Facts & Stats

U.S. egg production and consumption continues to rise, as measured by the federal government and industry sources.

U.S. Egg Production and Hen Population

U.S. table egg production totaled 88.4 billion in 2016, up 5 percent from 2015. The U.S. has 319 million commercial laying hens (January 2017), up 7 percent from January 2016. The daily rate of lay averaged 80.5 eggs per 100 layers (January 2017). On average, each laying hen produces 279 eggs per year. The increased productivity of hens – due to improved health and disease prevention, nutrition, genetics, and flock management – is demonstrated in the graph to the right.

U.S. Egg Consumption

Per capita consumption of eggs has increased 10 percent in the past 20 years. Per capita consumption is a measure of total egg production, less exports, divided by the total U.S. population. It does not represent demand.

U.S. Egg Production by State

Egg production is a significant contributor to the economy and employment in several states. The five largest shell egg-producing states are home to one-half of all laying hens in the U.S., and the top 10 states comprise 73% of egg production. Click here for more on the local economic impact of eggs.

Housing Environments of U.S. Laying Hens

The majority of U.S. hens are housed in conventional cage environments, although that is decreasing as some egg producers and retailers, food service providers and food manufacturers transition to cage-free eggs. In 2017, nearly 16% of all hens are in cage-free production, up from 12% in 2016 and 4% in 2010. According to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, approximately 75% of U.S. hens must be in cage-free production by 2026 to meet projected demand.

As of October 2017, organic and cage-free shell egg production accounted for 15.8% (49.3 million hens) of the current table egg layer flock. Of this, 5.0% are organic (15.6 million hens) and 9.7% are non-organic cage-free (30.2 million hens).

Utilization of U.S. Eggs

Of the 246 million cases of eggs produced in 2016, well over half were sold as shell eggs through retail outlets. Nearly one-third of eggs produced were further processed into products for foodservice, manufacturing, retail and export. The vast majority of U.S. egg production is consumed domestically, with only 5.7 million cases of shell eggs exported in 2016.