Economic Impact of the United States Horse Industry*


As a large, economically diverse industry, the United States horse industry contributes significantly to the American economy. The following statistics are from the American Horse Council Foundation’s 2017 National Economic Impact Study.

The horse industry contributes approximately $50 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy, and has a direct employment impact of 988,394 jobs. Additionally, the industry itself contributes $38 billion in direct wages, salaries, and benefits

From those direct effects, the horse industry’s contribution ripples out into other sectors of the economy. Adding these ripple effects results in an estimate of the total contribution of the horse industry to the U.S. economy of $122 billion, and a total employment impact of 1.7 million jobs.

Some key industry statistics and economic indicators:

Estimated number of horses in the U.S.

7.2 million

Estimated number of horses by activity

Recreation- 3,141,449

Showing- 1,227,986

Racing- 1,224,482

Working- 537,261

Estimated number of horses in each of the 50 states

#1- Texas, approximately 767,100 horses

#2- California, approximately 534,500 horses

#3- Florida, approximately 387,100 horses

Land Use by the Equine Industry

32 million acres of land owned

49 million acres of land leased for horse-related uses

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*Please note, the following statistics may be used for informational purposes only, and credit must be given to the American Horse Council Foundation for use in articles online or in print. If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at