How many Americans have tattoos?

A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals that nearly one-third of American adults now sport tattoos. This is a trend that spans across genders, races, and political beliefs. This growing acceptance of tattoos is projected to propel the industry to an impressive $3.9 billion by 2030.

  • The survey indicates a higher prevalence of tattoos among women than men. 38% of women have tattoos compared to 27% of men. This trend is particularly notable among women aged 18 to 29, where 56% report being inked.
  • Tattoos are most common among Black Americans, with 39% having at least one tattoo. In contrast, only 14% of Asian Americans have tattoos. The figures for Hispanic and white people stand at 35% and 32%, respectively.
  • Pew’s research found no significant differences in tattoo prevalence based on political affiliation or geographic location. However, tattoos are most frequently seen in individuals aged 30 to 49. 46% of this demographic have at least one tattoo.
  • The primary motivations for getting tattoos include commemorating or honoring something or someone (69%), expressing personal beliefs (47%), and enhancing appearance (32%).
  • The tattoo industry is experiencing significant growth. Valued at $1.89 billion in 2022, it’s expected to expand from $2 billion in 2023 to $3.92 billion by 2030, as per Fortune Business Insights.
  • The tattoo removal sector is also on the rise, with Allied Market Research estimating its value to increase from $478 million in 2019 to around $795 million by 2027.

Popularity of tattoos

  • The popularity of tattoos has surged notably since the 1970s, particularly in the last 15 to 20 years. In 2012, 21% of people reported having tattoos, a figure that rose to 30% by 2019. This growth has led to broader acceptance in various social settings, including workplaces, schools, and churches. Major companies like Disney, UPS, and Bank of America have eased their policies on visible tattoos.
  • In 2020, the American Red Cross updated its blood donation guidelines to be more inclusive of tattooed individuals. The U.S. Army in 2022 also relaxed its tattoo policies for recruits and current soldiers. Notably, 80-year-old Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) recently got her first tattoo, and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) openly discusses his tattoos, which include commemorations of violent deaths during his tenure as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania. The New York City Council has even considered legislation to prevent discrimination based on tattoos in employment and housing.

“Before I became CEO in 2020, our tattoo policy was more restrictive than the U.S. Army’s,” said UPS CEO Carol Tomé, highlighting the shift in corporate attitudes towards tattoos.

Surprising Fact:

As of December 2021, Disney holds the title for the most tattooed brand globally. This is based on Instagram posts linking Disney with tattoos, as reported by Statistia. Following Disney are Nintendo, Harley Davidson, Lego, and Nike.

Alliance of Professional Tattooists logo with a white background

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