The UK’s Vegan Population Grows by an Estimated 1.1 Million in a Year

More than 1 in 10 Brits (12%) want to adopt a meat-free diet in 2024

An estimated 2.5 million UK adults are following a vegan diet at the start of 2024, which is 4.7% of the population. This has grown by an impressive 1.1 million since last year when the annual research from personal finance comparison site found that there were an estimated 1.4 million vegans in the UK (2.5%).

This year’s research found an additional 3.8% of Brits are planning to adopt a vegan diet in 2024. While they might not stick to their intentions, if they did, this would equate to approximately 2 million more vegans by the start of 2025, bringing the total to around 4.5 million. 

More than 1 in 10 Brits plan to adopt a meat-free diet in 2024

An estimated 6.4 million Brits (12%) are intending to adopt some form of meat-free diet this year, whether that’s becoming vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian.

Currently, 16% of UK adults are following a meat-free diet, which is around 8.6 million people. This has increased by around 20% since the start of 2023, when an estimated 7.2 million people were cutting out meat. 

Over half of generation Z follows a meat-free diet or plans to start one this year

More than a quarter of generation Z, aged 18 to 23, are currently following a meat-free diet, including 9% vegans, 9% vegetarians, and 8% pescatarians.

Another quarter are hoping to give up meat in 2024. If they stick to their plan, this means more than half of this generation (52%) would cut meat from their diet by 2025 – with fewer meat-eaters than those who have given it up. 

Millennials (aged 24-42) are not far behind, with more than 1 in 5 (22%) eating a meat-free diet and 17% hoping to adopt one in 2024. 

However, the desire to give up meat decreases with age. 14% of generation X (aged 43-54), 12% of baby boomers (aged 55-73) and just 4% of the silent generation (aged 74+) currently follow a diet that excludes meat. When it comes to changing their habits in 2024, just 12% of generation X, 5% of baby boomers and 2% of the silent generation expressed an intention to become vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian. 

Londoners are most likely to cut meat out of their diets

London leads the way with meat-free dieting, with 1 in 5 (20%) identifying as vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian and a further quarter (25%) planning to cut meat out this year. This is perhaps unsurprising in a city where there are so many varied and easily accessible options for those who want to eat vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian meals. 

At the other end of the scale, Northern Ireland and Wales have the smallest number of residents not eating meat, with just 7% each following one of these diets. Those in the North East are least likely to give up meat this year, with only 9% expressing a desire to do so. 

Louise Bastock, editor at the personal finance comparison site,, said:

“A significant number of Brits want to try going meat-free in 2024, including an estimated 2 million Brits who want to try out a vegan diet. 

While there were reports of a dip in sales of meat substitutes in 2023, our annual research suggests that this hasn’t impacted the number of people identifying as vegan (currently an estimated 2.5 million Brits). Instead, it could be that consumers are ditching overpriced meat alternatives and seeking other ways to enjoy a plant-based diet. 

There are plenty of delicious meat-free meals that you can make without spending a fortune on branded substitutes, such as using beans, pulses, lentils and nuts, as well as grains and a range of veg. If you do want to try a meat substitute, keep an eye out for any deals, such as discounts with your supermarket loyalty card. To save money, you can also buy some items in bulk, such as grains and dry foods.”

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.