Using 2022 data from Yelp, HappyCow and the US Census Bureau, US states have been ranked for their highest score of vegan-friendliness in terms of the amount of fully vegan restaurants per capita, and Hawaii turned out to be on top. A map created by the vegan recipes website Vegan in the Freezer from the ranking shows that the majority of vegan-friendly states are on the coasts, with Pacific states leading the ranking.
The top five states are Hawaii, Oregon, Rhode Island, Maryland, and California, while the last five are Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, and Maine. Another study conducted in 2021 looking at more than restaurants shows a different ranking. This one was undertaken by KCR College radio by assessing the vegan population of a state looking at online search trends published by Google, and also looking at the number of vegan restaurants, the number of vegan meetups groups, and the number of animal welfare groups. This study ranked top-five Nevada, California, Oregon, Hawaii and New York, and the bottom-five North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Alabama, and Wyoming. In terms of vegan restaurants only, the top one was New Jersey, Nevada was still on top if we only look at the vegan population, and Delaware had more vegan meetups groups and also more animal welfare organisations.
A 2020 study by IPSOS Mori monitoring Google Search data in each State between 2004 to 2019 found Oregon, California, New York, Vermont, and Colorado were on top while Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and West Virginia were at the bottom. Although we see variations depending on the method used and the year of the study, one thing seems clear. In the US, it’s tougher for vegans that are in the middle of the country, and much better if you are very far away from it.