Agriculture, Food and Beverage

Here's how attitudes to vegetarianism are changing around the world

Fruit and vegetables on display in a market.

Vegetarianism is increasing slowly in Europe and the United States. Image: Unsplash/Jacopo Maia

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Agriculture, Food and Beverage?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Agriculture, Food and Beverage is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Agriculture, Food and Beverage

This article is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate
  • Vegetarianism is increasing slowly in several developed economies around the world, such as Europe and the United States.
  • But it is declining in large emerging economies such as India, where traditional diets are becoming less popular.
  • Vegetarian diets can have a profound influence on health and carbon footprints.

Whether vegetarianism is pursued with the aim of protecting animals, preserving environmental resources, leading a healthier life or because of cultural traditions, the practice can have a profound influence on health and carbon footprints.

While vegetarianism is expanding slowly in several countries around the world, for example in Europe or the United States, large emerging economies are doing it the other way around. Here, vegetarianism is in decline – for example in India, where traditional vegetarian diets are increasingly swapped for an omnivore approach to eating. While in 2018/19 around a third of urban Indians said they were vegetarians, this decreased to approximately one quarter by 2021/22. This is according to the Statista Global Consumer Survey.

Vegetarian diets have become more popular in the last three years overall, but some countries are more steadfast than others in their love for meat. In Mexico and Spain, the rate of vegetarians hovered below 3 percent most recently. The same is true for South Korea, even though here, the rate vegetarians rose from an extremely low 0.9 percent in 2018/19.

A graph showing the rise or fall in vegetarianism.
In Mexico and Spain, the rate of vegetarians hovered below 3% most recently. Image: Statista.
Discover

What is the World Economic Forum doing to help ensure global food security?

Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Agriculture, Food and BeverageHealth and Healthcare
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Nearly 15% of the seafood we produce each year is wasted. Here’s what needs to happen

Charlotte Edmond

April 11, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum