What is the Vegan Population in the US?

What is the vegan population in the US? And what about the vegetarians? Most people are already aware that plan-based lifestyles have become widely popular in the past few years, but how popular are they? The answers to these questions might show that there’s a lot more vegans and vegetarians nowadays than you might think.

It’s fair to say that, in 2021, veganism has become a lot more mainstream than it used to be, say, twenty years ago. Most supermarkets will have some kind of vegan product available, many influencers and celebrities are now endorsing a cruelty-free lifestyle and there is no shortage of articles, memes and recipes all geared towards vegans and vegetarians all over the internet. In this day and age, anybody could be vegan, but the real question is, how many people actually are?

vegan population in the us

A recent study, conducted by Ipsos Retail Performance in 2020, has found that, in the past 15 years, the number of Americans following plant-based diets has increased by roughly 9.6 million people, which accounts for nearly 3% of the population in the US. Although it might not seem like that’s a lot of people, it’s important to know that this represents a 300% increase in just 15 years! This number also appears in a 2018 study by Gallup, so it seems safe to say that the vegan population in the US really has increased a lot recently. They have also found that around 5% of American adults consider themselves to be vegetarian. While the numbers may vary slightly, many recent studies point towards the 3% figure for vegans and 5% for vegetarians. Just in the United States, these numbers account for millions of people. 

It was also found that the states with most interest in veganism have more Democratic voters (Vermont, Washington, California), while more meat-eating states (Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota) lean towards the Republican Party. 

A dramatic increase

While it might seem crazy to see how many people have turned their backs on meat and other animal products in such a short time, it also makes a lot of sense. One thing that certainly helped plant-based diets and lifestyle to become more available and accessible to the general population is the rise of social media. An article from BBC shows that, while the vegan population in the UK grew in a similar manner to the US, Google searches for topics related to veganism also spiked. Influencers and high-profile celebrities publicly endorsing veganism on the internet have also most certainly contributed to the movement’s newfound popularity. 

As it becomes more desirable, it also becomes more necessary. As the global climate crisis progresses at unimaginable rates, more people begin to see plant-based lifestyles as a necessary solution to reverse human action that will render the planet uninhabitable for humans. While animal welfare is still a major concern for vegans, more and more people now cite sustainability and the environment as reasons to abandon animal products for good. 

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