washington dc vegan statistics united states

Last week, Living Social released results from their “Dining Out” survey of consumer behavior, which polled 4,000 online Americans and found some surprising facts about eating habits, culinary choices, and favorite foods.

According to the survey, Americans (at least the ones surveyed) largely seem to be unhealthy eaters. Nearly half the respondents (45 percent) described themselves as “meat lovers,” 22 percent as a “sweet tooth,” and 19 percent as “fast food junkies”. By comparison, just 18 percent described themselves as “health nuts” and only 5 percent as “vegetarians or vegans.”


Washington D.C. topped the list of cities with the most vegetarians and vegans, with New York City in second place and Denver in third. Surprisingly, only 3 percent of San Franciscans surveyed said they were vegetarians or vegans, putting them below the national average of 5 percent and behind cities like Tampa, Cleveland, Dallas and Atlanta in the rankings. The vegan mecca (Portland, Oregon) wasn’t even surveyed!

The survey did seem to have some pretty vague and potentially overlapping categories like “Experimental Eater,” “Foodie” and “Health Nut,” which may have played a role in skewing the results. I suppose we can’t be vegans and also foodies, health nuts or have a sweet tooth? More importantly, what exactly is a foodie, anyway?

Surprised by the low numbers of vegans and vegetarians in San Francisco (at least according to Living Social’s survey), SF Weekly decided to recreate the same poll on their site and still found that the total number of vegans and vegetarians (amongst their reader base) was at the unimpressive total of 6.96 percent.

Considering that most vegans in San Francisco seem to have not even heard about the SF Weekly poll (including one that blogs for SF Weekly), there’s no way to confirm whether their results reflect the true number of vegans and vegetarians in San Francisco.


For now, D.C. gets to wear the unofficial crown as the city with the most vegans and can celebrate their victory at the DC VegFest 2011 (which happens to be this weekend!).

Image Source: William Warby (via Flickr)