World forest inventories (1950-1960)

World forest inventories encompassing all countries were carried out on three occasions during the 1950s and 1960s.


One hundred and twenty-six countries and territories representing 73 percent of the global forest area replied to the 1953 questionnaire. For the remaining countries information from the replies to the 1947 questionnaire were used for 10 other countries (3% of the global forest area) and official statistics were used for the remaining 57 countries (24% of the global forest area).

Major findings

  • Total forest cover (global): 3.8 billion hectares
  • Net forest change: not reported

Download PDF


The 1958 inventory utilized the replies of the 143 countries or territories (88 percent of the global forest area). This information was supplemented by the replies to the 1953 questionnaire for 13 countries (2 % of the global forest area) and to the 1947 questionnaire for 5 countries (3 % of the global forest area). Changes of definitions and concepts affected comparability with the previous inventory.




The 1963 inventory received responses from 105 countries and territories. For some countries large differences between the results of the 1958 and 1963 enquiries resulted more from improved knowledge on the national forest resources and/or stricter application of definitions than from effective changes in the forest resources. Comparability with the former enquiries was limited. The main parameters assessed during the 1963 World Forest Inventory were forest area (total, productive, and protected), ownership, management status, composition (softwoods and hardwoods), growing stock and removals.



Download PDF

last updated:  Tuesday, October 7, 2014