Let’s take a look at which countries have the highest number of vegetarians.
India comes in the top spot with over 272,000,000 vegetarians due to having the second largest population as well as a highly religious population that refrains from consuming animal products. Ukraine rounds out the top twenty with two million vegetarians.
How We Determined How Many Vegetarians Are In A Country
Some articles list the countries by the percentage of vegetarians found within that country.
This method isn’t an accurate way to compare how which country actually has the most vegetarians.
For example, with this method, a county of 1,000,000 people could have a 10% vegetarian population and a country of 500,000 with a 15% vegetarian population would list the smaller country with a 50% vegetarian population higher than the 10% population.
The country with a 10% vegetarian population would have 100,000 vegetarians whereas the country with 15% vegetarians would only have 75,000 vegetarians.
I’m doing the math (I love math) to determine the number of vegetarians for each country to determine my outcomes.
Top 20 Countries With The Most Vegetarians
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
It is not a surprise that India tops our list with the most vegetarians.
Being the country with the second-largest population as well as numerous religions that respect animals and abstain from consuming animal products it makes sense that India has the most vegetarians.
In India, there are between 272,000,000 vegetarians among a population of 1.4 billion.
Although China is the country with the highest population they rank number two in the number of vegetarians living in China.
China has very similar reasons as India does for its large number of vegetarians, Taoism and Buddism are highly practiced religions within China that adhere to a vegetarian diet.
China has 50,000,000 to 70,000,000 vegetarians among a population of over 1.44 billion.
Brazil comes in the third spot for the country with the most vegetarians.
Although processed and convenience foods have become popular in Brazil within recent years, Brazilians embrace a more healthy and active lifestyle that has happened to transition a large number of its population towards vegetarianism.
Brazil has 29,260,000 vegetarians within a population of 214,000,000.
Mexican food can often be very meat-centric but, it also offers many vegetarian options as well.
Besides meat, beans are also a very big part of many Mexican dishes.
You can often easily substitute meat with beans in many meat-focused Mexican dishes.
Women are at the forefront of the vegetarian and vegan movement within Mexico making these diets very popular and trendy.
Mexico has 23,427,000 vegetarians within a population of 130,000,000.
United States Of America
The United States is truly a melting pot of people from all over the world, religions, and cultures.
Many Americans are also health-conscious although as a whole we are pretty unhealthy.
Due to all of these factors combined the United States comes in the fifth spot of the most vegetarians in a country.
The United States has 16,000,000 vegetarians out of a population of 334,000,000.
Japanese food is known for its love of sushi and fish, you wouldn’t naturally assume that there are a lot of vegetarians in Japan.
Japan has the sixth-highest number of vegetarians within the country with 11,160,000 vegetarians within a population of 126,000,000.
Vietnam has the seventh-highest number of vegetarians in the country.
There are many people that practice Buddism which adheres to a vegetarian diet.
You will find 9,000,000 vegetarians within Vietnam within a population of 97,000,000.
Germany is not the first country you would think of when it comes to having a high vegetarian population with its love of bratwurst, beer, and sausages.
Many Germans have been reducing their meat consumption and becoming “flexitarians” or full vegetarians in recent years.
In Germany, you will find 8,300,000 vegetarians within a population of 84,000,000.
The United Kingdom has the ninth highest amount of vegetarians within the country.
Over 50% of vegetarians within the UK site animal welfare and ethical concerns as their reason for being vegetarian.
47% are vegetarian due to health concerns.
There are 7,000,000 vegetarians within a population of 68,000,000.
Argentina grabs the number 10 spot.
Although Argentina is known for its steak and wine there has been an ever-growing movement towards vegetarianism and veganism in recent years, especially within the metropolitan areas.
Argentina has 5,400,000 vegetarians within a population of 46,000,000.
Italy is the birthplace of so many of my favorite foods like pasta and pizza.
You will find Italy in the eleventh spot with 5,340,000 vegetarians among a population of 62,400,000 people.
Filipino cuisine often contains lots of meat and cheese.
The vegetarian diet is often misunderstood within the culture but, with a movement towards healthier eating and lifestyles, the vegetarian population is growing.
In the Philippines, you will find 5,000,000 vegetarians within a population of 112,000,000.
Russia is known for having a deep food culture that is based around politics, geography, and the overall lifestyle.
Many of the foods consumed in Russia contain meat and other animal products.
In recent years the younger generation of Russians has been adapting a meat-free diet at a much higher rate growing the vegetarian population within Russia.
Russia currently has around 5,000,000 vegetarians within a population of 145,500,000 people.
French cuisine does not scream vegetarian-friendly with dishes like beef bourguignon and the love of butter.
Meat is often the staring role of many French dishes.
Regardless of traditional French foods, there are still a number of vegetarians in France making France number fourteen on our list.
France has 3,400,000 vegetarians within a population of 65,500,000.
Taiwan has a large Buddist and Taoist population that follows a vegetarian diet.
In Taiwan, you will find 3,297,011 vegetarians within a population of almost 24,000,000.
The majority of vegetarians within Canada are millennials or generation z as well as residents of British Columbia.
There are currently 2,888,000 vegetarians within a country of 38,000,000.
The majority of vegetarian Australians have chosen their diets based on health and weight loss reasons.
In Australia, there are 2,500,000 vegetarians within a population of nearly 26,000,000.
With meat and dairy being not always being easily accessible to Polish citizens many traditional dishes are already based around vegetarian ingredients.
In Poland, there are 2,500,000 vegetarians within a population of nearly 38,000,000.
With deep roots within the Buddism religion, many people within Thailand are vegetarian.
You will find 2,300,000 vegetarians within a population of 70,000,000 people.
Every year more and more people are adopting a vegetarian diet within Ukraine with more people becoming aware of animal welfare issues.
Currently, there are 2,000,000 vegetarians within a population of 43,000,000.
Is this list what you expected?
Of course, the countries with the highest population are the most likely to also have the highest number of vegetarians or any other category of people that you want to look at.
I find the variety of reasons as well as the demographics of the populations very interesting.