Italy leads Europe in per capita pet bird ownership

The ranking of nations by per capita ornamental bird population differs from the gross numbers of pet birds in the country.

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Bird in a cage in Burano, Italy, photo by pillerss,
Bird in a cage in Burano, Italy, photo by pillerss,

In their latest report, the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF) estimated the number of ornamental birds, cats, dogs and other pets in Europe in 2017, not including the Nordic or Baltic countries. While this allows a ranking of pet bird population in these countries by total number, the ranking by per capita bird population differs from the gross numbers of pet birds in each European nation.

Top 10 bird-owning nations in Europe in 2017

The total pet bird population in the European nations studied by FEDIAF reached 49,826,000.

The top countries for bird ownership per capita in 2017 were:

  1. Italy - .22 birds per person
  2. Spain - .12 birds per person
  3. France - .09 birds per person
  4. Greece - .09 birds per person
  5. Germany - .06 birds per person
  6. Portugal - .06 birds per person
  7. Netherlands - .04 birds per person
  8. Poland - .03 birds per person
  9. Russia - .02  birds per person
  10. United Kingdom - .01 birds per person

The per capita population of birds in each nation was estimated by dividing the approximate population of each country in 2018 by the bird population from the FEDIAF report. Human population data was taken from, which elaborated the numbers using United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division figures. Estimated 2017 human population data was not readily available.

Total bird population by European country in 2017

  1. Italy - 12,890,000
  2. France - 5,700,000
  3. Spain - 5,383,000
  4. Germany - 5,300,000
  5. Russia - 3,100,000
  6. Poland - 1,200,000
  7. United Kingdom - 980,000
  8. Greece - 970,000
  9. Portugal - 650,000
  10. Netherlands - 650,000

European pet food industry in 2017

FEDIAF estimated that at least 80 million European households include at least one pet animal.

In 2017, FEDIAF estimated that annual sales of pet food in Europe reached a turnover of EUR20.5 billion and a volume of 8.5 million tons. The pet food industry grew two percent per year over the past three years.

FEDIAF counted 132 companies producing pet food in Europe in 2017. Those companies operated approximately 200 production facilities.

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