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Reindeer Population by Country 2024

Globally, there are about 9 million reindeer, including domesticated ones. In North America, the same species is called 'reindeer' when domesticated and 'caribou' in the wild. Some reindeer migrate as far as 3,000 miles for warmer climates and food. North America hosts 3.5 million caribou, notable as the only deer species where both sexes have antlers.

Alaska is home to over 20,000 reindeer, encompassing 21 caribou species. The Yukon region houses two caribou herds, the Porcupine and Forty Mile herds, and a third herd, the Finlayson, in southeastern Yukon, totaling around 200,000 reindeer. In the Northwest Territories (NWT), about 20,000 caribou reside, including the largest subspecies, the boreal caribou, with populations of the Bonnet Plume, Redstone, and Nahanni Complex herds.

Nunavut has two reindeer species, the barren-ground caribou and the Peary caribou, both experiencing population declines leading to hunting restrictions. Caribou are found along the US-Canada border to northern Ellesmere Island and Newfoundland. Historically, reindeer were also in parts of New England, New York, Michigan, Montana, Idaho, and Washington but have vanished from the contiguous United States.

Greenland's west coast, with about 100,000 caribou, is an ideal place for sightings. In Sweden and Norway, approximately 500,000 reindeer exist, including wild, mountain, and woodland species. Eurasia, primarily Russia, supports one million reindeer, often forming superherds of 50,000 to 500,000. Finally, about 3 million reindeer are domesticated, mainly in Europe.

  • Reindeer are also known as caribou.
  • The global reindeer population is estimated to be 2890400 as of 2023, shared between all countries included in the species' range: Canada, Finland, Greenland, Mongolia, Norway, Russia, United States as well as in international polar regions.
  • Many reindeer herds are migratory and roam across country borders at will. As such, per-country population estimates are logistically challenging and can become outdated very quickly.

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Example Habitats
CanadaGaspé Peninsula, British, Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Island
ChinaA small herd of several hundred semi-domesticated reindeer were introduced in the 1960s.
GreenlandWest Greenland
IcelandIntroduced by humans in 1700s
MongoliaNorthern Mongolia
NorwaySouthern Norway
RussiaRussian Plains, Kamchatka Peninsula, Southeastern Russia
SwedenNorth, along Sweden/Norway border
United StatesAlaska