 Iraq5.40.03.63.11.7
🇮🇪 Ireland24.731.122.619.83.6
🇮🇱 Israel68.91.624.727.21.7
🇮🇹 Italy19.632.929.215.91.8
🇯🇲 Jamaica53.93.125.23.80.7
🇯🇵 Japan22.321.346.29.60.3
🇯🇴 Jordan26.10.05.16.84.8
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan21.28.22.826.615.9
🇰🇪 Kenya1.30.42.94.54.5
🇰🇮 Kiribati26.610.373.21.90.3
🇰🇼 Kuwait46.60.014.09.416.7
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan5.22.11.114.910.0
🇱🇦 Laos6.613.524.18.40.5
🇱🇻 Latvia26.238.425.05.30.8
🇱🇧 Lebanon18.60.68.79.21.1
🇱🇸 Lesotho2.13.83.02.03.9
🇱🇷 Liberia11.35.34.30.42.1
🇱🇾 Libya32.80.014.32.96.5
🇱🇹 Lithuania33.350.733.15.91.1
🇱🇺 Luxembourg18.133.131.725.72.0
🇲🇴 Macao45.646.973.29.41.8
🇲🇬 Madagascar3.11.04.01.30.5
🇲🇼 Malawi5.711.810.12.93.1
🇲🇾 Malaysia50.27.454.76.01.0
🇲🇻 Maldives11.00.483.15.90.8
🇲🇱 Mali2.40.18.53.62.6
🇲🇹 Malta25.225.822.826.41.8
🇲🇷 Mauritania6.30.08.46.418.4
🇲🇺 Mauritius38.73.224.04.54.2
🇲🇽 Mexico35.919.113.614.61.5
🇫🇲 Micronesia38.216.247.44.90.2
🇲🇩 Moldova17.219.211.71.90.3
🇲🇳 Mongolia3.00.60.626.681.4
🇲🇪 Montenegro17.143.215.615.02.1
🇲🇦 Morocco24.00.018.47.76.9
🇲🇿 Mozambique3.83.113.40.60.1
🇲🇲 Myanmar29.920.145.09.31.7
🇳🇦 Namibia10.24.511.98.88.9
🇳🇷 Nauru51.028.251.019.16.9
🇳🇵 Nepal2.31.03.58.22.7
🇳🇱 Netherlands10.027.721.916.25.2
🇳🇨 New
Caledonia
40.917.423.417.72.3
🇳🇿 New Zealand26.025.226.418.615.3
🇳🇮 Nicaragua21.85.36.62.20.4
🇳🇪 Niger1.00.11.82.84.4
🇳🇬 Nigeria1.21.56.71.62.8
🇰🇵 North Korea1.84.311.00.86.7
🇲🇰 North
Macedonia
20.012.66.26.80.9
🇳🇴 Norway20.023.750.217.85.8
🇴🇲 Oman19.70.426.19.014.3
🇵🇰 Pakistan6.20.01.69.82.6
🇵🇦 Panama55.415.913.714.51.0
🇵🇬 Papua
New Guinea
3.99.914.60.847.8
🇵🇾 Paraguay9.68.84.021.90.6
🇵🇪 Peru42.74.527.14.21.9
🇵🇭 Philippines15.914.529.13.10.3
🇵🇱 Poland32.955.012.51.50.1
🇵🇹 Portugal30.638.160.018.82.8
🇶🇦 Qatar54.31.221.18.412.1
🇷🇴 Romania23.934.58.35.22.7
🇷🇺 Russia30.828.221.712.95.1
🇷🇼 Rwanda1.51.04.62.73.2
🇰🇳 Saint Kitts
& Nevis
48.715.538.82.92.5
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia57.614.933.63.82.0
🇻🇨 Saint Vincent
& the Grenadines
74.711.319.47.80.7
🇼🇸 Samoa65.712.347.66.93.5
🇸🇹 Sao Tome
& Principe
17.14.727.71.70.1
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia43.00.011.74.47.7
🇸🇳 Senegal7.41.211.95.03.7
🇷🇸 Serbia14.137.36.76.14.1
🇸🇨 Seychelles36.913.756.89.22.7
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone5.41.025.51.31.9
🇸🇰 Slovakia16.938.810.25.80.9
🇸🇮 Slovenia30.425.813.215.31.1
🇸🇧 Solomon
Islands
6.14.428.11.80.1
🇿🇦 South Africa34.94.26.517.23.5
🇰🇷 South Korea22.838.455.316.90.5
🇸🇸 South Sudan4.30.02.912.44.3
🇪🇸 Spain33.652.640.812.33.4
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka10.40.129.01.20.1
🇸🇩 Sudan1.90.01.18.010.5
🇸🇷 Suriname49.68.016.54.40.3
🇸🇪 Sweden15.428.632.222.51.5
🇨🇭 Switzerland16.927.816.019.12.4
🇸🇾 Syria6.40.02.22.27.3
🇹🇼 Taiwan41.638.429.86.10.9
🇹🇯 Tajikistan3.50.10.725.87.8
🇹🇿 Tanzania1.50.36.47.81.6
🇹🇭 Thailand11.413.129.21.20.0
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste9.411.56.41.60.4
🇹🇬 Togo7.22.311.70.82.2
🇹🇹 Trinidad
& Tobago
63.15.623.65.71.5
🇹🇳 Tunisia17.90.014.13.75.8
🇹🇷 Türkiye20.00.05.516.01.3
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan6.10.12.822.520.8
🇺🇸 U.S.58.730.622.837.91.4
🇦🇪 UAE31.10.025.46.710.4
🇺🇬 Uganda1.52.914.33.61.0
🇬🇧 UK32.724.017.917.45.0
🇺🇦 Ukraine24.916.713.87.20.7
🇺🇾 Uruguay21.014.19.119.43.5
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan3.10.24.031.66.1
🇻🇺 Vanuatu14.612.429.07.20.3
🇻🇪 Venezuela16.14.410.212.00.3
🇻🇳 Vietnam15.838.239.66.10.5
🇾🇪 Yemen11.20.03.03.04.5
🇿🇲 Zambia2.61.513.19.32.7
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe4.60.73.042.34.3

