From KFC to GFC

by | Dec 6, 2015 | consumption, demography, food

It seems you can’t turn your head these days without having an eye poked out by a fried chicken wing.

In the land of foodie-fashion, Melbourne (Australia), fried chicken is running amok. From the eastern KFC variety (Korean Fried Chicken), to American ‘Southern-style’, our feathered friends seem to be cornering the market. And these are only the latest additions to our growing consumption previously satiated by parmas and charcoal chicken.

However, it seems the chicken proliferation is not a new phenomenon, nor is it limited to Melbourne.

Chickens have long been the most populous farmed animal, and their growth in the 20th century has put them in a league of their own. Over the past 50 years the world chicken population has increased 5-fold. It is currently estimated at 21 billion.

Not all chicken farms are growing equally.
Whilst the United States once dominated chicken production, accounting for as many as 1 in 3 chickens killed in the early 1960s, China and Brazil have quickly caught up. China has in fact overtaken the US since 2012, with over 9 billion chickens roaming at any one time.

Whilst these three countries account for around 40% of all chicken production, many other countries continue to increase their production.

That’s a heck of a lot of KFC, chicken biryani, chicken schnitzels, and chicken suffering.



Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations Statistics Division
World population history