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U.S. Tattoo Statistics: The numbers are in!

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years. So what percentage of people have tattoos in the U.S. I hear you ask?


According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 32% of adults in the United States have at least one tattoo. The recent Tattoo Statistics derive from this study also suggest that the majority of these adults actually have more than one tattoo. The report has found some interesting and in some cases surprising tattoo statistics, read on to find out what was discovered in the survey.


Key Tattoo Statistics Findings

  • 32% of adults in the United States have at least one tattoo.

  • Women are more likely to have tattoos than men, with 38% of women having at least one tattoo compared to 27% of men.

  • Tattoo prevalence varies among different racial and ethnic groups, with 39% of Black Americans, 35% of Hispanic Americans, 32% of White Americans, and 14% of Asian Americans reported having tattoos.

  • Age plays a role in tattoo ownership, with 41% of adults aged 18-29 having tattoos compared to 13% of those aged 65 and older.

  • Higher levels of education and income are associated with lower likelihood of having tattoos.

  • No significant differences in tattoo prevalence based on political affiliations, veteran status, or urban/suburban/rural residence were found.

  • The most common reason for getting a tattoo is to honor or remember someone or something, mentioned by 69% of tattooed adults.



U.S. Tattoo Statistics

Tattoo Ownership Statistics

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed some intriguing insights into the prevalence and demographics of people with tattoos in the United States. According to the survey, 32% of adults in the country have at least one tattoo, with the majority having more than one. This indicates that tattoos have become increasingly popular and accepted in American society.


One interesting finding from the survey is the gender disparity in people with tattoos. It was discovered that women are more likely to have tattoos than men, with 38% of women reporting having at least one tattoo compared to 27% of men. This challenges the stereotype that tattoos are predominantly a male-driven trend and highlights the growing number of women embracing body art.


The survey also uncovered variations in people with tattoos among different racial and ethnic groups. The data revealed that 39% of Black Americans, 35% of Hispanic Americans, 32% of White Americans, and 14% of Asian Americans reported having tattoos. These findings suggest that people with tattoos is influenced by cultural and social factors within different communities.


Age was found to be another significant factor in people with tattoos. The survey showed that 41% of adults aged 18-29 have tattoos compared to only 13% of those aged 65 and older. This indicates that younger generations are more likely to embrace tattoos as a form of self-expression and identity.



USA Tattoo Demographic Groups People that have Tattoos Graph
USA Tattoo Demographic Groups People that have Tattoos Graph

Interestingly, the survey found no significant differences in people with tattoos based on political affiliations, veteran status, or urban/suburban/rural residence. This means that tattoos are a way of expressing yourself that goes beyond these groups and are more affected by your own tastes and experiences.


When asked about their reasons for getting tattoos, 69% of tattooed adults cited honoring or remembering someone or something as the most common motivation. This highlights the emotional and meaningful nature of tattoos, as individuals choose to permanently ink symbols or messages that hold personal significance to them.


Gender Disparities across people with tattoos

When it comes to tattoos, a surprising result in that it would seem that women in the U.S. have a higher affinity for body art compared to men. According to the Pew Research Center survey, 38% of women have at least one tattoo, while only 27% of men do. This gender disparity highlights the significant role that tattoos play in female self-expression and identity.


The survey also reveals interesting variations in people with tattoos among different racial and ethnic groups. Across the board, Black Americans have the highest prevalence of tattoos, with 39% reported having at least one. Hispanic Americans follow closely behind at 35%, while White Americans come in at 32%. Asian Americans, on the other hand, have the lowest tattoo prevalence at just 14%.


Age is another factor that varies across people with tattoos. The survey found that 41% of adults aged 18-29 have tattoos, compared to only 13% of those aged 65 and older. This suggests that tattoos are more common among younger generations, with older individuals less inclined to have looked to get a tattoo in days gone by.


"Tattoos are not just a form of self-expression but also a way to honor or remember someone or something," states the survey. Sixty-nine percent of tattooed adults mentioned honoring or remembering as their motivation for getting inked.

Racial and Ethnic Differences in People with Tattoo's

The survey findings also indicate that people with tattoos varies significantly across racial and ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center survey, the prevalence of tattoos among different groups can provide insights into the cultural and personal significance of body art.


