New Zealand Sheep Myth?

We are commonly lead to believe that the ratio of people to sheep in New Zealand is 1:20, but is this really the case?

Way back in 1982, New Zealand had its peak number of sheep: we’re looking at a whopping 70.3 million in total. At the same time, the population was around 3.2 million. This works out to be 22 sheep per person on average.

This seems to confirm the story, but is that really all there is to it?

Turns out since 1982 the number of sheep went on a steady decline, arriving at an approximate 27 million in early 2017. With population fluctuating to a good 4.7 million (that is about 0.06% of the world population), this spells bad news for those of us who like to joke about that one specific ratio. It’s less than 6 now!

There you have it: only (if only is the correct word) less than 6 sheep per person now.

Catch ewe next time!