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In U.S., 4% Identify as Vegetarian, 1% as Vegan

In U.S., 4% Identify as Vegetarian, 1% as Vegan

Story Highlights

  • Vegetarian, vegan eating preferences generally stable
  • Identification higher among political liberals, lower-income people

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup’s latest Consumption Habits poll finds 4% of Americans saying they are vegetarian and 1% vegan, in terms of their eating preferences. These figures are similar to what Gallup has measured previously, including in 2012 and 2018.


The July 3-27 poll update suggests there may have been a slight decline in vegetarianism compared with the earliest readings in 1999 and 2001, when 6% identified that way.

There is a small degree of overlap in identification as vegetarian and vegan, as less than 1% of U.S. adults say they are both vegetarian and vegan. That is about what Gallup has found historically, but most vegetarians and vegans identify as only one or the other.

Liberals, Low-Income Adults More Likely to Follow Vegetarian Diet

In prior reports, Gallup found that political liberals and lower-income adults were among the subgroups most likely to be vegetarian, and that remains the case in the latest update. Nine percent of liberals today are vegetarian, higher than in any other key subgroup Gallup analyzed, and three times the rate of political moderates and conservatives.

Meanwhile, lower-income Americans (7%) are about twice as likely as middle- (4%) and upper-income (3%) Americans to be vegetarians.

Additionally, women (6%) are more likely than men (2%) to say they eat a vegetarian diet.

In some previous surveys, Gallup found significant age and racial group differences in vegetarian eating preferences, but that is not the case in the current survey.


With 1% of Americans having vegan eating preferences, it is difficult to discern any meaningful subgroup differences in those who follow that type of diet. In all key subgroups, the percentage who are vegan is in the 1% to 3% range.

Bottom Line

Plant-based meat-substitute food products are becoming more commonplace in grocery stores and restaurants. In 2019, Gallup found that half of Americans were familiar with such products, and four in 10 had tried them. Americans who reported a reduction in their meat consumption typically cited health and environmental reasons for doing so. But these changes have not been met with an increase in Americans’ adoption of vegetarian or vegan diets, as less than 5% of U.S. adults follow either eating approach.

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