Among the racial and ethnic categories examined in the survey, Black Americans reported the highest percentage of people with tattoos, with 39% of respondents claiming to have at least one tattoo.


Interestingly, Hispanic Americans also showed a relatively high percentage of people with tattoos, with 35% of respondents reporting at least one tattoo.


White Americans had a slightly lower percentage of people with tattoos, with 32% of respondents indicating they have at least one tattoo. This could suggest that tattoos are prevalent among diverse cultural backgrounds within the White American population and are not limited to specific communities or subcultures.


Asian Americans showed the lowest percentage of people with tattoos according to the survey, with only 14% of respondents claiming to have tattoos. This suggests that tattoo prevalence may be less pronounced within the Asian American community, potentially due to cultural factors or individual preferences.


The survey was not clear on why these two groups, Black Americans and Hispanic where higher than the others. Some suggested theories could be;

  • The representation of tattoos in popular media, music, and sports can influence individuals' decisions to get tattoos. If prominent figures or celebrities within the Hispanic & Black American community have tattoos, this could influence others to follow suit.

  • Social circles and communities often play a significant role in people's decisions to get tattoos. If tattoos are popular within a particular community, people may be more likely to get them as well.

  • Over the years, social attitudes toward tattoos have become more accepting and less stigmatized. This shift in societal norms can lead to higher rates of tattooing among various demographic groups, including Hispanic and Black Americans.

These findings reveal that people with tattoos are influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors, highlighting the diverse reasons why people get tattoos and the significance they hold within different racial and ethnic groups in the United States.


Age and People with tattoos

Are tattoos more common among younger generations or do older adults also embrace this form of self-expression? According to the Pew Research Center survey, age plays a significant role in people with tattoos. Among adults aged 18 to 29, a staggering 41% reported having tattoos. This suggests that tattoos are indeed more prevalent among younger individuals. However, it is important to note that tattoos are not limited to just the younger generation.


The survey also revealed that 13% of adults aged 65 and older have tattoos. While this percentage may be lower compared to younger age groups, it highlights that people with tattoos is not exclusively a trend among the youth. Older adults also embrace this form of self-expression, albeit to a lesser extent.




Graph provides a breakdown of tattoo ownership by age group
Graph provides a breakdown of tattoo ownership by age group

However, it is worth noting that even among older adults, there is still a significant percentage of individuals who choose to get tattoos as a form of self-expression.


Socioeconomic Factors and Tattoo Ownership

The Pew Research Center survey revealed interesting patterns when it comes to the socioeconomic factors associated with people with tattoos. The prevalence of tattoos in the United States varies among different demographic groups, including education and income levels.




Percentage of Adults with Tattoos against Educational Attainment Graph
Percentage of Adults with Tattoos against Educational Attainment Graph

As shown in the table, individuals with lower levels of education are more likely to have tattoos, with 45% of those with less than a high school diploma reporting tattoo ownership. On the other hand, only 21% of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher have tattoos.


A similar pattern emerges when examining income levels:




Graph provides a breakdown of tattoo ownership by income
Graph provides a breakdown of tattoo ownership by income


Here, too, individuals with lower incomes are more likely to have tattoos compared to those with higher incomes. 40% of adults earning less than $30,000 annually have tattoos, while only 21% of those earning $75,000 or higher have tattoos.


These findings suggest that people with tattoos in the United States is influenced by socioeconomic factors, with higher levels of education and income associated with lower likelihood of having tattoos.


Tattoo Ownership and Political Affiliations, Veteran Status, and Residence


The survey findings indicate that people with tattoos are not significantly influenced by political affiliations, veteran status, or place of residence. Regardless of political leanings, veteranship, or urban/suburban/rural living, the prevalence of tattoos remains consistent among adults in the United States.


When examining political affiliations, the Pew Research Center survey discovered that individuals across the political spectrum are equally likely to have tattoos. Whether an individual identifies as conservative, liberal, or moderate, their likelihood of having a tattoo does not substantially differ. Tattoos seem to transcend political boundaries, highlighting their widespread appeal and popularity among diverse groups.


