Tantalizing Tattoo Regret Statistics

Tattoo Regret Statistics 2024: Percentage of People Who Regret Their Tattoos

Published on: November 12, 2023
Last Updated: November 12, 2023

Tattoo Regret Statistics 2024: Percentage of People Who Regret Their Tattoos

Published on: November 12, 2023
Last Updated: November 12, 2023

With the rise in popularity of tattoos, it should be expected that some people would have regrets about getting inked.

It’s essentially inevitable that will happen.

This article will discuss 20 tattoo regret statistics for your consideration.

Whether you have tattoos or not, you may know someone who has regretted the tattoo they got or even getting inked at all.

There are several reasons someone might regret a tattoo, which we will cover in this article. 

We researched and found sources that revealed the demographics of those who have experienced tattoo regret and why.

It’s important to remember and consider that tattoos are permanent, and they become part of the human body. 

Tattoos are art and can be used for self-expression to commemorate, honor, and be used for meaningful purposes.

Getting inked is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly for many reasons which we will also cover in this article.

That said, studies have revealed that an estimated one in four people who have gotten wound up with tattoo regret.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, this article will help you weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision based on your personal preferences. 

We will also discuss what you can do if you experience tattoo regret and the cost of laser tattoo removal. 

Let’s dig into the world of tattoo regret.

Resource Contents show

Key Statistics

  • 78% of people with tattoos said they regret at least one of their tattoos.
  • 23% of people with tattoos in America said they experienced tattoo regret.
  • Of the 25% of people aged 20 to 29 in Australia, 14% expressed tattoo regret.
  • 19% of Baby Boomers in the United States expressed tattoo regret.
  • 12% of the Gen X generation said they experienced tattoo regret.
  • 44% of American adults with two or more tattoos expressed tattoo regret.
  • 37% of Millennials claim to regret at least one tattoo.
  • 14% of American adults said they experienced complications after getting a tattoo.
  • The tattoo removal market generates an annual revenue of $75 million.
  • Globally, the tattoo removal sector was worth $314.44 million as of 2022.

Top Tattoo Regret Statistics in 2024

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1. 78% of People with Tattoos Said They Regret at Least One of Their Tattoos.

Across Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, 78% of people with tattoos said they regret at least one tattoo they have.

This data doesn’t mean all 78% of tattooed people in these regions have tattoo regret, but that they regret at least one of their current tattoos.

Also, tattoo regret is often followed by tattoo removal. 

(Gitnux Blog)

2. 23% of People with Tattoos in American Said They Experienced Tattoo Regret.

We will get into the most common reasons for tattoo regret, but in America, 23% of tattooed people say they regret either getting tattooed or at least one of their existing tattoos.

That said, we can see by this data that most Americans don’t regret getting tattooed or even one tattoo they have.

(Gitnux Blog)

3. Of the 25% of People Aged 20 to 29 in Australia, 14% Expressed Tattoo Regret.

In Australia, 25% of tattoo recipients range in age from 20 to 29 of which 14% say they regret at least one tattoo.

Moreover, out of all Australians with tattoos, 22% said they regret at least one of them according to a 2019 survey.

Moreover, 34% of tattooed people in Australia say they reget getting a tattoo “to some extent”.  

(Gitnux Blog, McCrindle, The Guardian)

4. 19% of Baby Boomers in The United States Expressed Tattoo Regret.

In a 2021 U.S. study of people with tattoos, 19% of Baby Boomers said they experienced tattoo regret.

Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964 which is when an actual baby boom occurred.

Today, Baby Boomers, or Boomers, range in age from about 59 to 77.


5. 12% of The Gen X Generation Said They Experienced Tattoo Regret.

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Following the highest tattoo regret generation of Boomers, Gen X said they experienced 12% of those with tattoo regrets in the 2021 survey.

Gen X is the generation born between 1965 and 1984, which makes them between 38 to 58 years old. This generation precedes Millennials.


6. 11% of Millennials Expressed Tattoo Regret.

More from the 2021 survey revealed that 11% of Millennials in America expressed some form of tattoo regret.

