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38 Tattoo Statistics: 2020/2021 Industry, Trends & Demographics

by Arthur Zuckerman

The art of tattooing is by no means new. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times. Some tattooing tools discovered in archaeological sites were found to be at least 12,000 years old. It’s an exemplary form of art that has survived the ravages of time. However, current tattoo statistics show it is not immune to the influences of technology, cultural shift, and modernization.

Tattoos have now become a fashion choice for many, part of the lifestyle for others, and a significant source of income for some. While the goal is still to permanently ink the skin, the techniques for doing so have also undergone a lot of innovation. Needless to say, it is an art that has existed for as long as the civilizations are subject to interesting changes, which we will showcase through a set of tattoo statistics.

We hope that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of the tattoo industry, how it’s changing, and where it’s heading. This way, you can better anticipate the different market trends and demands that are to come.

tattoo statistics

People with Tattoo Statistics

Tattoos have certainly outgrown its bad reputation. We no longer live in a world where tattoos are only seen on mob bosses, zealous religious practitioners, and hardened criminals. Today’s society has slowly accepted tattoos as a work of art. That said, it comes as no surprise that practically anyone from any walk of life has at least one. The data displayed below proves this point:

  • 36% of US citizens age 18-29 have at least one tattoo.
  • 72% of tatted adults have tattoos that are hidden by their clothing.
  • In 2012, around 45 million people (21%) in America alone had one or more tattoos.
  • 35% of United Kingdom citizens aged 30-39 have tattoos.
  • 30% of US college graduates have tattoos.
  • 11% of people with tattoos in the United States belong in the age range of 50-64 years old.
  • 15% of men and 13% of women in the US have tattoos.
  • 36% of the US Armed Forces, including military veterans, have tattoos.
  • Tattoos seem to be more popular with people who attained higher levels of education (32%) compared to those with lower education levels (26%).
  • With 38% of adults aged 30-39 being tatted, older millennials are the most likely people to get a tattoo.

Source: Dalia Research, 2018

Tattoo Industry Statistics

All the statistics mentioned above points to tattoos being a mainstay in our society. That’s why it’s also not surprising that the industries providing services in this area are on the rise as well. This means that the price of tattoos will be more accessible to those who are on the budget. At the same time, more advanced tattooing technologies will be available for those who are willing to spend more.

  • According to the market research firm IBISWorld, the tattoo industry generates an estimated $1.6 billion in revenue.
  • Tattooing is the 6th fastest growing American industry.
  • There are 21,000 tattoo parlors in the US, and this number grows by one each day.
  • Large tattoos cost around $150/hour of work while the smaller ones cost around $45.
  • Over the next ten years, the tattoo industry is expected to grow by about 8% annually.
  • Americans spend $1.65 billion yearly on tattoos.
  • 27% of Americans pay up to $100 for their tattoos, while 6% are willing to invest $2,500 and above.
  • Since 2011, services for the removal of tattoos have increased in demand by 32%.
  • On average, a tattoo artist in the US earns $49, 520 every year.
  • Tattoo removal services will increase by 18% annually for the next few years. In addition, experts predict that tattoo removal services will increase by 18% each year.

Source: Tattoos, Guns & Love 2019

Tattoo Pros and Cons Statistics

There will always be naysayers to those who get tattoos, citing potential health problems, image issues, and more. While there’s merit to that, there are also many who find tattoos a good investment in various ways. Therefore, good and bad, tattoos have their fair share of effects, as shown by the statistics below.

  • 17% of people with tattoos regret having them usually because “It’s the name of another person.”
  • 3 out of 4 individuals who get tattoos regret it. What’s more, there’s a larger percentage of men than women who regret their tattoos.
  • 5% of people who hate their tattoos do not remove it. Instead, they cover the tattoo with another tattoo.
  • 31% of people with tattoo claims that the tattoo made them feel sexy. 29% claim tattoo made them look or feel rebellious. 5% claim tattoo made them look intelligent.
  • 42% of individuals think that tattoos don’t affect people’s attractiveness, but 24% believe that they do.
  • 32% of individuals with tattoo claim that they are obsessed with ink.
  • 69% of individuals don’t see those with tattoos any different than those with no tattoos.
  • 47% of people without tattoos think that those who have them look less attractive.
  • 70% of US and UK employers do not favor an employee with visible ink.

Source: YouGov, 2018

More Tattoo Facts & Statistics

The popularity of getting tattoos is on the rise. It’s penetrating wider demographics as time passes by. Because of this, it’s becoming common now more than ever. The trends that surround tattooing also grew in diversity over the years, such as the reasons why people get tattoos and which types are popular, as you can see below.

  • Back in 2002, the term “tattoo” has become the number one searched term on the internet.
  • 27% of tattoo in women is located in the ankle. 34% of tattoo in men is in the upper back shoulder.
  • Japanese is the most used language when looking for tattoo inspiration. Moreover, Japanese tattoo designs are trendy for those who are 18 to 29 years old (46%) and those who fall between 30 and 59 years old (39%).
  • 49% of individuals looking to get a tattoo considers the reputation of the tattoo studio or tattoo artist as the most crucial factor. 43% get a tattoo with personal meaning, while 8% consider the cost as the most important factor.
  • 43% of people get tattoos to honor their loved ones, 37% get tattoos for style and beauty.
  • Only 6% of people that are treated with laser in the American Society of Dermatological Surgery are treated for tattoo removal.
  • 47% of tattoos in Australia are successfully removed using a Q-switched laser. But they required up to 10 sessions. 26% of tattoos need more than 15 sessions. Two tattoos seem to be the average number of tattoo per person.

Source: Source: Tattoos, Guns & Love in the U.S. 2019 – Statista Survey

Use These Tattoo Statistics to Your Advantage

There’s no better time to get a tattoo than now. For starters, it’s more socially accepted today, and a lot of people have them. Moreover, the prices are becoming more affordable, and there are different techniques you can try and inspirations you can draw from should you choose to have it done.

While there may be some inconveniences to getting inked, such as tattoo regret, there are plenty of workarounds for them. That’s why the decision of getting a tattoo nowadays is mostly a personal choice. Just make sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons of having one.

As for tattoo artists, it is safe to say that the market will be increasingly lucrative in the coming years. However, just because you can expect a higher demand for it doesn’t mean you should simply wait until they knock on your door. Be sure to invest in or at least look into the emerging tattooing technologies as well as the shifts in consumer demands. In this way, you can have an edge over the competition.



  1. Tattoo Statistics – How Many People Have Tattoos?
  2. Who has the most tattoos?
  3. Tattoo Statistics: 23 Facts You Won’t Regret Reading
  4. Reasons for getting a tattoo in the U.S. in 2019
  5. More Americans Have Tattoos Today than Seven Years Ago
  6. Tattoo Industry Going Into 2019
  7. Tattoo Industry Statistics: Is the Tattoo Industry Growing?
  8. Truth About Tattoos in America
  9. Tattoo Statistics and Trends
  10. Popularity of Japanese tattoo designs
  11. The Statistics Surrounding Tattoo Regret and How to Avoid It

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