New Zealand gets bronze for its lawyer numbers per head of population, according to a law website.

LawFuel, a New Zealand legal jobs and news website, said the country is third in the world with one lawyer per 391 citizens behind the United States, with one lawyer per 265 people and Brazil with one per 326.

LawFuel calculations show Germany follows with one lawyer per 593, Italy with 488, UK with 401, Spain with 395, and France with 1400.

New Zealand has had 10,867 practising certificates renewed this year, about 500 fewer than last year.

"Last year there were 11,365 practising certificates issued - so that appears to show a shortfall of around 500 or so," a Law Society spokesman said.

"However, it seems that quite a few in-house counsel and semi-active lawyers haven't renewed this year, meaning there hasn't been a significant exodus of practising lawyers."