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 which makes them between 27 and 42 years old now.

This generation falls between Gen X and Gen Z.


7. Only 7% of Gen Z Say They Have Experienced Tattoo Regret.

Finally, we see from the 2021 survey that only 7% of Gen Z have expressed tattoo regret in the United States.

The Gen Z generation is now between 11 and 26 years old, born between 1997 and 2012.

Most, if not all of those who expressed tattoo regret were older than 18.


8. 44% of American Adults with Two or More Tattoos Expressed Tattoo Regret.

Research shows that 44% of American adults with two or more tattoos regret at least one of their tattoo decisions.

Therefore, we can surmise that as the number of tattoos a person has risen, there is a higher risk of experiencing tattoo regret. 

(Gitnux Blog)

9. 37% of Millennials Claim to Regret at Least One Tattoo.

Even though 36% of Millennials have said that they think they look better with their tattoos, 37% of this generation says they regret at least one of their tattoos.

This data includes getting tattooed and/or the kind of tattoo they had done.

(Gitnux Blog)

10. 14% of 500 American Adults in A Survey Said They Experienced Some Kind of Complication from Getting a Tattoo.

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While tattoo complications like pain and skin infections account for 17% of those who regret getting tattooed, this isn’t the number one reason for tattoo regret.

In a survey of 500 American adults, 14% of them said they experienced pain and complications like skin infections. 

(Gitnux Blog)

11. 19% of People Who Got a Script or Lettering Tattoo Regretted It.

The number one reason people with tattoos said they regret at least one tattoo said it was because of a lettered or script form tattoo.

This includes tattoos of people’s names, animal designs, tribal tattoos, and other symbols.

Also, one out of ten people who have gotten the name of their partner tattooed on their skin have later broken up, which is the cause for that regret. 

(New Beauty)

12. 5% of People Who Don’t Like or Regret a Tattoo Choose to Cover It up With Another Tattoo.

This statistic shows that not everyone who experiences tattoo regret has it removed.

Some people just cover up an unwanted tattoo with another tattoo.

Considering the cost of tattoo removal, this comes as no surprise. What does come as a surprise is that they prefer to remove it instead of covering it up.

People cover up tattoos with new tattoos for many reasons like a poorly done tattoo, a faded tattoo, as well as to cover up a tattoo they regret.

(History of Tattoos, Removery)

13. 47% of Tattoos Are Removed Using the Q-Switched Laser Process in Australia.

For people who regret getting inked in Australia, the Q-switched laser procedure is most commonly used for removal.

This procedure can require up to 10 treatment sessions to achieve a successful tattoo removal.

Data shows that in 26% of these cases, tattoo removal via Q-switched laser may need over 15 sessions.

(History of Tattoos)

14. In America, the Average Amount Spent on Tattoos Is $745.

It’s worth noting that the average amount of money spent on getting tattoos in America comes to $745 (USD).

Even though people do have some level of regret for some of their tattoos, the tattoo industry is thriving in the United States

(New Beauty)

15. 19% of People Who Regretted Getting Tattooed Used Removal to Get Rid of It.

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Of people who regretted getting a tattoo, 31% considered getting one removed, but only 19% went through with getting it removed.

The tattoo industry is huge, but it also includes tattoo removal.

This shows us that there is a significant amount of tattoo regret that ends in tattoo removal.

(Gitnux Blog)

16. On Average in The United States, Tattoo Removal Costs $463 per Session.

The average cost of getting a tattoo removed in America is $463 per treatment session.

Since tattoo removal often requires more than one session, the overall cost for removing a single tattoo from your skin can turn into thousands of dollars. 

(Gitnux Blog)

17. In Europe, the Average Cost of Getting a Tattoo Removed Accounts for $50 to $60 per Square Inch.

In terms of the cost for tattoo removal in European countries, it’s calculated per square inch, or in Europe measurements by centimeter.

We found one resource that shows the cost to be around 100 to 200 euros per session depending on the size and location of the tattoo.

In Paris, laser tattoo removal can cost between 90 to 600 € and in Germany, between 60 € and over 250 €.