The world’s largest consumers of meat per capita? Hong Kong, Iceland, and Macao have the highest total meat consumption, all above 170 kg (370 lbs) per capita.

We take a brief look through the biggest consumers of each type of meat below.

Who Eats the Most Poultry?

While the U.S. and China eat the most chicken by absolute numbers, the countries rank 7th and 112th respectively when it comes to poultry consumption on a per capita basis.

Several island nations—St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Samoa—along with Israel eat more than 60 kilograms of poultry meat (about 15 large birds) per person on an annual basis.

Regionally, poultry consumption can be seen spanning almost all of the Americas, as well as in the UK and former British colonies Australia and South Africa, and in the Middle East.

Who Eats the Most Pork?

Despite eating more seafood and poultry, Hong Kong leads the world in pork consumption per capita annually at 55 kg (121 lbs). This is almost equivalent to the average amount of retail pork harvested from a single 250 lb pig.

Poland and Spain—who are also top pork producers—rank close behind Hong Kong with similar pork consumption numbers. Indeed, we can see pork as the most consumed meat in many European countries with local histories of pork foods, as well as in a few countries in Africa including Burkina Faso and one Southeast Asian country, Timor-Leste.

Who Eats the Most Fish and Seafood?

In the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, Iceland eats the most fish and seafood in the world, at a staggering 90 kg (nearly 200 lbs), per person per year. That also gives Iceland the crown for the highest per-capita consumption of any single type of meat.

Behind Iceland are other island and high coastline nations, including the Maldives, Hong Kong, Macao, and Portugal. Regionally we can see the importance of seafood reflected in East and South Asia, the Atlantic coastline of Africa, and the Nordic countries in Europe.

Who Eats the Most Beef?

Argentina’s 46-million-strong population eats nearly 47 kg (103 lbs) of bovine meat per person per year, the most by any country in the UN’s database.

The South American country has a rich culinary history with beef, as cattle brought by Spanish settlers flourished on the grassy plains of the region. Such is cattle’s importance on the continent that the gaucho—a horseman engaged in cattle work—is a folk symbol in Argentina, Uruguay and parts of Brazil (which ranks 5th in beef consumption).

The map of beef consumption highlights Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan and Eastern African countries including Ethiopia.

Who Eats the Most Mutton & Other Meat?

The people of Mongolia are unrivaled in their consumption of mutton and goat meat, devouring an impressive 66 kilograms (145 pounds) per capita annually. This voracious appetite for meat is deeply rooted in their heritage as a nation of skilled shepherds.

Papua New Guinea, meanwhile, tops the “other meat” consumption rankings. The country is the largest producer of game meat in the world, due to its mostly rural and indigenous population relying on hunting. One 2023 study found that a sample of villages in the country primarily hunted wild deer and boar for meat, although marsupials like bandicoots, tree-kangaroos, and cuscus were occasionally hunted and consumed as well.

