Share of Americans with a tattoo - by occupation 2013

This statistic shows the results of a survey on tattoos. The respondents were sorted by their occupation. 14 percent of respondents working in retail admitted having a tattoo.

Tattoos and body art

For centuries, tattoos have been used in many cultures as a form of body modification. They were used as a way of identifying oneself and others, as a talisman against evil spirits, rites of passage or for social reasons. Since tattooing was and still is popular all over the world, there are several different kinds of tattoo art. The style of Japanese tattoo art, for example, is distinctively different from that of gang members in the United States.

After a period of being regarded as an indicator for deviant behavior, tattoos have gained acceptance in Western society and are mostly considered a way of expressing oneself, not a sign of moral deviance.

The number of Americans with a tattoo has risen significantly during the last decade; they are especially popular among the 25 to 39 year-olds. Still, the overwhelming majority of Americans prefer tattoos which are not visible when they are fully clothed, probably because tattoos are still seen as a hindrance to finding a job, despite growing social acceptance.

Among office job workers, tattoos are significantly less accepted than in fields which do not require customer contact or representation, as can be seen above. Interestingly enough, piercings, another form of body modification, are considered even worse than visible tattoos when it comes to employment. A slight majority of tattooed Americans make sure their body art is not visible when they are at their workplace.

Do you have a tattoo?

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Release date

June 2013


United States

Survey time period


Number of respondents

Approx. 2,700

Supplementary notes

The source does not specify the exact date or type of the survey or the age of the respondents.

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Statistics on "Body modification in the U.S."

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