(CLIPP, Derma Care, Pigment Off)

18. The Tattoo Removal Market Generates an Annual Revenue of $75 Million.

Let’s look at the annual revenues generated by the tattoo removal industry.

According to IBISWorld, the tattoo removal market generates $75 million per year and experienced a CAGR of 7.7% between 2015 and 2020.

Today, it’s probably higher, but you can get the idea that this industry contributes plenty to the economy.

(Gitnux Blog)

19. 23% of Canadians with Tattoos Regret Getting a Tattoo,

Only 20% of Canadians have tattoos with nearly 50% of them being Millennials.

Of the 20% of those with tattoos, 23% of them expressed tattoo regret getting a tattoo.

Moreover, 11% have tried to cover up or removal their tattoo. 

(Vancouver Sun)

20. Globally, the Tattoo Removal Sector Was Worth $314.44 Million as Of 2022.

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Data from 2022 revealed that the global tattoo removal market was valued at $314.44 (USD).

Moreover, this market is expected to achieve up to 1,550.87 million by 2031.

The CAGR is expected to be 19.4% between 2023 and 2031.

Furthermore, the laser tattoo removal segment contributes the most revenue in this market. 

(Straits Research)


How Common Is Tattoo Regret?

Data shows that about 20% of people with tattoos experience some kind of tattoo regret.

While this is less than one-quarter of people with tattoos, it’s still crucial that you consider carefully whether to get a tattoo or not.

It’s worth repeating that this is a permanent decision.

Why Do People Experience Tattoo Regret?

The statistics above reveal some data about the reasons for tattoo regret, here it is in list form:

• Impulsive decisions
• Poor quality tattoo usually from an inexperience tattoo artist
• Lifestyle change
• Regret the use of someone’s name like an ex

What Are the Options for Getting a Tattoo Removed?

There are a few options if you want to get a tattoo removed:

• Dermabrasion where an abrasive tool is used to remove the top layer of skin where the tattoo goes with it. This option can leave scars and be very painful.
• Surgical excision is surgery where they cut the tattooed skin out and it’s mostly used for small tattoos.
• Laser tattoo removal is the process of laser light that breaks down the ink in the tattoo. It’s expensive, may require multiple sessions, and is time-consuming. However, it’s the most effective method for tattoo removal.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Tattoo Removed?

Just like the cost of a tattoo is determined by several factors like the size and complexity of the art, tattoo removal also varies depending on the size of the tattoo, the location, and how many treatments are needed to remove the ink. 

Laser removal is the most effective, but it’s time-consuming, very expensive, and may require multiple sessions to totally remove the ink.

This is one of the reasons you should never take getting a tattoo lightly.

Does It Hurt to Get a Tattoo Removed?

If you have a tattoo removed via dermabrasion or surgical excision, there is a lot of pain involved.

Also pain medication or aesthesia may be used. 

Laser tattoo removal is the most popular and effective way to get rid of a tattoo, but it also can be painful.

However, most people who have used laser tattoo removal claim the pain is tolerable. 

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Tattoo?

There is no one answer to these questions since tattoo removal (like getting a tattoo) depends on the tattoo size, location, and number of treatments needed. 

It normally takes several treatments over the course of several weeks.

However, dermabrasion and surgical excisions are often done in one session, though it is more painful. 

It’s important to know that tattoo removal is not 100% certain in all cases.

Sometimes, even after multiple sessions, residual ink will remain in the skin.

So, tattoo removal isn’t 100% effective.


Now that you have seen the statistics and demographics from all over the world related to tattoo regret, you should now see how important it is to consider the risks, regrets, and other factors of getting inked before doing it.

Do you know someone who has a tattoo that they regret?

Most of the time, tattoo regret comes from a poor-quality tattoo, making a hasty decision about getting a tattoo, and getting a name tattoo of someone else that is no longer part of your life.

We hope these tattoo regret statistics have been enlightening and helpful to you. 


Gitnux BlogHistory of TattoosVancouver Sun
The GuardianRemoveryStraits Research
McCrindlePigment OffStatista
Derma CareNew BeautyCLIPP

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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.