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Which country has highest number of vegetarians? And which has the highest percentage of vegetarians?

  • Vegetarianism is one of many ways where people try to do better. This question is also not in line with the scope of this site as described in the health center (I don't see how this would help people live a healthy vegetarian or vegan lifestyle). – MlleMei Jul 19 '19 at 12:37
  • it is to motivate those who are adopting vegetarianism and to take inspiration from people and countries who have done it already – Sandith Jul 19 '19 at 14:36
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    If you're asking the question just to motivate others, that isn't really the goal of StackExchange. I'm also not sure that this is generally a good for for the site, since the statistics are likely to change over time and could be inaccurate within a few years. – Erica Jul 19 '19 at 19:35
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    Is there a need to be so strict? This is not even a very busy forum. – badjohn Jul 20 '19 at 9:36
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    Given our other questions, I don't think it is reasonable to close this question as off-topic and I have voted to reopen it. But I think we all know the answer is simply India (and to the second one probably also India) – Zanna Jul 20 '19 at 10:25
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Luckily, Wikipedia has a page called Vegetarianism by country which has a table listing data for 38 countries.

Sorted by percentage:

  • India: 31% (375,000,000 people, 2014) [no surprise here]
  • Brazil: 14% (29,260,000 people, 2018)
  • Switzerland: 14% (1,176,156 people, 2017)
  • Taiwan: 14% (3,297,011 people, 2015–2017)
  • Israel: 13% (1,046,000 people, 2015)
  • New Zealand: 10.3% (463,500 people, 2016)
  • Germany: 10% (8,000,000 people, 2018)
  • Jamaica: 10% (280,000 people, 2015)
  • Sweden: 10% (969,000 people, 2014)
  • Vietnam: 10% (9,000,000 people, 2011)

If we sort it by total number, at the top we have India, China (4%–5%, 2013), Brazil, Japan (4.7%, 2014), United States (5%–8%, 2018), Vietnam (10%, 2011), and Germany (10%, 2018).

For veganism (more limited data here), we have:

  • Poland: 7% (2,688,000 people, 2016)
  • Israel: 5% (421,000 people, 2014 and 2015)
  • Sweden: 4% (388,000 people, 2014)
  • Brazil: 3% (6,333,660 people, 2018)
  • United States: 3% (7,588,000 people, 2018)
  • Switzerland: 3% (252,033 people, 2017)
  • Japan: 2.7% (5,875,000 people, 2014)
  • Canada: 2.3% (835,000 people, 2016)
  • India: 1.6% (2005–06)

Topping the list in terms of number are the United States, Brazil, Japan, Poland, Philippines, and Germany.

See also Veganism by country.

  • This is the best answer because it includes sources, even if the sources are secondary sources. – Nic Aug 31 '19 at 22:32
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India.

Explanation: People are born vegetarian here, I have myself never eaten meat or egg for that matter, cow or buffalo milk is fine. I believe this is tied to Hinduism which is the prominent religion in India. To start not being a vegetarian can be more challenging than being vegetarian. But slowly younger generations seem to be breaking this trend to join the global perspective, but then again global perspective might be going towards vegan and vegetarianism. I believe if you ask this question any Indian, you will get the same answer (India).

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I think it's India. I, myself, am a vegetarian by birth. 78% of the population of India follow Hinduism. And some of the sects in Hinduism require people of the sects to be vegetarian. According to statistics, 33% of Hindus in India follow vegetarianism.

Religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which were born in India, guide people who follow that religion to be vegetarian.

As there are different vegetarian cuisines in India that make you drool over them, people rarely change their eating habits to be a non-vegetarian.

You will rarely find a place in India which doesn't provide you vegetarian food. That may be the reason why the people here prefer to stay as vegetarians.

  • Thanks, this is a good answer! It would be even better if you could provide a reference or citation to support the claim that 33% of Hindus in India follow vegetarianism. – Nic Dec 3 '19 at 1:47
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It is extremely hard to find exact info on vegetarianism figures. However, meat consumption might give us a rough idea. I'm using NationMaster to find these figures. From countries with highest consumption of beef and veal to lowest:

#    Country              KG of Meat
____________________________________
1 -  Argentina           - 40.12kg
2 -  Paraguay            - 33.73kg
3 -  United States       - 26.89kg
4 -  Brazil              - 26.64kg
5 -  Israel              - 21.62kg
6 -  Chile               - 21.14kg
7 -  Kazakhstan          - 19.20kg
8 -  Australia           - 18.11kg
9 -  Canada              - 16.19kg
10 - Norway              - 14.41kg
11 - Switzerland         - 14.23kg
12 - Turkey              - 12.38kg
13 - Colombia            - 12.34kg
14 - New Zealand         - 12.08kg
15 - South Africa        - 11.91kg
16 - Vietnam             - 11.66kg
17 - Russia              - 11.48kg
18 - South Korea         - 10.77kg
19 - Mexico              - 9.18kg
20 - Egypt               - 9.08kg
21 - Japan               - 7.44kg
22 - Pakistan            - 6.85kg
23 - Ukraine             - 6.71kg
24 - Malaysia            - 5.44kg
25 - China               - 4.74kg
26 - Saudi Arabia        - 3.49kg
27 - Philippines         - 3.40kg
28 - Iran                - 3.37kg
29 - Ethiopia            - 2.15kg
30 - Indonesia           - 1.93kg
31 - Thailand            - 1.72kg
32 - Nigeria             - 1.39kg
33 - India               - 0.55kg
  • that is a good approach. meat production also we can add on to know the total consumption. – Sandith Jul 25 '19 at 2:59
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    The list that you posted does not show imported meat but rather meat consumption per capita (only veal and beef though). I don't think this data alone is very good to determine the number of vegetarians in any given country. Also, there's only 33 countries in this table. – Alexander Rossa Jul 26 '19 at 12:16
  • Also, the beef consumption in Argentina is probably related to the relatives number of cattle raised there; non-vegetarians in other countries may consume many chickens or goats or pigs showing up as "low" on this table even though they aren't mostly vegetarian. However, it is a start... – Erica Jul 26 '19 at 23:48
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    I’m iranian . Iran is among last countries on your given list . Because meat is expensive and not everyone can afford it. But it doesn’t mean they are vegetarian. Most of iranians are not even open to this concept .And it’s small country in comparison to japan and other countries on the list. So the meat consumption would be less than canada and blah blah blah .So I think it’s not a logical way to answer . – Negar Jul 27 '19 at 13:57
  • This data is interesting in its own right, but it does not answer how many people are vegetarian without also knowing the distribution. Even for a very small number, if meat consumption is uniformly distributed then the number of vegetarians could be zero. – Nic Aug 31 '19 at 22:30

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