Majority of Americans Believe Tattoos Are Art, According to New Study

Sunday, July 17, 2016

In recognition of National Tattoo Day today, Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, releases several findings on the American public’s perceptions and attitudes towards tattoos as art. 
The findings come out of a comprehensive national public opinion study, “Americans Speak Out About the Arts,” which found that 73 percent of Americans believe that at least some tattoos are art.
Other findings include: 
  • A quarter of Americans have a tattoo (27 percent). 15 percent have one tattoo, and another 12 percent have more than one.
  • Men and women are equally likely to have a tattoo (27 percent and 25 percent, respectively). Men, however, are more likely than women to have just one tattoo (17 percent vs. 12 percent), while women are more likely than men to have multiple tattoos (13 vs. 10 percent).
  • 87 percent of Millennials consider tattoos art, compared to 76 percent of Gen Xers, 64 percent of Baby Boomers, and 49 percent of Elders.
  • Americans with full time jobs are the most likely to have at least one tattoo (34 percent), compared to those who work part-time (26 percent), are unemployed (27 percent), or retired (9 percent). 

Major study findings from “Americans Speak Out About the Arts” include that Americans believe the arts play a vital role in personal well-being and healthier communities, the arts are core to a well-rounded education, and approve of more federal government funding for the arts. 

The survey was conducted on behalf of Americans for the Arts by Ipsos Public Affairs in December 2015, polling 3,020 adults online on topics such as personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that comes from engaging in the arts, and how those benefits extend more broadly to the community, and support for arts education and government arts funding. 
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at