Over the last decade increased attention has been devoted to the utilisation and excretion of phosphorus (P) in pig farming. In The Netherlands (NL), restrictions on manure P application have been introduced, and since the mid-1980s, NL has focused intensively on research aimed at reducing P excretion. In Denmark (DK), such systematic research was not initiated until the beginning of the 1990s. As a result, the P loss per pig produced is lower in NL than in France (F) or DK. The loss amounts to 1.3, 1.0 and 1.2 kg per produced standard pig in NL and DK, respectively. Most of the P consumed is not retained in the pig's body, but is excreted with faeces and urine. The mean excretion amounts to 70, 52 and 64% of the P intake in sows, weaners and growing pigs, respectively. The reasons for such low P utilisation can be related to two major causes. First, the dietary P digestibility is low, and second, the dietary P recommendations may be too high. The low P digestibility is the dominant problem and applies to all pig categories, whereas inaccurate recommendations are mainly an issue in sow feeding. This synopsis evaluates the overall status of P nutrition in pigs in F, NL and DK with regard to research, methods to determine P digestibility in feedstuffs, feed phosphates and mixed diets, P requirement, effects of phytase supplementation, etc.