Mongolia also ranks highly in consumption of other meat per capita, likely due to their traditional consumption of horse meat. The country produced just over 100,000 tons of horse meat in 2020, one-sixth of the country’s total meat production that year.

Mapping Meat Consumption By Country, Without Seafood

What happens to each country’s meat consumption habits if we remove fish and seafood from the dataset? The map, and the rankings change quite a bit.

A map detailing meat consumption by country, but excluding fish & seafood.

Most of the blue on the map is replaced with a wash of yellow, indicating the global popularity of poultry meat as a cheap and efficient source of protein. However, much of East Asia including China and European countries like France and Sweden consume more pork.

The rankings for total meat consumption also shuffle.

CountryTotal (With Seafood)Total (Without Seafood)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan9.69.3
🇦🇱 Albania47.839.1
🇩🇿 Algeria22.418.6
🇦🇴 Angola34.119.9
🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda136.282.1
🇦🇷 Argentina116.9110.2
🇦🇲 Armenia56.450.9
🇦🇺 Australia145.6121.5
🇦🇹 Austria91.276.9
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan38.936.9
🇧🇸 Bahamas109.385.1
🇧🇭 Bahrain96.980.6
🇧🇩 Bangladesh31.14.3
🇧🇧 Barbados115.873.0
🇧🇾 Belarus102.290.4
🇧🇪 Belgium84.561.9
🇧🇿 Belize61.848.5
🇧🇯 Benin30.814.6
🇧🇹 Bhutan23.416.1
🇧🇴 Bolivia79.977.1
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina50.142.8
🇧🇼 Botswana31.128.6
🇧🇷 Brazil107.299.2
🇧🇬 Bulgaria64.356.9
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso43.234.3
🇧🇮 Burundi5.73.1
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde41.230.4
🇰🇭 Cambodia58.612.9
🇨🇲 Cameroon30.811.6
🇨🇦 Canada111.390.6
🇨🇫 Central African Republic45.137.8
🇹🇩 Chad53.546.9
🇨🇱 Chile97.883.0
🇨🇳 China102.062.1
🇨🇴 Colombia67.058.1
🇰🇲 Comoros45.531.2
🇨🇬 Congo64.540.0
🇨🇷 Costa Rica76.458.5
🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire35.011.8
🇭🇷 Croatia98.679.5
🇨🇺 Cuba77.671.6
🇨🇾 Cyprus101.175.6
🇨🇿 Czechia89.679.2
🇩🇰 Denmark90.163.7
🇩🇯 Djibouti18.915.4
🇩🇲 Dominica87.960.1
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic57.148.6
🇨🇩 DR Congo7.43.3
🇪🇨 Ecuador53.645.4
🇪🇬 Egypt50.323.3
🇸🇻 El Salvador45.438.8
🇪🇪 Estonia82.467.8
🇸🇿 Eswatini31.727.4
🇪🇹 Ethiopia8.47.9
🇫🇯 Fiji67.440.9
🇫🇮 Finland104.871.4
🇫🇷 France111.578.2
🇵🇫 French Polynesia135.488.2
🇬🇦 Gabon95.767.0
🇬🇲 Gambia40.615.5
🇬🇪 Georgia45.135.1
🇩🇪 Germany91.478.8
🇬🇭 Ghana43.518.5
🇬🇷 Greece96.274.5
🇬🇩 Grenada91.357.5
🇬🇹 Guatemala47.244.2
🇬🇳 Guinea23.613.9
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau16.515.3
🇬🇾 Guyana76.851.8
🇭🇹 Haiti25.020.0
🇭🇳 Honduras35.432.8
🇭🇰 Hong Kong202.1136.3
🇭🇺 Hungary89.382.9
🇮🇸 Iceland180.990.2
🇮🇳 India12.64.6
🇮🇩 Indonesia62.317.9
🇮🇷 Iran50.638.0
🇮🇶 Iraq13.810.2
🇮🇪 Ireland101.879.2
🇮🇱 Israel124.199.4
🇮🇹 Italy99.470.2
🇯🇲 Jamaica86.761.5
🇯🇵 Japan99.653.4
🇯🇴 Jordan42.837.7
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan74.771.9
