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