Unit sales of acoustic guitars in the U.S. 2005-2019

Unit sales of acoustic guitars in the United States have remained consistent over recent years, notwithstanding a two-year dip following the 2008 recession. In 2019, around 1.54 million acoustic guitars were sold in the United States.

Acoustic vs electric guitars

The key difference between acoustic and electric guitars is that electric guitars must be plugged into an amplifier for their intended sound to be produced. This is not necessary for acoustic guitars, which are generally larger and have a hollow body to naturally amplify their sound. In total, the combined retail sales of acoustic and electric guitars amounted to 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, with sales of acoustic guitars being around 18 percent higher than sales of electric guitars.

Popularity of acoustic guitars

There are two likely reasons for the higher popularity of acoustic guitars. One being price - while acoustic guitars are roughly the same price as electric guitars, with an electric guitar the cost of accessories such as an amplifier, leads and effects pedals also need to be factored in. This makes acoustic guitars often more attractive for beginners. The second reason is that, by not needing additional accessories, acoustic guitars are more convenient to both transport and store.

Number of acoustic guitars sold in the United States from 2005 to 2019

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

2005 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Acoustic guitars category includes banjos, dobros, mandolins, and other acoustic fretted instruments, excluding ukuleles.

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