How Many People Have Tattoos In America & 20 Other Amazing Tattoo Statistics in 2023

by Tori Jones
People Have Tattoos

Is it just me, or is there a palpable rise in the number of ink-adorned people sauntering down the streets, rocking tattoos like the latest fashion statement? Well, it’s not just a hunch or a trend confined to my gritty, vibrant corner of the world. In this blog post, we’ll journey together through captivating statistics and lesser-known facts about America’s tattooed population. How many? Who? Why? Let’s decode the interesting saga of how tattoos have become a vital part of the American cultural fabric.

People Have Tattoos
@posytattoo Via Instagram – Want your tattoo to look brighter? Try tattoo balm 

Remember, we’re not just scratching the surface (pun intended). We’re going beneath the skin of society to unearth insights on the acceptance, the symbolism, and the stories tattoos carry in contemporary America.

So, whether you’re a seasoned tattoo lover with a canvas full of stories, a tattoo virgin contemplating your first ink, or a curious cat drawn to the art form, stay tuned! Together, we’re going to navigate the expressive, complex, and wonderfully diverse landscape of tattoos in America. Buckle down, folks…oops, I mean…prepare yourselves, folks! It’s going to be one inkredible ride!

The Rising Tide of Ink in America

Ah, tattoos! Once a rare sight, now they’re popping up more frequently than new cat memes on the internet. While some might argue that tattoos have always been around, just not as visible, others attribute their recent popularity to changing social norms. Are more people getting inked, or are we just baring more skin? It’s likely a blend of both. Let’s dive into some statistics to paint a clearer picture.

How Many Americans Have Tattoos? 

Sift through various polls and studies and you’ll realize that tattoos are more than just a passing trend. A 2019 Ipsos poll revealed that a whopping 30% of Americans, regardless of age, sport at least one tattoo. Compare this to a similar survey from 2012, which recorded only 21% of tattooed Americans.

And believe me, it’s not just a recent obsession. Many have been flaunting their body art for more than a decade. I vividly remember my first masterpiece – a delicate yet fierce phoenix that’s still as vibrant today, more than ten years later. This longevity of the tattoo trend might owe its existence to the subtler ways older generations showcased their body art, or perhaps to the visible platform social media has provided.

Tattoos by Age

The popularity of tattoos is definitely age-dependent. According to the same Ipsos survey, 40% of those under 35 are tattooed. This goes to show that tattoos are en vogue among the younger demographic. But let’s not forget the tattooed trailblazers of the older generation – 36% of those aged 35 to 54 have at least one tattoo. However, the figures take a nosedive for those aged 55 and above, with only 16% reporting having a tattoo.

What is the Reason for this Drop-Off? 

Back in the 60s and 70s when the older demographic were in their youth, tattoos were a mark of sailors, prison inmates, gang members, and motorcycle enthusiasts. Trust me, I’ve heard plenty of stories from older clients reminiscing about the taboo attached to tattoos. But things started to change during the era of Generation X in the 80s and 90s.

As tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications gained wider acceptance, we began to see an increase in the number of tattooed individuals. Remember those iconic TV characters from the 90s and early 2000s with their bold, distinct tattoos? Not to mention the rise of social media, amplifying this trend to new heights. It’s no surprise that the under-35 crowd, who practically grew up with social media, leads in tattoo stats. This shift in societal acceptance has allowed many to see tattoos as expressive art rather than a hindrance to their career, education, or personal relationships.

Multiple Tattoos?

According to another 2019 survey, a single tattoo wasn’t enough for many. 35% of respondents claimed to have one tattoo, but a considerable number reported having multiple tattoos – 19% with two to three, 18% with four to five, and 16% with six to ten. Only 3% of respondents were inked with more than 20 tattoos. It seems once you dip your toes into the world of tattoos, it’s hard to stop after just one or two. Very few respondents cited employment as a barrier to getting tattooed, indicating a shift from previous generations where visible tattoos could impede career advancement.

20 Other Fascinating Tattoo Facts For 2023

Despite the surge in tattoos, 72% of tattooed individuals revealed that their tattoos are not always visible, often concealed by clothing, according to Pew Research. As for the most popular tattoo types, it’s hard to pin down. An Instagram survey found roses to be the top choice, followed by skulls, pop art, birds, and text-based tattoos featuring phrases, sayings, or names. Trust me, I’ve etched enough roses and names to fill a bustling garden and a phonebook!

There you have it, a comprehensive look into the tattoo scene in America. The tattoo trend shows no sign of slowing down, and as a proud contributor to this growing art form, I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Here are the details about the tattoo industry in 2023:

  • Over half of all Americans under 40 years old have tattoos.
  • Over 145 million Americans have tattoos.
  • Women who have tattoos outnumber men who have tattoos by 18%.
  • Millennials represent 41% of all people with tattoos.
  • 65% of fashion designers prefer employees with tattoos.
  • $1.65 billion is the amount spent on tattoos yearly.
  • The tattoo industry has a market size of over $3 billion in the US.
  • The number of Americans with tattoos rose by 9% between 2012 and 2019.
  • 40% of tattoo wearers claimed to be 18 or younger when they got their first tattoo.
  • The tattoo removal industry will be worth $795 million by 2027.
  • 92% of people with tattoos have no regrets.
  • 56 hours and 36 minutes is the record for the longest tattoo session.
  • There are more male tattoo artists than females.
  • Surprisingly, female tattoo artists make more than male tattoo artists.
  • 59% of tattoo artists are Caucasian, accounting for the biggest ethnicity demographic.
  • The average age range for tattoo artists is 40 years old and older.
  • Most tattoo artists have at least a high school diploma.
  • The average time that a tattoo artist stays at their job is between 1 and 2 years.
  • Tattoo removal can cost from $423 to over $4,000​1​.


In this ever-evolving landscape of skin and ink, we find that tattoos, once hidden beneath societal norms, have become symbols of individuality, narratives of personal journeys, and markers of cultural shifts. As a tattoo artist, I often advise newbies to carefully consider the placement of their first tattoo, keeping in mind not just the aesthetic, but also the potential discomfort during the inking process. Different areas of the body experience varying levels of pain – often, the less padded the area, the more the sting.

As for the price tag, it can range widely based on the complexity of the design, the size, and the artist’s expertise. You could be shelling out anywhere from $50 for a small, simple design to a couple of thousand for large, intricate masterpieces. Remember, tattoos are a lifelong commitment and investing in a quality tattoo by a professional artist is worth every penny.

Despite the allure of tattoos, it’s crucial to be aware of potential risks. Improper tattooing practices can lead to skin infections or allergic reactions. Ensuring that you choose a licensed tattoo parlor with strict hygiene standards and a well-trained artist can mitigate these risks significantly.

And so, as tattoos continue to mark not just our skin, but our times, let’s appreciate them as an art form that embraces self-expression and tells the stories of many in the most beautifully unique ways. Tattoos aren’t just accessories, but the vibrant threads that weave together the diverse tapestry of modern American culture.

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