Cytokinesis by animals, fungi and amoebas depends on actomyosin contractile rings, which are stabilized by continuous turnover of actin filaments. Remarkably little is known about the amount of polymerized actin in contractile rings, so we used low concentration of GFP-Lifeact to count total polymerized actin molecules in the contractile rings of live fission yeast cells. Contractile rings of wild-type cells accumulated polymerized actin molecules at 4,900/min to a peak number of ∼198,000 followed by a loss of actin at 5,400/min throughout ring constriction. In adf1-M3 mutant cells with cofilin that severs actin filaments poorly, contractile rings accumulated polymerized actin at twice the normal rate and eventually had almost two-fold more actin along with a proportional increase in type II myosins Myo2, Myp2 and formin Cdc12. Although 30% of adf1-M3 mutant cells failed to constrict their rings fully, the rest lost actin from the rings at the wild-type rates. Mutations of type II myosins Myo2 and Myp2 reduced contractile ring actin filaments by half and slowed the rate of actin loss from the rings.