20+ Vital Tattoo Industry Statistics for 2023

The Growing Global Tattoo Market

The tattoo industry has expanded rapidly in recent years. Here are some key statistics on the size and growth of this market:

  • The global tattoo industry was valued at $1.89 billion in 2022, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.14% from 2023 to 2030. (Grand View Research)
  • There are over 21,000 tattoo parlors currently operating in the United States. (STAPAW)
  • Americans spend $1.65 billion per year on tattoos. (The Small Business Blog)
  • Custom-designed tattoos account for 59.3% of the tattoo industry‘s revenue. (IbisWorld)
  • On average, a tattoo shop‘s profit margin is 55%. (Gitnux) This is remarkably high compared to many retail businesses.

The industry has proved resilient, bouncing back quickly from pandemic downturns. With demand rising steadily, there are plenty of opportunities for new artists and parlors to gain market share.

Tattoo Population & Demographics

Tattoos appeal to a diverse range of demographics:

  • An estimated 36% of people in the US have at least one tattoo. (Gitnux)
  • 48% of Italians have at least one tattoo – the most tattooed nation. Sweden (47%), the US (46%), and Australia (43%) have high rates too. (Statista)
  • 70% of those who get tattoos removed are women. This may be due to societal pressure on women‘s appearances. (Body Artifact)
  • 19% of Gen Z in the US got a new tattoo during COVID lockdowns. Tattoos help them express identity. (Gitnux)

Costs and Revenues

  • On average, a small tattoo costs $45 in the US. Larger, more complex designs can cost up to $500 per hour. (STAPAW)
  • The median hourly rate for a tattoo artist is $135. Rates vary widely based on experience, reputation, and location. (Salary.com)
  • The industry lost 9.5% of 2020 revenue due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. However, demand remained relatively steady. (Gitnux)

Tattoo Designs & Trends

Certain tattoo designs and themes are especially popular right now:

  • Butterfly, heart, tiger, and script tattoos rank among the top trends for 2023. (PopSugar)
  • Single line and minimalist designs are also widespread, allowing for smaller pieces.
  • Japanese, Maori, and Polynesian symbols and scripts remain in high demand.

Tattoo Removal

Removal is a fast-growing part of the industry:

  • The tattoo removal industry is worth $280 million and growing quickly. (LinkedIn)
  • Removal costs range from $50 for small tattoos to $500 per treatment for large, multi-color pieces. (Healthline)
  • Complete removal takes 4-8 treatments over 6-12 months. It‘s a time-consuming and expensive process.
  • Laser removal is the preferred method, with high success rates. However, it can cause scarring and pain.

Starting a Tattoo Business

For those looking to open a tattoo shop, key steps include:

  • Obtaining a business license and tax IDs
  • Securing liability insurance and coverage for tattoo-related risks
  • Finding a suitable retail location with adequate space
  • Investing in tattoo equipment like machines, ink, chairs, and lighting
  • Hiring talented artists and managing payroll
  • Promoting your shop on platforms like Instagram and Facebook

The Future Looks Bright

With tattoo popularity at an all-time high, shops can thrive if they stay on top of trends and offer a great customer experience. Social media presents new marketing opportunities. As tattoos become more mainstream, growth opportunities for artists and entrepreneurs will only expand.