A Decade of Beef Cow Numbers 2011 to 2020

The national Beef herd currently stands at 950,963 cows, the population has seen a decline for the fourth consecutive year. In the last 4 years, the number of beef cows in Ireland has decreased by some 85,963 cows.​​

Total beef cow numbers for 2020 (as of 30th June) stood at 950,963, falling under the 1 million barrier for the third successive year. This figure declined by 0.9% from 959,800 in 2019. The below table shows the national beef cow population figures for the last 10 years broken down by county. The national beef cow population has seen a decrease of 9.2% in the last decade.

Above we have the latest 2020 cow figures broken down by county. Galway is still leading the way in terms of Beef cow population with a total of 98,574 Beef animals, an decrease of 193 cows from 2019. This figure is over 25,000 higher than the beef cow population in county Mayo which is the second most highly populated county with a figure of 73,214. The third most highly populated county for beef cows is county Clare with a figure of 70,392 beef cows. Clare is followed closely by county Cork with 67,830 beef cows. The least populated county for beef cows is county Dublin with a population of just 3,572 beef cows. The second least populated county is county Louth with a population of 9,620 beef cows. County Carlow completes the bottom 3 counties for beef cow population with a figure of 14,423 beef cows.

The stats above and many more can be viewed anytime on the Statistics page which is located under ‘Publications’ in the dropdown menu.