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How Many Vegans Are There Really?

Hey it’s Mike here and today we’re gonna take a look around the world it’s something I’ve been interested in investigating for a while and that is how many vegans are there really we’re gonna try our best to get a level-headed estimate of the vegan population of various countries and globally some of those countries are gonna be easier than others and some have definitely been exaggerated without a doubt the numbers are growing and that’s the most important point but what do we really know okay first off surveys are not perfect no matter what we’re gonna be taking a sample of a population and extrapolating that to the whole population we don’t have nanorobots counting every single person who’s vegan moment by moment not yet at least and there are many other limitations like the sample size itself and what question were they actually asking but for now let’s take our first stop around the world and because plant-based news is based in the UK let’s stop in the UK plant-based news itself did report on that massive 2-year rise in veganism that you probably heard about and so we’re gonna examine that a little bit closer right now this was referencing the newer compare the market.com survey on environmental habits called cars against humanity to a slightly older vegan society survey which had a completely different sample and was not asking the same people the first survey by the vegan society asked 10,000 people in 2016 and got a result of five hundred and forty thousand vegans compare the market asked two thousand people in 2018 and got three and a half million people or over five percent of the population which is massive I’m gonna have to rain on the parade just a little bit for a second Dominika pious eka the PR person at the vegan Society said they quote would be delighted if this increase was the case but realistically we have no reason to think numbers have increased to that extent she mentions that it was not a survey intended to determine the population of vegans instead it was just one to investigate environmentally-friendly habits in particular she says quote there were no cross-check questions asked to confirm the self declared vegan statement and it was easy to misunderstand the question as asking about environmentally habits rather than lifestyle choices you know they didn’t ask things like do you eat eggs which if they say yes obviously they’re not vegan there are many things that can go wrong with a survey like this perhaps there dentally selecting for more forward-thinking urban populations that are more likely to be vegan or maybe people wanted to appear vegan when they actually weren’t hashtag stolen vegan valor so it’s likely that they either got an accurate number from a inaccurate sample or they just got inaccurate answers either way something’s fishy no offence fishes all this being said I do think that the vegan society’s number of 540,000 is out of a date just a couple of V January’s would be pushing it closer to 70,000 based off their reported numbers looking to Google Trends for the search term vegan in the UK we can see that it has grown two and a half fold since the vegan society survey so if the interest on the internet mirrors the vegan population then between 2016 and 2018 we probably went from five hundred forty thousand UK vegans to something more like 1.3 million UK vegans which is still great not three and a half million but still great alright now we’re gonna look at my home country which despite what many people think is not Canada it’s the USA and again we have a bit of a discrepancy between the surveys Gallup did a poll in 2012 they randomly called up about a thousand people and found that two percent of people were vegan then a couple years later in 2014 fauna lytx did a survey of 11,000 people there’s more than ten times as many people much more rigorous but they found that only 0.5% of the u.s. population was vegan and the number of vegans definitely did not go down so either Gallup was a little exaggerated in their figure or vana lytx was wrong chances are fauna lytx was right because it was just such a large survey now let’s move on to a newer one you probably heard about a massive surge in vegans in the u.s. that mirrors that of the UK well from research and markets in 2017 their food trends report said quote 6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan up from just 1% in 2014 that would be a lot of vegans that would be 20 million vegans the problem is they were not transparent in their methodology or their sample size heck it cost thirty five hundred dollars just to look in it so it’s kind of like looking at a black box here we don’t know where they got that 1% figure in 2014 either it could be super rigorous we just don’t know looking at the Google Trends in time period from 2014 to 2017 we do not see anything that would reflect a six-fold increase however we do see a pretty impressive two and a half fold increase so fauna Linux was accurate in 2014 that puts us at about 4 million vegans in the US are one point two five percent of the population which i think is a fair estimate for much of the Western english-speaking world yeah one point two five percent might sound a little low but remember we’re talking about all of rural America we’re talking about the entire South yeah we might have some liberal cities with 10% of the population being vegan in certain areas but rural Mississippi might have like point zero zero one percent in the end we’re looking at a range whether it is fauna lytx with their one point six million or my estimate of four million or gallops two percent which puts us about six and a half million either way it’s growing and that’s what’s important all right let’s move on to the next country which is Australia I know many of you are Australian the sad part is we don’t have any hard data any good surveys from there the closest we have is a reported rise in vegetarians and low meat eaters from 9% in 2012 to 11% in 2016 but that doesn’t really tell us that much about vegans however back to Google Trends in Australia we do see a five-fold increase in vegan searches from 2012 until now which is huge and if we take that 1.25% figure that I came up with earlier we’re looking at about 300,000 Australian vegans down on death all right now before we move on to another country there’s something about these three countries that I want to mention and that has to do with how I’ve heard many people say Oh paleo is more popular than vegan well vegan food and living through some of the Google Trends up comparing paleo to vegan and in all three of these countries vegan is much more popular the UK the US and Australia okay moving on to the next country which is Canada oh Canadia sadly again we do not have a super concrete vegan number but the Vancouver Humane Society found that there are about 12 million Canadians that were either vegetarian or trying to reduce meat consumption not telling us