It is never the intention of the Great Green Wall to tell people what is morally correct or incorrect. But as more people consider going meatless (as a challenge for any other reason), I’ve been asked to provide some insight.
Below is the painstaking work of several weeks to provide only facts and figures about Vegetarianism. No judgements here at the Great Green Wall, whether you choose to keep with meat, swear off completely, or stay in the middle somewhere.
A Quick Note
While there is necessarily some bleed between the Vegetarian and Vegan definitions and populations, we will do our best to differentiate based on that data. If you would like specific data regarding Vegan markets, demographics, and statistics, please check our Vegan article.
In instances where a source has cited “meatless,” “plant-based,” or some other term not strictly delineated to Vegetarian or Vegan, we have opted to use those statistics in this piece, as we cannot verify that those studies defined those terms in strict Vegan terms.
There are startling trends in the more wealthy countries, and one of them is meat consumption. Countries like the US, UAE, and Brazil make up the top 20 meat-consuming countries in the world, all of them consuming more than 160 kg of meat per person, per year. 
Below are the macro numbers for people going the other way, the Vegetarians around the world. After the countries break down are some specific numbers on the US and other major countries.
For US statistics, we turn to recent Gallup poll: 
A separate Gallup poll puts the US Vegetarian population at 5%.
Millennials Vs. the World
Many of the factors we’ve discussed that move someone toward vegetarianism have been typified by the apparent ethos of the second youngest generation with an adult population. Millennials (broadly referring to people born between 1981 and 1996) have cited a number of factors for their larger propensity to go meatless.
As mentioned before, there are some people who decide to go meatless for health reasons. Large statistics are hard to come by in this category, though we can make inferences from clinical studies and reviews of medical literature.
As more and more people take to a meatless diet, there have been shifts in the global marketplace reflecting the new trends.
The Economic and Social Research Institute  has compiled a comprehensive, 45 page report on the economics and global impact of meat-based diets viz a viz vegetarian ones. Here are some highlights from their findings. (These data are dated, but remain some of the most comprehensive ever collated.)
Another major reason we’ve seen for people choosing some form of Vegetarianism is Environmental concerns. Most of these numbers relate to meat production, which by choosing a Vegetarian lifestyle, many people hope to offset or mitigate.
The following were taken from a poll  and provide qualitative data for people’s choices. These answers are difficult to put into statistical terms, but can help interpret the data that are empirical.
Choosing a full lifestyle change can be difficult. In our next article, on Veganism, we’ll discuss one of the most difficult choices of all. But for this piece, I hope I’ve given you, dear reader, some things to digest. If you have any questions, or want some other data, please drop us a line, or add something in the comments, below.