June 13, 2015

Tattoo Statistics: 23 Facts You Won't Regret Reading


Wow, that many Americans have tattoos? And we spend that much each year? Read on for 23 skin-tingling tattoo statistics.

© Jhong Dizon (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

The tradition of tattooing dates back thousands of years and while no one knows quite how it started, it's certainly been embraced in the mainstream. Reality shows like Ink Master have put the art of tattooing directly in the public eye, and it's become one of the most fashionable forms of self-expression for adults of all ages.

Not only is getting a tattoo often viewed as a rite of passage, it is a good way to show off your personality. Picking the right design is key; otherwise, you could end up with an expensive case of tattoo regret. CreditDonkey was interested in learning more about what drives the tattoo craze in the U.S., so we assembled 23 statistics on getting inked.

WHO'S GETTING TATTOOED?

Tattoos aren't just for sailors and bikers anymore; even if you don't have one, you probably know someone who does. If you're wondering just how common they are, here's what we found out about who's going under the needle.

1. What percentage of Americans have tattoos?
Approximately 20% of adults aged 18 and up have at least one tattoo. Around 14% have two tattoos or more.

2. What percentage of households include someone with a tattoo?
Forty percent of American households report having at least one person with a tattoo. That's a huge jump over 1999, when just 21% of households did so.

3. How many adults aged 18 to 24 have tattoos?
A growing number of young people are choosing to get tattooed and 22% of millennials aged 18 to 24 report having at least one.

4. How many adults aged 25 to 39 are tattooed?
Older millennials are even more likely to have a tattoo. Thirty percent of those in the 25- to 29-year-old range and 38% of adults aged 30 to 39 are sporting some permanent artwork.

5. How prevalent are tattoos among the 40-and-up crowd?
Nearly 30% of 40- to 49-year-olds have at least one tattoo, as do 11% of seniors between 50 and 64. After age 65, the percentage of adults with tattoos drops sharply, to just 5%.

6. What percentage of women have tattoos?
Curiously, women seem to have a greater predilection for getting tattooed than men. It's estimated that 58% of ladies have a visible or not-so-visible tattoo.

7. What percentage of men?
Overall, about 41% of men say they have a tattoo, which is a pretty big gap compared to their female counterparts. Among seniors, however, men over 65 are nearly three times more likely to be tattooed than women.

8. What part of the body is tattooed most often?
Among women who have tattoos, 27% say they prefer the ankle area while 25% opt for the upper back. Men overwhelmingly choose a more noticeable spot, with 75% getting ink on their arms.

TATTOO INDUSTRY BY THE NUMBERS

The tattoo industry is booming and demand for high-quality pieces continues to grow. Here's a look at how the financial side of tattooing adds up.

9. How much do Americans spend on tattoos annually?
Tattoo artists and tattoo supply manufacturers are cashing in on Americans’ love of ink. For 2014, the industry pulled in a massive $3 billion in revenue.

10. How many tattoo parlors are there in the U.S.?
Tattoo parlors continue to spring up in just about every city across the country. As of 2013, there were at least 21,000 tattoo shops operating nationwide.

11. What city has the most tattoo parlors?
If you want the largest variety of tattoo parlors to choose from, head to South Beach. Miami, Florida, boasts the highest number of tattoo parlors per capita, with about 24 shops for every 100,000 people.

12. Which cities have the least?
There's no place like home but if you're interested in getting a tattoo, steer clear of Salina, Kansas. The city has just one tattoo parlor that serves its 47,000 residents, which comes out to a per capita rate of about 2 for every 100,000.

13. What's the average cost for a small tattoo?
Size counts when it comes to how much your tattoo will cost and for a small piece, you can expect to pay about $45 on average.

14. How much will you pay for a larger piece?
If you want something that's a little more involved, that one-of-a-kind design is going to come at a premium. The average expense for a larger tattoo piece is around $150 .

15. What's the most expensive tattoo in the world?
Ink aficionados who want to take their body art to the next level will need to save their pennies to afford the world's most expensive "tattoo." Composed of 612 half-carat diamonds individually adhered to the skin in a floral pattern, its total cost comes in at a cool $924,000 .

WHEN TATTOOS LOSE THEIR APPEAL

When you first get a tattoo, you probably want to show it off to everyone you meet but after a while, its appeal can wear off. Buyer's remorse associated with tattoos has resulted in the birth of an entirely new industry as people seek to have them removed.

16. What percentage of tattooed people don't actually like their tattoos?
Surprisingly, 10% of Americans who have at least one tattoo say they don't like them. Sixty percent of people they think tattoos make someone less attractive.

17. What percentage of people say they regret their tattoos?
Surveys show that about 25% of tattooed people regret their decision to turn their skin into a permanent canvas. Overall, men are more likely than women to have second thoughts about their tattoo.

18. What percentage of Americans have cover-up tattoos?
If tattoo removal isn't an option, you can always try to cover it up with another design, and that's something roughly 5% of Americans have done.

19. How many people undergo tattoo removal each year?
More than 45,000 people endured medical procedures in 2013 to erase evidence of those ill-thought-out tattoos. That's a jump of nearly 5,000 over 2011 figures.

20. Are men or women more likely to have a tattoo removed?
Women account for the lion's share of tattoo removals, with just shy of 33,000 seeking treatment in 2013. That's nearly 73% of all tattoo removal procedures.

21. What age group expresses the most tattoo regret?
Middle-aged Americans most frequently seek to reverse their bad tattoo choices. Just over 19,000 of the total tattoo removal treatments performed in 2013 were for patients aged 35 to 50.

22. What's the average cost to have a tattoo removed?
Getting your ex's name or that unfortunate cartoon character tattoo scrubbed off your skin won't come cheap. The average cost is around $588 but if you've got a larger piece, it can add thousands of dollars to the final bill.

23. What is the tattoo removal industry worth?
Business is booming for cosmetic surgeons who perform tattoo removals, to the tune of $75 million in revenue each year. By 2018, the market is expected to grow to $83 million.

FINAL THOUGHT

Tattoos are meant to last but it's good to know that you can reverse your decision if you fall out of love with your design at some point. Based on the numbers we found, it looks like the tattoo trend won't be losing steam any time soon.

Sources and References:

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