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Egg-STAT-ic About Eggs

Posted by Kim Ha, Market and Trade Economics Division, Economic Research Service in Research and Science
Apr 14, 2020
Share of U.S. egg production, top 3 states, 2019 chart
In 2019, the top three egg-producing states, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana, produced a third of U.S. eggs. Photo credit: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Did you know that in 2019, the U.S. produced more than 113 billion eggs? Here are some stats to help you learn more about this agricultural commodity tied to many springtime observances.

Although U.S. egg production is spread across more than 34 states, about 50 percent of production is concentrated in the Midwest, largely due to the availability of low-cost chicken feed. In particular, the top 3 egg producing states – Iowa, Ohio, Indiana – are all located in the Midwest and represented a third of total U.S. egg production last year. In 2019, Iowa, the top egg-producing state, produced more than 17.1 billion eggs and was home to more than 58 million laying hens, while Ohio produced 10.7 billion eggs and had 36 million laying hens.

The vast majority (87 percent) of eggs produced in the United States are unfertilized table eggs. These eggs are produced for consumption and are what you will find sold at the grocery store. Conversely, only 13 percent of eggs are fertilized, or hatching eggs, which are used for producing chickens.

Those fertilized eggs may contain either table egg-type chickens that are bred for laying the unfertilized table eggs or broiler-type chickens that are bred for producing meat. Table egg layers had an average lay rate of about 0.81 eggs per day in 2019, whereas broiler-type layers averaged only 0.61 eggs per day. Since 2010, average table egg lay rates have increased nearly 6 percent, while broiler lay rates have increased 1 percent. In addition to having higher lay rates, table egg-type laying hens are also smaller, averaging 3.46 pounds in 2019, while market-ready broiler-type chickens averaged 6.32 pounds.

No matter how you use eggs, visit the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Poultry & Eggs page for more information.

Category/Topic: Research and Science