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All news / Mapped: The countries that eat the most meat

  • 18 May 2016, 09:00

To mark National Vegetarian Week, we're looking beyond UK borders to map the countries around the world that consume the most - and the least - meat. 

It will come as no surprise to discover that the biggest guzzlers of animal flesh are our American cousins. US residents consume, on average, 120.2 kilos of meat each year, according to 2009 figures (the latest comprehensive statistics we were able to obtain) from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That compares with 84.2 kilos scoffed by Britons, 63.5 kilos by its Mexican neighbours, 25.8 kilos by natives of Thailand, and just 4.4 kilos by Indian citizens. 

The 10 countries that eat the most meat

  1. USA
  2. Kuwait
  3. Australia
  4. The Bahamas
  5. Luxembourg
  6. New Zealand
  7. Austria
  8. French Polynesia
  9. Bermuda
  10. Argentina

The tiny Middle Eastern state of Kuwait, surprisingly perhaps, comes second, followed by Australia (no shock there, given all those barbies), The Bahamas and Luxembourg. New Zealand, Austria, French Polynesia, Bermuda and Argentina complete the top 10. 

This man is probably not a vegetarianThis man is probably not a vegetarian

It is interesting to note that several of the most meat-hungry countries are also among the most obese. The US is 12th in that respect, Kuwait 9th, the Bahamas 10th, New Zealand 24th and Australia 26th.

Much of India's population eats little or no meatMuch of India's population eats little or no meat

The most vegetarian country in the world in Bangladesh, where just four kilos of meat are consumed by a typical person in a typical year, followed by India, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Mozambique, Gambia and Malawi. 

The 10 countries that eat the least meat

  1. Bangladesh
  2. India
  3. Burundi
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Rwanda
  6. Sierra Leone
  7. Eritrea
  8. Mozambique
  9. Gambia
  10. Malawi

Those countries for which no data is available appear in grey on the map above.