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Data Visualization and BI Presents: An International Sheep Crisis
19 Aug, 2011 - Lachlan James

We were about to commit a grave error in judgment.

This blog post was originally designed to poke fun at those nations whose people are outnumbered by sheep (it’s a long running joke between Australia and New Zealand in case you were wondering).

Then, we discovered a crisis of international proportions…

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New Zealand: Number of people vs number of sheep (2007)

But first, to confirm the validity of a longstanding joke…


Yes. It’s true. New Zealand do have the world’s greatest sheep to people ratio, with nine sheep for every one human.


Countries with highest proportion of sheep to people (2007)

In fact, New Zealand have the world’s best sheep to people ratio by a long, long way.


Australia comes in a distant second, with four sheep to every person, with Uruguay placing third with a ratio of three to one.


Countries with highest proportion of sheep to people 1961 - 2007

However, the initial figures mask an appalling, disturbing, gargantuan trend.

People of the world; take note. We’re losing our sheep. Fast.


Now; some of you may say that we’ve jumped the gun, that this is merely a comparative decline due to population growth over the last few decades.

But we think the message is clear: Everybody must stop buying lamb, Ugg Boots and seat covers. Now!


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