Which US State Produces The Most Chicken?

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats that appeals to people of all ages. From the youngest eater in the form of a nugget to a more mature eater with coq au vin, chicken is found on menus around the world. A quick search for chicken on AllRecipes provides 6,316 results for everything from Cream of Chicken Breasts to Popcorn Chicken and Chicken Saag to Shoyu Chicken. 

An even bigger number illustrates just how popular chicken is among Americans. According to Vox, people eat 8 billion chickens annually in the United States. The total amount of chickens eaten each year in the world is much larger at 65 billion, according to Today. To satiate this hunger for chicken, there are about 23 billion chickens living on the planet each day. In the United States, the total number of chickens during the year 2020 was 518.3 million, per Statista. The popularity of chicken as a source of protein has only continued to grow, according to the Economist, which reported the amount of chickens being eaten increasing by 70% since 1990. 

Like chicken meat, the consumption of chicken eggs continues to increase in the United States, according to Statista, with each person eating approximately 286.5 eggs in 2020, per Statista. By the end of 2022, the average American was expected to eat 288.1 eggs.

The land of corn and chickens

When it comes to agriculture, Iowa is the land of plenty. Not only does Iowa grow the most corn in the United States, it also leads all 50 states in chicken production, according to Statista. In 2021, the Midwest state was responsible for the production of 60 million chickens, followed by Ohio with 45.8 million and Indiana with 45.6 million. 

Of the chickens being raised in Iowa, about 56 million are used for egg production, also making it the top state for that, per North Central Poultry Association (NCPA). The number of chickens that are being raised for their meat (broiler chickens) in Iowa is also increasing, according to NCPA, citing the accessibility of food for the birds. When compared with the other 49 states for production of meat chickens, Iowa doesn't even break into the top five, per National Chicken Council, with Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi being the top producers. 

As Americans' appetite continues to increase for chicken meat and eggs, Iowa will keep producing. After all, egg production in the state contributes more than $2 billion every year to the economy, per World Atlas