As of 2013, world food consumption of rice was 565.6 million metric tons (623.5 million short tons) of paddy equivalent (377,283 metric tons (415,883 short tons) of milled equivalent), while the largest consumers were China consuming 162.4 million metric tons (179.0 million short tons) of paddy equivalent (28.7% of world consumption) and India consuming 130.4 million metric tons (143.7 million short tons) of paddy equivalent (23.1% of world consumption).
Between 1961 and 2002, per capita consumption of rice increased by 40% worldwide. A paper from the Korean Society of Crop Science anticipated that consumption would increase to 590 million tons by 2040, and that consumption would decline in Asia and increase in other parts of the world.
Rice is the most important crop in Asia. In Cambodia, for example, 90% of the total agricultural area is used for rice production. Per capita, Bangladesh ranks as the country with the highest rice consumption, followed by Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
U.S. rice consumption has risen sharply over the past 25 years, fueled in part by commercial applications such as beer production. Almost one in five adult Americans now report eating at least half a serving of white or brown rice per day.
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