Inked: One in Five U.S. Adults Now Sports a Tattoo

Consumers have all sorts of perceptions about tattoos. But one aspect about getting inked can’t be denied. Around 20% of U.S. adults claim to have tattoos and this trend is keeping local tattoo shops busy. According to Harris Interactive, consumer opinion about tattoos is changing, too.

Pollsters surveyed consumers in several major U.S. metro markets this spring and learned that Los Angeles (26%) and San Francisco (25%) rule as spots where the most people boast having a graphic design somewhere on their body.  According to information posted on Tattoo Info, consumers pay between $80 and $100 an hour to get inked. While consumers may be getting inked to make a statement or stand out from the crowd, folks without tattoos have their own opinions.

In the 10-​city region included in the survey, 23% of consumers said they believe people with tattoos are more likely to do something deviant. This attitude is particularly prevalent in the Atlanta (GA) area. Nearly half, about 49%, of surveyed consumers say people with tattoos are rebellious while 14% call them strong.  On average, 35% of people say that their fellow tattooed citizens are attractive. That attitude is particularly strong in the Boston (MA) market with 45% of people finding tattoos attractive. Another 31% of folks believe that sporting a tattoo adds to sex appeal.

According to Ad-​ology Research, women make up more than half of the audience that intends to get a tattoo in the next 6 months. This audience also skews urban which means that out-​of-​home advertising in subways and on buses may be particularly effective to generate more business. These consumers tell researchers that they are particularly active on Instagram so tattoo artists may be able to reach new clients by promoting their signature designs on this social network.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.