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  • Stephen Walsh PhD recently carried out a review of different surveys estimating the number of vegans in the UK on behalf of the UK Vegan Society.  It is the most comprehensive review I’ve seen in the UK context that takes into account recent data.  But it is relatively light on detail as was aimed at a non-technical audience.
  • The review suggests:
    • Around 0.25% of UK adults self-identified as vegan in 2015.  The proportion was probably stable around this level for at least 15 years.
    • The share increased to around 1% by 2018.
    • A best guess of a further increase to around 1.35% by 2022 (note this estimate is less certain and not directly comparable to earlier estimates).
  • The headline results are based on the Food and You (face-to-face) and Food and You 2 (online, postal) surveys commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency, after comparison with results from other surveys, including consideration of questions asked to identify vegans, survey mode, sampling method and sample size.
  • Stephen’s article was originally published in the Vegan Society Magazine (only available to members).  Given the potential wider interest in the results, I have received his permission to share a link to a copy of his article, and he is happy to answer any interesting questions that come through in the comments. 
  • I have copied below the chart summarising the results of different surveys offering a consistent time trend.  The red  dots denote Stephen's best guess of the underlying trend.  I've also copied below the identification questions used in the Food and You Survey.  The article contains links with further information about the surveys used in the chart.

Questions used in the Food and You Survey (2010 to 2018)

Question 2_7

Which, if any, of the following applies to you? Please state all that apply. 

  • Completely vegetarian 
  • Partly vegetarian 
  • Vegan 
  • Avoid certain food for religious or cultural reasons 

Check if Q2_7 response = Vegan 

Can I just check, do you eat any foods of animal origin. That is meat, fish, poultry, milk, milk products, eggs or any dishes that contain these? 

1 Yes 

2 No




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