There are a lot of pets in the US. The other day a commenter on another blog said that they thought the rate of pet ownership was going up. So I decided to research that and quickly found some data on the Census bureau. I found a document with figures for 1981 to 1996 and newer documents with the 2001 numbers and with more recent year 2006 numbers.
The census data shows dogs, cats, horses and birds separately. It doesn't discuss what % of homes own any pet. The range must be between 40% and 70% based on how many of the dog an cat owning homes overlap. Its hard to know how much overlap there is between homes with dogs and cats or other pets. I'd bet that there is a fair amount of overlap between the figures as there are a lot of homes that have both a cat and a dog. But there are also a lot of homes that have only one or the other. I am guessing that something around 50-60% of homes have a pet of some sort. I'm going to show the data for dog and cat ownership below. The % of homes with birds and horses is around 4% and 2% respectively and if you want more detail you can visit the Census links above.
Put it all together and we can see the trend over the past few decades :
Here are the #'s in table format :
This is the data for all homes. The % pet ownership rates also vary based on income levels and the # of people in the homes.
Here's the data broken down by income and size of household for 2006 :
|Five or more||54.3%||40.0%|