How Many Types of Potatoes Are There? (New 2023 Statistics)

Potato, an integral part of global cuisine, is a starch-rich tuber crop cultivated in many countries.

But how many types of potatoes are there?

According to the International Potato Center (CIP), there are about 5,000 known varieties of potatoes worldwide.

The evolution in food and agricultural sciences, together with worldwide potato cultivation, implies this figure is continually growing. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of potato varieties could reach up to 6,000.

We’ll dive deeper into the global variability of potato types, significant potato-growing regions, and the most common and diverse kinds of potatoes out there.

Ideal for different culinary applications, potatoes can be enjoyed in numerous ways. From baking, boiling, frying to air-frying, there is a potato for every dish.

How Many Types of Potatoes Are There? (Editor’s Picks)

  • Globally there are approximately 5,000 potato varieties.
  • Estimates project that this figure will rise to around 6,000 varieties by 2025.
  • The US cultivates over 200 varieties of potatoes.
  • The Andean region of South America is home to the highest potato diversity, with over 3,000 varieties.
  • RussetFrench Fingerling, and Yukon Gold are among the most popular potato types.
  • Rare varieties like Purple MajestyBamberg, and Vitelotte are gaining popularity among potato enthusiasts.
See also  What Toppings Go on Shrimp Tacos? (9 Tasty Toppings)

How Many Types of Potatoes Are There in 2023?

Globally there are approximately 5,000 varieties of potato today.

This figure has risen consistently over the years due to advances in agricultural science and selective breeding efforts. It is predicted that there could be around 6,000 varieties by 2025.

In the US alone, there are over 200 cultivated potato varieties. This is a significant increase from just over 100 that were cultivated in the 1960s.

growth in potato varieties over the past decades

Here’s a breakdown of growth in potato varieties over the last decades:

YearNumber of Potato Varieties GloballyIncrease Over Previous DecadeIncrease Over Previous Decade (%)
19431,800
19532,200400↑ 22.22%
19632,700500↑ 22.72%
19733,400700↑ 25.9%
19833,900500↑ 14.7%
19934,300400↑ 10.2%
20034,700400↑ 9.3%
20135,000300↑ 6.38%
20235,500500↑ 10%
20336,000500↑ 9.09%

Types of Potatoes By Region

The Andean region of South America boasts one of the most significant potato diversities worldwide, with over 3,000 identified varieties. Europeans cultivate around 1,000 varieties, while North America and Australia have 200 and 100 varieties respectively.

Types of Potatoes By Region

Here’s a regional breakdown:

RegionNumber of Potato Varieties
Andean Region3,000
Europe1,000
North America200
Africa150
Asia300
Australia and Oceania100

In terms of potato cultivation, China leads globally, followed by India, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.

The following table shows a list of top potato-producing countries with their respective yields:

CountryPotato Yield (tonnes)
China99.1 million
India49.5 million
Russia31.2 million
Ukraine22.5 million
United States21.4 million

Most Common Varieties of Potatoes

The types of potatoes globally vary dramatically, but certain varieties are widely acknowledged due to their taste, culinary usage, and easy cultivation.

See also  What Cheese Goes with Beets? (10 Delicious Cheeses)

Here are some of the most common types of potatoes:

  • Russet: Known for their thick skin and starchy content, making them excellent for baking, mashing, and frying.
  • Yukon Gold: These are moist, with a slightly waxy texture. They are great all-purpose potatoes.
  • Red Potato: Known for their red skin, these are low in starch and hold up well in salads and while roasting.
  • White Potato: Low in starch, these potatoes are perfect for boiling, steaming, and using in soups.
  • Purple/Blue Potato: High on antioxidants, they add a colorful punch to dishes and are ideal for baking and grilling.
  • Fingerling: An ultimate gourmet potato known for its shape and size. They can be cooked in numerous ways.
Most Common Varieties of Potatoes

Rare or Unique Types of Potatoes

While these potatoes may not be lining the shelves of your local supermarket, they are treasured varieties among farmers and gardeners worldwide. Let’s take a look:

  • Pink Fir Apple: This potato from England is known for its long, knobby shape, pink-skinned tubers with creamy waxy flesh and a deliciously firm texture.
  • Anya: A small, knobbly variety originating from Scotland. It has unusual long lemon-shaped tubers with a slightly waxy texture.
  • Purple Majesty: These potatoes have skin and flesh so purple that it’s almost black, and they’re rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin.
  • La Ratte: A favorite among French chefs, these fingerling potatoes are known for their nutty flavor and smooth texture.
  • Bamberg: Native to Germany, the Bamberg has an unusual, slightly crooked shape, nutty flavor, and firm texture.
  • Russian Banana: This fingerling potato is known for its great taste, making it a gourmet delight.
  • Vitelotte: This French variety is sometimes regarded as the gourmet’s potato of choice in France. It’s purple, slightly sweet, and retains color during cooking.
See also  What Sauce Goes with Fettuccine? (10 Best Sauces)
Rare or Unique Types of Potatoes

Potato Production and Consumption Statistics

Potatoes are the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn. As per the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the global potato production is about 388 million tonnes.

China, the leading producer of potatoes, produced about 99.1 million tonnes in 2020.

Consumption-wise, it is estimated that each person in the world consumes about 33.5 kg of potatoes each year. However, the figures can vary widely. For instance, in Europe, people consume an average of 86 kg of potatoes per annum.

Top Five Potato-Consuming Countries in 2023

Here’s a look at the top five potato-consuming countries as of 2023:

CountryAnnual Consumption (kg per capita)
Belarus182
Ukraine136
Russia123
Ireland104
UK94

Potato Use in Different Cuisine

Potatoes are diverse and universal, making them suitable for numerous culinary applications.

Potato Use in Different Cuisine
  • In Indian cuisine, potatoes are a staple and are used in a variety of recipes, from curries to samosas.
  • In Belgium and France, they are known for their “frites” or fries.
  • In the UK, potatoes are used to make the traditional “fish and chips”.
  • The US is famous for its baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and potato salad.
  • In Peru, the birthplace of potatoes, they even have a type of potato, “papa seca,” which is a naturally freeze-dried potato product.

Every potato offers something unique, whether it’s flavor, texture, color or size. With so many varieties out there, the culinary possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

Clearly, the world of potatoes is vast and fascinating. These tubers are not just a culinary staple but a part of our culture and history.

Growing in popularity, the diverse array of potato varieties continues to capture the interest of farmers, gardeners, chefs, and consumers. Regardless of where you are in the world, there is a potato for everyone!