🇰🇪 Kenya13.610.7
🇰🇮 Kiribati112.439.2
🇰🇼 Kuwait86.672.7
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan33.232.1
🇱🇦 Laos53.129.0
🇱🇻 Latvia95.870.8
🇱🇧 Lebanon38.229.5
🇱🇸 Lesotho14.711.7
🇱🇷 Liberia23.419.1
🇱🇾 Libya56.542.2
🇱🇹 Lithuania123.990.9
🇱🇺 Luxembourg110.678.9
🇲🇴 Macao176.9103.7
🇲🇬 Madagascar9.85.8
🇲🇼 Malawi33.723.6
🇲🇾 Malaysia119.464.7
🇲🇻 Maldives101.218.1
🇲🇱 Mali17.18.6
🇲🇹 Malta102.079.1
🇲🇷 Mauritania39.531.1
🇲🇺 Mauritius74.550.5
🇲🇽 Mexico84.771.1
🇫🇲 Micronesia106.759.4
🇲🇩 Moldova50.338.6
🇲🇳 Mongolia112.1111.6
🇲🇪 Montenegro93.077.4
🇲🇦 Morocco57.038.6
🇲🇿 Mozambique21.07.6
🇲🇲 Myanmar106.061.0
🇳🇦 Namibia44.332.4
🇳🇷 Nauru156.2105.1
🇳🇵 Nepal17.714.2
🇳🇱 Netherlands81.059.1
🇳🇨 New Caledonia101.778.3
🇳🇿 New Zealand111.485.0
🇳🇮 Nicaragua36.329.6
🇳🇪 Niger10.18.3
🇳🇬 Nigeria13.87.0
🇰🇵 North Korea24.613.6
🇲🇰 North Macedonia46.640.3
🇳🇴 Norway117.467.2
🇴🇲 Oman69.543.4
🇵🇰 Pakistan20.218.6
🇵🇦 Panama100.586.8
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea77.062.4
🇵🇾 Paraguay44.940.9
🇵🇪 Peru80.553.4
🇵🇭 Philippines62.833.7
🇵🇱 Poland102.089.5
🇵🇹 Portugal150.290.2
🇶🇦 Qatar96.975.9
🇷🇴 Romania74.766.4
🇷🇺 Russia98.676.9
🇷🇼 Rwanda12.98.4
🇰🇳 Saint Kitts & Nevis108.569.7
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia111.978.3
🇻🇨 Saint Vincent & the Grenadines113.894.4
🇼🇸 Samoa135.988.3
🇸🇹 Sao Tome & Principe51.323.6
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia66.855.0
🇸🇳 Senegal29.117.2
🇷🇸 Serbia68.361.6
🇸🇨 Seychelles119.262.5
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone35.09.5
🇸🇰 Slovakia72.762.5
🇸🇮 Slovenia85.772.5
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands40.512.4
🇿🇦 South Africa66.259.8
🇰🇷 South Korea133.878.5
🇸🇸 South Sudan23.921.0
🇪🇸 Spain142.7101.9
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka40.811.8
🇸🇩 Sudan21.520.3
🇸🇷 Suriname78.862.3
🇸🇪 Sweden100.268.0
🇨🇭 Switzerland82.266.2
🇸🇾 Syria18.015.8
🇹🇼 Taiwan116.787.0
🇹🇯 Tajikistan37.937.2
🇹🇿 Tanzania17.611.2
🇹🇭 Thailand54.925.8
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste29.322.9
🇹🇬 Togo24.212.5
🇹🇹 Trinidad & Tobago99.575.9
🇹🇳 Tunisia41.427.3
🇹🇷 Türkiye42.837.3
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan52.249.4
🇺🇸 U.S.151.4128.6
🇦🇪 UAE73.648.2
🇺🇬 Uganda23.39.0
🇬🇧 UK97.079.1
🇺🇦 Ukraine63.349.5
🇺🇾 Uruguay67.358.1
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan45.041.0
🇻🇺 Vanuatu63.534.5
🇻🇪 Venezuela43.132.9
🇻🇳 Vietnam100.260.6
🇾🇪 Yemen21.718.7
🇿🇲 Zambia29.316.2
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe54.951.9

Hong Kong remains at the top, but the U.S. jumps up three spots to second place, with annual per capita meat consumption at 128 kg (282 lbs) when seafood isn’t included.

Iceland and Macao drop to the top 15, while Australia, Mongolia, and Argentina climb into the top five. Other countries that preferred seafood dropped a lot lower, such as Japan, which fell 40 spots in the total consumption rankings when fish was removed.

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