The Latest Tattoo Statistics
11:23 AM
Photo by Edgar Hoill aka OSOKILL

Any time I read the word "tattoo poll" -- or even worse "tat stats" -- I shake my curly red head and wonder how a passion for art can be quantified and put into nice info boxes for media consumption. But damn the media loves those statistics. They cite the same old tattoo polls from 2003 and 2008 by Harris Interactive in news pieces on the "tattoo trend." But now they no longer have to.

Today, Harris released their latest tattoo poll, which surveyed 2,016 American adults online between January 16 and 23, 2012. Here are some of the highlights from that survey (most are direct quotes):

* One in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21%), which is up from 16% & 14% surveyed in 2003 and 2008, respectively.

* Those living on the West Coast have more tattoos (26%) than those on the East Coast (21%), the Midwest (21%) and the South (18%).

* Adults aged 30-39 are most likely to have a tattoo (38%) compared to both those younger (30% of those 25-29 and 22% of those 18-24) and older (27% of those 40-49, 11% of those 50-64 and just 5% of those 65 and older).

*Women are slightly more likely than men, for the first time since this question was first asked, to have a tattoo (now 23% versus 19%).

And here's where it gets sexy:

*Among those with a tattoo, most have never regretted getting a tattoo (86%) and three in ten say it makes them feel more sexy (30%). [Woohoo!]  One-quarter say having a tattoo makes them feel rebellious (25%), 21% say both it makes them feel attractive or strong, 16% say it makes them feel spiritual and fewer say it makes them feel more healthy (9%), intelligent (8%) or athletic (5%).

And here's where it gets nasty:

While so many of us feel beautiful and sexy in our tattoos, it seems that many polled don't share this feeling. At least two in five say that people with tattoos are less attractive (45%) or sexy (39%). Not that we care really, but there are some numbers worth mentioning, particularly because certain stereotypes that still exist could potentially affect things like employment or admission to the country club.

* One-quarter say that people with tattoos are less intelligent (27%), healthy (25%) or spiritual (25%).

Half of those without a tattoo say people with tattoos are more rebellious (50%).

I'm so rebellious, I'm writing this post pantsless.

See all the stats and charts here. There's also a PDF download of the survey.

I would have loved it if they asked poll takers whether the Ink shows, celebrities, merch and other elements of tattoos in pop culture affected their choices. Also curious about how people describe their collections; for example, whether they consider themselves "heavily" tattooed.

Feel free to post your thoughts on the survey in the Needles & Sins Facebook group

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.