Vet Basics

How Many Veterinarians Are There?

Today, there are more than 105,000 veterinarians in the United States.1 That might seem like a lot, but it’s less than half of the people who attended a recent Taylor Swift concert in Chicago. Or about the same as the population of Boulder, Colorado. By comparison, there are more than 850,000 human physicians, 2.8 million registered nurses and 1.3 million licensed lawyers in the U.S.  3,4,5 

Click on your state in the map below to see how many veterinarians there are:

In a profession that was once dominated by men, it appears the seesaw is tipping the other way: Currently, 58% of veterinarians are female, while 42% are male. Are there more men or women vets in your state? Click on the interactive map above to find out.

Most veterinarians work in private practice with 65.7% in clinics devoted exclusively to companion animals such as dogs, cats, pet birds and exotic animals. Of those that work in public and corporate positions, 41.6% are employed by colleges or universities, 21% work in industry (such as at animal health companies that make veterinary vaccines, medications or pet foods) and 11.5% work for the federal government.1

The number of veterinarians is expected to continue to grow for several reasons. More and more American households have pets, and pets are now more likely to be considered members of the family. As a result, people expect their pets to have access to the same kind of sophisticated medical care that humans do, such as medical specialists in orthopedics, cancer, nutrition, dermatology and other fields. 

Pets are also living longer, so they need more medical care as they develop chronic diseases common in older pets. Will you be one of the veterinarians to help them in the future?

References

1 American Veterinary Medical Association. Market Research Statistics: U.S. Veterinarians 2015. Available at: https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-veterinarians.aspx. Accessed August 27, 2016.
2 Shepherd, AJ. Distribution of actively employed US veterinarians by state and gender, 2003-2008. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010; 236(4): 420-422.
3 Young A, Chaudhry HJ, Pei X, et al. A census of actively licensed physicians in the United States, 2014. J Med Reg. 2015; 101(2): 8-23.
4 Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. Nursing Workforce: Trends in Supply and Education, 2013. Available at: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/nursingworkforce/nursingworkforcefullreport.pdf. Accessed August 28,2016.
5 American Bar Association. Lawyer Demographics Year 2015. Available at: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/market_research/lawyer-demographics-tables-2015.authcheckdam.pdf. Accessed August 28, 2016.


Written by: Dr. Chris Carpenter
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