Important Facts about Livestock Census for UPSC

Livestock Census is conducted once in 5 years by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GOI. Its recent edition is the 20th Livestock Census, a report of which was released in October 2019 by the Ministry.

The topic ‘Livestock Census’ is important from the IAS Exam perspective for the aspirants preparing for prelims, mains and its animal husbandry optional subject. Read on to get UPSC relevant facts about Livestock Census.

Aspirants can check the following links to align their preparation for UPSC 2023 examination:

What is the meaning of the Livestock Census?

What is Livestock?

The farm animals are called as Livestock. They are domesticated by the people professing agriculture; and are raised to produce labour and commodities. Also, the term livestock is widely used for the animals that are domesticated by humans for their commercial purposes.

Examples of Livestock

  • Horses
  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Camel, etc.

Livestock Census

The livestock census aims to collect information about all the livestock along with their age, sex composition, etc. The information on the following is also collated through livestock census:

  • Poultry
  • Animal operated agricultural implements and
  • Machinery and fishery statistics

The topic Livestock Census is important for aspirants preparing for Animal Husbandry optional of the UPSC Mains Exam.

20th Livestock Census – Important Points

the 19th Livestock Census was conducted in 2012 and the report was released in 2017. The table below provides important points on 20th Livestock Census which can be used by the candidates in mains answer writing. Also, the facts can be asked in the objective-type UPSC Prelims Exam:

20th Livestock Census
1. Compared to the data of Livestock Census 2012, 20th Livestock Census showed 4.6 percent increase in the total livestock population
2. One percent increase has been noticed in the bovine population.

Bovine Population of 302.79 million includes:

  • Cattle
  • Buffalo
  • Mithun
  • Yak
3. Cattle showed 0.8 percent increase in its population. The total population is 192.49 million

  • An 18 percent increase has been witnessed in the cow population. The total population of cows stands at 145.12 million.
  • Population of exotic or crossbred cattle is 50.42 million (An increase of 26.9 percent in the population)
  • Population of indigenous/non descript cattle declined by the 6 percent
4. Buffaloes’ population increased by 1 percent where the total population of buffaloes in India stands at 108.95 million
5. Six percent increase has been seen in the population of milch animals (in-milk & dry)

Milch Animals – Milk producing animals are called milch animals

6. Sheep population increased by 14.1 percent and goat population increased by 10.1 percent
7. Pigs population declined by 12.03 percent
8. 16.8 percent increase was registered in total number of poultry

  • Backyard Poultry registered an increase of around 46 percent
  • Total commercial poultry saw an increase of 4.5 percent
9. Tablet computers were used to collect data on livestock in the 20th Livestock Census and also a mobile application developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) was used to collect data and disseminate it to the NIC server.
10. 27 crores household were sampled in this survey and data from these were collated by the Department of Animal Husbandry
11. A decline of 6% in the total indigenous cattle population has been observed.

  • India’s indigenous cattle numbers continue to decline, notwithstanding the government’s efforts to promote conservation of desi breeds through the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM).
  • The sharpest fall has been observed in the states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, etc.) with tough cow slaughter laws.

Aspirants can check the following links relevant for their comprehensive preparation of upcoming UPSC Civil Services Exam

Embryo Transfer Technology in Cattle National Livestock Mission Human-Wildlife Conflict: Definition, Causes
IUCN Red List – Objectives, Categories Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) – Functions, Objectives Agricultural Revolutions of India
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) Integrated Processing Development Scheme National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)

Also, Read | Indian Census 2011

Table of the Livestock Comparison – Livestock Census 2012 & 2019

The below table mentions the major outcomes in livestock post 20th livestock census:

20th Livestock Census – Livestock Comparison


Livestock Census 2012

Livestock Census 2019

Total Livestock Population 510.05 million 535.78 million
Total Bovine Population 299.99 million 302.79 million
Total Female Cattle Population 122.9 million 145.12 million
Total Exotic/Crossbred and Indigenous/Non-descript Cattle population  118.57 million 192.53 million
Total Sheep Population 65.06 million 74.26 million
Total Goat Population 135.17 million 148.88 million
Total Pigs Population 10.29 million 9.06 million
Total Horses and Ponies Population 0.62 million 3.4 lakhs
Total Mules Population 0.19 million 84000
Total Camel Population 0.4 million 2.5 lakhs
Total Donkey Population  0.32 million 1.2 lakhs
Total Mithun and Yak Population 0.36 million 5.8 million
Total Poultry Population 729.2 million 851.81 million

20th Livestock Census & States Performance

  • The highest increase in livestock population has been registered by the state of West Bengal – 23 percent increase.
  • Telangana is second in number, where the percentage increase in the livestock population stands at 22.

The table below mentions the state-wise livestock population as per livestock census 2019:

Livestock Census 2019 – States’ Performance


Livestock Population

Uttar Pradesh 67.8 million
Rajasthan 56.8 million
Madhya Pradesh 40.6 million
West Bengal 37.4 million
Bihar 36.5 million
Andhra Pradesh 34 million
Maharashtra 33 million
Telangana 32.6 million
Karnataka 29 million
Gujarat 26.9 million

Livestock Census – Background

Since 1919-20, the livestock census has been periodically conducted. It takes place once every five years. Respective animal husbandry departments of states and union territories conduct the census.

Aim of Livestock Census

  • Any government initiative that works for the development of the livestock, livestock census makes a note to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate such schemes.
  • District-wise with a rural and urban break up is presented in the Livestock Census report.
  • To collect breeds information.

Government to secure the country’s livestock has also come up with the National Livestock Mission, about which candidates can read from the linked article. It is 100 per cent financially assisted by the central government which makes it a central sector scheme.

Use of Livestock Census

The data that is collected under the livestock census is used by the following:

  • Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Veterinary services Departments of Central Government and respective state governments.
  • Department of Fisheries of state governments
  • Agriculturists
  • Traders
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Dairying industry and
  • General public

The table below will briefly mention the Livestock Census essential facts for IAS Exam:

Livestock Census – Quick Facts for UPSC

Livestock Census is conducted by? Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare conducts Livestock Census
Launch Year of Livestock Census The livestock census was first conducted in the year 1919-20
Official Website
What is the latest Livestock Census? 20th Livestock Census is the recent one conducted in the year 2019 and the report was released on October 16, 2019

For mains answer writing practise, candidates can use previous years Agriculture questions of UPSC Mains GS 3 from the linked article. This can complement their preparation for both prelims and mains.

UPSC Preparation:

GS 1 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus GS 2 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus
GS 3 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus GS 4 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus
Difference Between Articles for UPSC Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions of UPSC Mains
Daily News Analysis Current Affairs


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