During the last ten years, according to U.S. News & World Report, tattooing has become one of America’s fastest growing categories of retail business. There are now an estimated 15,000 tattoo studios in operation, furthermore, it is estimated that at least one new studio opens daily.
According to the most recent Harris Poll, conducted in the summer of 2003, approximately 15% of Americans (or about 40 million people) have at least one tattoo. The increased popularity of the tattoo is apparent if you compare those findings to the 1936 Life magazine estimate that 10 million Americans, or approximately 6% of the population, had a tattoo.
Tattooing appears to be evenly spread throughout the United States with the West Coast having the most per capita, with 20% of the population having at least one tattoo. Tattoo statistics for men and women in the United States are now nearly even, with 16% of all American males having at least one tattoo and 15% of all American females having at least one tattoo.
The 2003 Harris Poll revealed that 83% of the respondents to the survey had no regrets about their choice to get a tattoo, while 17% said they did regret having chosen to get a tattoo. Of those who regretted getting a tattoo, 16% said it was because of a person’s name being the tattoo, or being included within the tattoo.
The same Harris Poll reveled that 16% of respondents stated their race as white and having at least one tattoo, 14% stated their race as black and as having at least one tattoo, and 18% of those respondents stated their race as Hispanic and having at least one tattoo.
According to political party affiliation, 14% of Republicans stated they had at least one tattoo, 18% of Democrats stated they had at least one tattoo, and 12% of Independents stated they had at least one tattoo.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) summary data about tattooing states in it’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports, that the CDC has consistently noted that it has documented “no cases of HIV transmission through tattooing” anywhere in the country since it began tracking such data in 1985. By comparison, there have been at least 7 cases of HIV transmission associated with dentists and dental workers.
The CDC summary data also indicates that of the 13,387 annual cases of hepatitis detailed in the most recent CDC report, 12 are associated with tattoo studios. By comparison, 43 cases – or better than 300% more – are associated with dental offices.
States which prohibit tattooing on the face:
RI – hands, feet, and face.
SC – Head, face or neck, unless done by physician.
States in which Permanent Makeup is regulated separately from tattooing:
AR – CO – ME
States which have varied laws governing tattooing (sterilization, licensure, training):
AR – CA – CO – FL – HI – IN – KS – ME – NV – NC – OH – OR – RI – TN – TX – WA
States in which tattooing of minors is prohibited:
AL – AZ – AR – AZ – AR – CA – DE – GA – HI – IL – IA – KY – LA – ME – MS – MN – MT – NE – NJ – NY – NC – OH – OR – PA – RI – SC – SD – TN – TX – UT – VA – WA – WV – WI – WY
States in which there is further legislation pending:
ID – WA – PA – NJ – OK – MD
States in which there is no legislation:
DC – NM – ND