What Percent Of Americans Are Vegan – Data & Overview to Look Into

Deepanwita Dey Society 22 February 2024 8 Mins Read
What Percent Of Americans Are Vegan

The world’s well-known celebs and your neighbor, whom you greet every day, seem to be joining the vegan movement. Of course, the question is: what percent of Americans are vegan? What is pushing this incredible development of Veganism in the U.S.?” Is it a temporary craze, or does it reflect a deep-seated change in our perception of food and well-being?


Many more!

In this excerpt below, we will go deep into the origins of this astonishing phenomenon and discover what makes it so popular, discovering how Veganism has become more than just a dieting choice.

This movement is also shaping our food system. So, why not get yourself a plant-based snack and hop on board as we explore and learn how Veganism has gained momentum in America?  Especially if you are planning on or wondering how to become a vegan.

Few Data to Keep in Mind about what Percentage of Americans are vegan

Here are a few details to keep in mind. To begin with, the gross account for milk substitutes sold in the U.S. is 1.27 billion. The meat substitute comes right after milk. 

The U.S. is already far ahead of the global average in producing vegan or vegetarian food substitutes. This ensures that all Americans who turn vegan yearly have good substitutes to account for the nutritional deficiency.

If you are asking an exact number of what percentages of Americans are vegan, then the answer is 1%. This is according to the last Gallup’s Consumption Habit Pole. On the other hand, the number of vegetarians is 4%. (Source)

Difference Between Vegetarian & Veganism

Difference Between Vegetarian & Veganism

Here is a common mistake which we often make. We mix the two!

So, here is the difference between Vegetarian & Veganism.

Vegetarian means you do not consume meat. For many, it is for moral reasons since the animal husbandry industry for meat is responsible for a high carbon footprint. Or they are completely against butchering innocent animals so that they can have it on their plate.

For some vegetarians, the reason could be as simple as health. Although animal protein offers good protein, consuming red meat can cause other side effects. These include the potential for cardiovascular disease and an increase in cholesterol.

Veganism, on the other hand, is when you eliminate every animal product from your diet. These include milk products like cheese and butter. For some strict vegans even, consuming honey is an animal product. You go completely plant-based.

Although Veganism, in the long run, has a few health benefits, at the initial stage, it could get extremely difficult. Starting to understand the nutritional benefits of every plant-based diet and finding the right substitute for the deficiency.

Although vegan food is not exactly tasteless, finding the optimal options that don’t compromise your taste can be difficult.

If you are wondering about beliefs between what percent of Americans are vegan, 52% are liberal, and 47% do not actively participate in any religion. Additionally, most vegans between the ages of 17-30 are choosing this lifestyle which could. (Source)

brief overview of what Percent of Americans are Vegan

brief overview of what Percent of Americans are Vegan

A study commissioned recently reveals that about 5% of America’s population is vegan. This may sound like a small percentage, but this is a rather big growth compared to the last years. Over the last three years alone, the number of people identifying themselves as vegans has experienced a 600% rise.

Therefore, who are these vegans, and what causes them to practice Veganism? Most vegans in the U.S. are millennials aged between 18 and 34, with women having a higher percentage than men. Usually referred to as the “plant-based generation,” this age group is defined by various factors, including health worries, the impact of the environment, and animal rights.

Group efforts have also led to growth and increased availability and accessibility to vegan options. Vegan products from supermarkets like meatless burgers and dairy-free milk and cheese substitutes are now more varied to make the vegan lifestyle more accessible for people.

However, the proportion of people in the U.S. who consider themselves vegans may be minor, but it is a fast-increasing community with numerous factors fueling its growth. Reasons ranging from health to environmental impact and animal welfare are diverse and constantly increasing.

Demographics to understand what Percent of Americans are vegan

Demographics to understand what Percent of Americans are vegan

Over the last few years, noticeable changes have been happening in the demographics of American vegans, and the number of people living vegan has increased. This is evident in various age brackets, ethnicities, and income strata. Via this section, we will examine vegan demographics in America to get better insight into who drives the trend of Veganism in America.

1. Age

One of the interesting features of the demographic of American vegans is the increasing number of youths adapting to a plant-based diet. A study by Gallup has found that 11 percent of Americans between 18-29 years old classify themselves as vegan or vegetarian.

This contrasts with the two percent for older Americans 65 years and above. This pattern is also observable among the kids and the youths as their number joining the vegan’ sets is increasing due to animal welfare and environmental problems. (Source)

2. Gender

There has been a stereotype that women are always more eager to follow a plant-based diet than men. Yet, although some new studies have shown that one is no better than the other in leading a vegan way of life, men and women are not too different. With the knowledge of the advantages of a plant-based diet for health, the gap between men and women is being reduced.