Veteran status also does not appear to impact people with tattoos. The survey found no significant differences in tattoo prevalence between veterans and non-veterans. This suggests that the motivation for getting a tattoo may not be influenced by military service and instead reflects personal preferences and individual experiences.


Furthermore, the study indicates that the place of residence, whether urban, suburban, or rural, does not impact people with tattoos. The prevalence of tattoos remains consistent across different residential areas, showing that tattoos are embraced by individuals from various geographic backgrounds.

Demographic

​Tattoo Ownership Percentage

Conservative

32%

Liberal

33%

Moderate

31%

Veteran

30%

Non-veteran

32%

Urban

32%

Suburban

33%

Rural

31%

Reasons for Getting Tattoos

Tattoos are deeply personal and often carry significant meaning to the individuals who choose to get inked. According to the Pew Research Center survey, 69% of tattooed adults mentioned that the most common reason for getting a tattoo is to honor or remember someone or something. This highlights the sentimental value that tattoos hold in people's lives, serving as a permanent symbol of love, remembrance, or a particular life event.


Aside from honoring loved ones, many people also get tattoos as a form of self-expression. The survey found that 46% of tattooed adults stated that they got inked because it makes them feel more unique and distinguishes them from others. Tattoos can be a way for individuals to showcase their individuality, personality, or personal beliefs.


Besides self-expression, another motivating factor for getting tattoos is aesthetics. About 36% of tattooed adults mentioned that they got tattoos because they find them visually appealing. Tattoos can be seen as a form of art, a way to enhance one's appearance, or simply a means of expressing one's creativity.




Popular Reasons for Getting Tattoos Graph
Popular Reasons for Getting Tattoos Graph

These findings reveal the diverse motivations behind getting tattoos and how individuals use them to convey their emotions, assert their individuality, and enhance their aesthetics. Tattoos are more than just ink on the skin; they are powerful symbols that hold personal significance to each person who chooses to embrace them.


The Final Thought

The Pew Research Center survey provides valuable insights into the prevalence and demographics of people with tattoos in the United States. According to the survey, approximately 32% of adults in the United States have at least one tattoo, with a majority of them having multiple tattoos.


The findings also reveal that there are significant gender disparities in people with tattoos, with 38% of women having at least one tattoo compared to 27% of men. Furthermore, the likelihood of having a tattoo varies among different racial and ethnic groups. The survey reports that 39% of Black Americans, 35% of Hispanic Americans, 32% of White Americans, and 14% of Asian Americans have tattoos.


Age is another factor that influences people with tattoos, with 41% of adults aged 18-29 having tattoos compared to only 13% of those aged 65 and older. The survey also highlights the impact of socioeconomic factors, such as education and income levels, which are associated with a lower likelihood of having tattoos.


Interestingly, the survey found no significant differences in tattoo prevalence based on political affiliations, veteran status, or urban/suburban/rural residence. However, when it comes to the reasons behind getting tattoos, the most common motivation cited was to honor or remember someone or something, mentioned by 69% of tattooed adults.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q. What's the percentage percentage of people with tattoos in the United States?

  • According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 32% of adults in the United States have at least one tattoo.

Q. Are there differences in people with tattoos between men and women?

  • Yes, the survey found that 38% of women have at least one tattoo compared to 27% of men.

Q. How does tattoo ownership vary among different racial and ethnic groups?

  • The survey revealed that 39% of Black Americans, 35% of Hispanic Americans, 32% of White Americans, and 14% of Asian Americans reported having tattoos.

Q. Are there more old people with tattoos than young?

  • No, the survey found that 41% of adults aged 18-29 have tattoos compared to 13% of those aged 65 and older.

Q. Do education and income levels play a role in tattoo ownership?

  • Yes, higher levels of education and income are associated with a lower likelihood of having tattoos.

Q. Does tattoo ownership differ based on political affiliations, veteran status, or residential location?

  • The survey found no significant differences in tattoo prevalence based on these factors.

Q. What are the most common reasons for getting tattoos?

  • The most common reason cited for getting a tattoo is to honor or remember someone or something, mentioned by 69% of tattooed adults.


Source Links

  • Pew Research Center survey 


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