The total number of food-animals killed in the US has been steadily decreasing since 2008, according to statistical data released by the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA). Government research shows that food-animal deaths began dropping in 2008, and that early 2009 projections show a similar decline—despite the US population increasing one percent both years. USDA researchers say that food-animal deaths may have decreased last year by almost six percent—from 10.3 billion in 2008 to 9.6 billion in 2009. These numbers include food-animals that are slaughtered and distributed in the US as well as those exported to foreign countries. The USDA does not include fish and sea wildlife in its research.