Studies & Numbers

UK Vegan Population Estimated to Have Risen by 1.1 Million in a Year

According to research by personal finance comparison site Finder, the UK’s vegan population is now 2.5 million, meaning that 4.7% of adults follow a plant-based diet. This figure has risen by a huge 1.1 million between 2023 and 2024.

There are also 3.1 million vegetarians in the UK, making up 5.8% of the population. This figure has slightly decreased since last year, but this may be because some vegetarians have become vegan. 3 million people are pescetarians, consuming fish but no other meat.

Furthermore, a huge 6.4 million Brits say they plan to adopt some form of meat-free diet in 2024, with 2 million hoping to become vegan. The research points out that it is unlikely that all will follow through with their intentions, but if everyone did then the UK would have 15 million meat-free citizens at the beginning of 2025 — 28% of the adult population.

Generation Z and Millennials have the highest meat-free populations, along with the greatest number of people interested in giving up meat. 26% of Gen Z currently follow a meatless diet, with 9% of these eating no animal products at all. A further 26% intend to stop eating meat in 2024, which would make half of the generation meat-free. Millennials follow closely behind, with 22% eating a meat-free diet. The trend progressively decreases with older generations.

Young people sharing food around table
Image courtesy ProVeg International

Londoners give up meat

By region, London has the highest meat-free population at 21%. A further 18% hope to give up meat in 2024. In contrast, the South West has the lowest number of vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians at 11%. Scots are the least likely to give up meat in 2024, at 6%.

The research supports recent figures from the Vegan Society, which indicate that 41% of British men are interested in going vegan or have plans to do so — even though only 37% of the vegan population are men at present.

A report last year found that the UK vegan food market was growing at a rate of 9.58%, with 40% of consumers saying they wanted more plant-based options. This was mainly driven by health concerns, including rising obesity and lactose intolerance. Concerns about animal welfare and the environment also played a role.

“In 2024, more Brits are following a meat-free diet, which means they’ve chosen to become vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan,” says Finder. “With various food subscription services and brands now catering to plant-based lifestyles, adopting a meat-free diet has now become much easier and more accessible for Brits.”

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