Data from the recently released Statistical Abstract of the U.S. indicates that 2 percent of American families own a horse. This compares with 36 percent of homes with dogs, 32 percent with cats and 5 percent with birds.
Statistics from this book from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that households making over $55,000 a year are more likely to own a dog, cat or horse. Families with a gross income of less than $20,000 are more likely to have a bird. The data also reveals that larger families are more likely to own pets.
Results from the latest economics study of the equine industry conducted by the American Horse Council indicate that 1.9 million people own horses, with a total of 9.2 million horses in the U.S.
Going along with changes in the pet population, fewer veterinary students are interested in working with large animals. In 1980, 17 percent of veterinarians worked mostly or exclusively with large animals. That has dropped over the past 25 years to less than 7 percent.