Share of vegetarians and flexitarians in the Netherlands 2017-2019

Conscious meat consumption is a topic regularly debated in the Netherlands, and more and more Dutch refrain from eating meat. The vegetarian community in the country is small but growing. Whereas in 2017, six percent of survey respondents stated to consider themselves vegetarian, by 2019 this had reached ten percent. A similar upward trend is visible among the flexitarians, or part-time vegetarians who do not eat meat one or several days a week. The vegan population in the Netherlands is estimated at around two percent.

 The young vegetarian 

  Not eating meat is particularly popular among the younger generations in the Netherlands. A 2018 survey found that the share of 18-to-24 year-olds following a vegetarian diet was five times as large as the share of respondents aged 55 years and older following this type of diet. 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds were also overrepresented among the flexitarian population.

 Reasons to go vegetarian

  Vegetarians have different motives to stop eating meat. According to a 2017 survey, the main reasons to go vegetarian included more variety in meals, contributing to a better nature and environment, concern about animal welfare and health-related reasons. On the other hand, the price of meat did not seem a deciding factor for most vegetarians: only eight percent cited this as a reason to cut meat from their diet altogether.

Share of vegetarians and flexitarians in the Netherlands from 2017 to 2019*

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Release date

May 2019



Survey time period

2017 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* These statements were phrased by the source as follows: "Ik beschouw mezelf als vegetariër" and "Ik eet op een of enkele dagen van de week bewust geen vlees of vis" (English: 'I consider myself a vegetarian' and 'I consciously don't eat meat or fish one day or multiple days a week'.

The source does not specify the number of respondents.

The figures have been taken from several publications.

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Statistics on "Eating behavior in the Netherlands"

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