We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Ratio of People to Sheep in New Zealand?

The ratio of sheep to people in New Zealand is about seven sheep for every one person. The country's human population is about 4.5 million, and there are estimated to be more than 30 million sheep in New Zealand. The country has one of the highest ratios of sheep to people in the world. By comparison, Australia — another country with a high sheep population — has a ratio of less than five sheep per person. The ratio in New Zealand has declined from a high of 22:1 in 1982, because of factors such as drought conditions and a decrease in wool prices that has reduced the incentive to raise sheep.

More about New Zealand:

  • The first sheep in New Zealand were brought to the country by British explorer Captain James Cook in 1773.
  • New Zealand’s sheep population first began to grow quickly during the 1860s because of cheap prices for buying sheep from Australia as a result of droughts. In 1862, for example, the city of Canterbury, New Zealand, received more than 13,000 sheep from Australia.
  • The cattle population in New Zealand increased by about 110% from 1980-2010, while the sheep population dropped by 55%.
Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By anon353722 — On Nov 02, 2013

Why is the sheep population so large?

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.