3. Ethnicity

If looking at the figures, white Americans are the most vegans in the country, but more and more diversity is emerging within the vegan community.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, Americans of the black race are twice as likely to be on a vegan or vegetarian diet (8%) than Americans of the white race (3%). It can be explained through cultural impacts and the higher burden of chronic illness among black communities. (Source)

4. Income level

While this is a widely held belief, a vegan diet proves to be more affordable.

Yet research by Vegetarian Resource Group reveals that 45% of all vegans in the U.S. come from households that make up to $50k per year. That proves a plant-based diet can also be a solution that won’t break the bank for those without money.

Age range and gender breakdown of what percent of Americans are Vegan

Age range and gender breakdown of what percent of Americans are Vegan

The rise of Veganism has, in recent years, been a phenomenon that interests many people in the United States.

As the number of people who opt for a plant-based way of living is constantly growing, it is important to know who they are and what sample group they belong to. In this section, we will dive deep into the age gap and the male-to-female ratio among the expanding vegan community in the United States.

Recent research shows that millennials have the largest share of vegans in the U.S., a whopping 42%. This also explains that the current generation is more health- and environment-conscious than their previous counterparts.

They are also more likely to find alternative ways of living and have been exposed to ideas about factories, agriculture, and their impact on the environment from the beginning of life. It can be said that, for many millennials, Veganism is about living by their values through their lifestyle and food choices.

Yet, it is not only millennials who are transitioning to Veganism. The number of Gen Z members (the generation born between 1997-2012) is also significantly increasing the number of people switching to a plant-based diet.

The young generation today is more health-oriented than the Millennials, and they have come of age in an era where social media influencers make plant-based diets appear trendy and ‘cool.’ With the information on animal welfare and environmental issues broadly available, Gen Z youngsters are not just making informed decisions about which foods to consume.

Even if the more mature generations are not adopting the vegan trend quite as fast as their younger counterparts, an uptick of older people following a plant-based diet trend has also been noted. Research even shows that the 55 and above age bracket accounts for 11% of vegans in America. This might be because of health issues in the elderly and the unnecessary desire for a healthier diet later in life.

When it comes to gender breakdown, women contribute to 70% of vegans, and men make up the remaining 30%. Although the number of men choosing to be vegetarian has increased lately. According to the statistics, the number of male vegetarians is doubling from 2016 to the present. The surge is through a rise in awareness about the health advantages of consuming a plant-based diet. (Source)

Factors contributing to the increase in Veganism

Factors contributing to the increase in Veganism

Although quite unexpected, the sudden rise of veganism in the U.S. is just one of the factors. They arise because of its increasing animal welfare concerns, health issues, eco-issues, and the availability of vegan products. 

1. Animal Welfare

Respect for animals is one of the main motivational factors behind the growth of Veganism. The growing awareness of the pain animals experience in factory farms and slaughterhouses is among the factors leading to veganism. This way, they want to eliminate animal products from their diets to cut the demand for this kind of business.

2. Health Concerns

In the past decade, questions have been raised about the human health risks associated with eating meat and dairy. The studies found that there’s a correlation between high animal product intake. Plus, multiple health conditions, for example, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancer types. There has been an increasing trend among people adopting a plant-based diet to improve health.

3. Environmental Issues

The production of meat and dairy has detrimental environmental effects such as deforestation for pasture lands, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution due to manure runoff. With the adverse effects of animal products on our planet, people are trying to lessen or stop consuming them. Thus, they prefer choosing to eat plant-based products.

4. Accessibility

Along with the rise in Veganism, there are also more choices and convenience in getting plant-based food options. Modern groceries sell vegetable milk and imitation meat, e.g., tofu or tempeh. Likewise, restaurants have offered more vegetarian and vegan dishes to cater to the expanding customer base.

5. Influence from Celebrities

The influence of celebrities on ways of life or trends should not be denied. This is evident when they are used in promoting certain lifestyles or trends. Throughout the years, countless celebrities, actors, musicians, and athletes have become vocally vegan. We have seen an increase both in the media coverage and the level of public awareness about Veganism.

To End the discussion!

So, after judging what percent of Americans are vegan, are you planning to become one?

For some individuals, Veganism is a choice from food allergies or intolerances. This could be blocking them from eating animal products. Vegetarians can live without these allergens and meet their nutrient demands.

People also go vegan for ethical considerations towards animals and religion. Some religions like Buddhism and Jainism favor non-violence to all living things and a plant-based diet to implement this tenet.

But the underlying cause may differ; Veganism is becoming apparent as a trend toward a more mindful and conscious way of eating. With more and more people understanding the safety factor of plant-based diets for their health and the ecosystem, we will probably see a continuous increase in the vegan population in America.

Hopefully, we were able to give you an idea about what percent of Americans are vegan. Most importantly, if you are wondering whether you have a crowd to count on when turning vegan yourself.

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