Tattoos in Australia by the Numbers: The Story the Tattooing Trend Tells

There’s no doubt that tattoos have exploded in popularity in Australia and around the world over the last 50 years. What was once seen as a rebellious act now has become mainstream as some of the people you less suspect have ink under their clothes.

As a way to showcase individuality in a society where people are increasingly trying forge their own identity, modern society has embraced the tattoo one form of self expression across many different groups of people.

What also has changed is the visibility of people’s tattoos. No longer are tattoos always hidden as people become more proud to display their individuality with their own unique design. Some would argue the trend towards tattooing is a craze which will slow down, but since the mid-90s tattoo numbers have continued to increase, with the industry showing solid growth, each year. Here is a bigger look at some of the Australian tattooing industry and a snapshot of the Australians who are getting tattooed.

Some Tattoo Statistics

1.    22 per cent of Australian men and 29 nine percent of women between 20-29 have at least one tattoo. Overall, men are still more likely to be tattooed than women, although this is levelling.

2.    Between 2009-2014, the average growth rate of the tattooing industry was 4.7 per cent per year.

3.    There are currently 987 registered tattoo studios in Australia employing more than 2000 staff combined.

4.    Unlike most other industries, there is no one major player dominating the Australian tattoo industry with the majority single studio operators.

5.    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 20-39 year age group is the most tattooed demographic in Australia.

  1. 1.    Tattoo parlours are increasingly opening in smaller regional centres, replacing banks, and video shops in places like Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, and Emerald in outback Queensland.
  2. 2.    Of those who have tattoos, 54 % have only one, 23 % have two or three, and a further 15 per cent have four or five tattoos. Only 8 per cent of those surveyed with tattoos have more than 5.
  3. 3.    Roughly one in seven Australian of a sample of more than 8000 between 16-64 years reported having one or more tattoos.

Conclusions from the research

From these findings and the increases in tattoos we are seeing in Australia, this has also gone hand in hand with the people who are seeking tattoo removal services. Even though this is to be expected given the increases in the number of tattoos, if you get a quality tattoo and a meaningful design, the chances are you’ll love your tattoo for life will be much greater. Perhaps the availability of removal services means people are who were previously less hesitant to get a tattoo are fewer knowing they will be able to have removed later in life, should they choose.

This research also dispels the myths that most people with a tattoo are likely to be all heavily tattooed, and shows the trend that tattoo rates are becoming far more equal between the sexes. One thing is for sure, getting a tattoo is no longer a big deal as it once was.

From the research however, it’s difficult to draw conclusions on the actual groups of people who are likely to get tattoos. We are confident the reason for this is because the appeal of tattoos is widespread and recipients cannot be grouped into any neat demographic.  The diversity of our customers at Gold Coast Tattoos also supports this as we see people young, old, of different professions and backgrounds choosing to get tattooed for all; sorts of reasons.

The future of tattooing looks set to continue to grow in Australia and especially here on the Gold Coast, the tattooing capital of the country. To find out more about getting a tattoo, browse our blog, or get in touch with us today to discuss your ideas!

References and more readings