a lot about vegans so please next time ask us to rate question hello there have you ever thought about possibly not consuming a little bit of meat any time and five years that’s like 40 percent of the population Carla now that’s progress sponsored by Canada but I think Canada fall is a pretty close trend to the u.s. in terms of their dietary choices so if you look at that one point two five percent again that’s 450,000 Canadian vegans now I want to move on to the interesting case of Israel you may have heard some crazy numbers you’ve probably heard five percent I’ve heard as high as ten or twelve percent but that five percent came from a Channel 2 News survey which was likely not super rigorous or huge and could have possibly selected for a more vegan population however in 2016 the bureau of statistics in israel found that the population was about two percent of vegan now assuming that that was an accurate figure as of 2016 is probably the most rigorous we can also look to Google Trends for Israel in terms of the term vegan I know they speak Hebrew there but still can show a proportional increase in interest well it raised by about 50 percent which puts us at 3% of Israel and at 8 million people that’s about 250,000 vegans all right now let’s move on to some other countries we don’t have time to look at the methodology of every survey here and they will be linked below but let’s start with Austria and in 2013 0.5% of them appeared to be vegan which is about 40,000 people in Belgium as of 2016 there were about 34,000 vegans in Germany as of 2016 also combining to survey is one that was 0.1 and one that was one percent of the population we’re looking at about 400,000 vegans in India we have an interesting case the government said as of 2005 1.6 percent of the population was not consuming any enoy products which is ridiculously massive and that would be like 20 million vegans we’ll talk a bit more about that a second in Italy we have a range of 0.6 to 3% in 2015 which averages to 1 million Italian vegans it seems a little high maybe I’m wrong I don’t know then we’ve got the Netherlands as of 2014 we’re looking at about 45,000 vegans or 0.27% Sweden as of 2014 we have allegedly 4% vegan which is super high and that would put us up at 400,000 Swedish vegans which seems high let me know if you live there and finally we got Swiss which as of 2016 appeared you have about 83,000 vegans and I know this is not a survey but in terms of my channel in other countries I’m seeing a surprising amount of viewership from some countries such as Finland and Czechia and Romania and Greece which is pretty understandable but also Brazil which is awesome so hey everybody hey there okay so now we have to ask the question what is the global population of vegans no such information exists so we’re gonna do some really bootleg estimations right here right now the first thing what we’re gonna take here is the question can we get a reliable connection between the population of vegans and the amount of google searches for the term vegan within a country we can then take the number search globally and figure out a global figure there at least for the english-speaking world with the browser plug-in keywords everywhere we can get a rough monthly snapshot of the amount of times a vegan was searched in particular countries thankfully they’re ones that we have been investigating already for the US alone we are looking at about three hundred thousand searches for the term vegan each month if we take what I think is an accurate figure of 4 million vegans in the u.s. then that corresponds to about 7 percent of the vegans so there are 7 percent as many searches as there are vegans in the US for the UK there are about 60,000 searches for the term vegan a month and looking at our various estimations for vegans that 7% figure seems reasonable so I’m gonna stick with it now globally we have about eight hundred and twenty thousand searches for the term vegan every month and with that 7 percent figure that means that we have about 11 or 12 million vegans in the english-speaking world but in case you didn’t know only about 20 percent of earth speaks English and looking back to India that would be 20 million vegans if their survey is right but I think a possibly more accurate number is Jane’s there are about 4.5 million genes whoo religiously abstain from animal products and there are also countries that don’t necessarily have access to Google not that they’re english-speaking but China has restricted access to Google they also don’t have a good term for vegan but for some scale if just 0.1 percent China was vegan that’d be like 1.4 million vegans but I want to go at this from two completely different angles to try and get a more accurate answer and that other angle would be adding up all of the countries that we’ve looked at all the surveys we looked at in the video earlier and that lands us at about 8.3 million without India I’d be 28 million with India and if we want to just count the Janes which might be the most accurate it’s about 12 million vegans however that is throwing out most of the world we’re not counting South and Central America we’re not counting China or Southeast Asia Russia Africa the Middle East basically we’re not counting most of the world however those areas likely have lower populations of vegans and that’s the reason that we have vegan numbers in these other places because they have a higher amount of vegans now looking at both of these incomplete pictures of the vegan world which probably hover at around half or two-thirds of all the people that are vegan I think a fair number to throw out there would be that we have about 15 million vegans in the world which is about one half of one percent of the world’s population that’s my best guess at least in the end we need more data we especially need more of those surveys that are over 10,000 people which are likely more accurate given that a lot of the smaller ones especially the ones that don’t disclose their methodologies tend to be superhighway higher than we would have reason to believe you know maybe they accurately reflect some urban areas but probably not the countries that they’re being extrapolated to and if you live in a country that has no data go out and make your own survey or reach out to a local vegan organization or start a local vegan organization and try and make one that has a good variation in the population and very clear questions and so forth alright once again I’m not trying to be a buzzkill by shooting down those higher vegan percentages we just need to take a level-headed look at this and let me know down below if you live in one of these countries and if the numbers that I threw out there seem inaccurate too high or too low and finally feel free to follow plant-based news on all of those social media platforms and of course follow my channel Mike the vegan all right that’s it for today thank you for watching and I’ll see you next

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