• Findings show Cape Town is the No. 1 city for tattoos in terms of affordability and parlour availability
  • The city with the highest percentage of tattoo tourism is Denpasar, Indonesia
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka has the most affordable hourly rate for getting inked at €20

Berlin, Germany, 30/11/2016 –  Video retail app YEAY have created a ranking analysing how the world perceives and buys tattoos in 2016. With tattoos becoming an increasingly mainstream style choice, the overall demand and availability of parlours is growing, and the way consumers buy tattoos is changing. After observing the trend of shoppers buying tattoo gift certificates for friends and family using their app, YEAY undertook extensive research to better understand this movement. The results present a comprehensive guide to current tattoo culture across the globe, with the Global Tattoo Index.

The ranking is based on data taken from thousands of parlours around the world and the findings contain a twin focus. The first is the Accessibility Ranking, which ranks how convenient it is to buy tattoos in the city by taking into account the cost and the amount of parlours in each city. The second is the Purchasing Popularity Index, which studies how tattoos are bought and gifted.

As part of the Tattoo Index, YEAY also ran a survey comprising of 5,000 participants on the general topic “tattoo.” The results reveal that while only a small minority of respondents (13.6%) have a tattoo, the majority (66.3%) consider tattoos to be mainstream. The findings also reveal the breakdown of the ways in which people with tattoos found their tattoo artist: through a recommendation (54.2%), visiting parlours (23.2%), online (13.6%), and other (8.9%).

The results reveal that Madrid, Spain offers an hourly average cost of €152 to be inked, the 13th most expensive hourly rate. This compares to the most affordable city Colombo at €20 per hour and the most expensive city San Francisco at €250. 50% of the tattoos here are purchased by tourists, whilst 10% are purchased as gifts. Of those given as gifts, 99% are purchased by partners, the highest percentage of any location.

The top 10 cities ranked by parlours per 100,000 citizens and average cost per hour can be seen below:

    Accessibility Ranking
# City Country Parlours / 100,000 citizens Average cost/hour Ranking
1 Capetown South Africa 13.83 €48 72.89
2 Miami Beach USA 28.48 €145 70.29
3 Panaji India 12.19 €55 68.81
4 Norwich UK 11.82 €60 67.10
5 Denpasar Indonesia 7.60 €43 65.14
6 Apia Samoa 5.44 €32 64.87
7 Marmaris Turkey 17.77 €110 63.57
8 Austin USA 8.98 €65 61.92
9 Las Vegas USA 14.05 €95 61.90
10 Colombo Sri Lanka 1.08 €20 61.51

Full results of the ranking can be found on YEAY.com’s landing page here.

Further trends from the Tattoo Index include:

The city with the most parlours per capita was Miami Beach, USA with 28.48 per 100,000 citizens.

The city with the cheapest tattoo parlours was Colombo, Sri Lanka at an average cost of €20.00 per hour.

The city with the most expensive tattoos was San Francisco, USA at an average cost of €250.00 per hour.

Denpasar, Indonesia was the city where tattoos were most likely to be purchased by visitors at 99% likelihood.

Tahiti, French Polynesia and Auckland, New Zealand were found to be the cities where tattoos are most likely to be gifted at 60%.

Gifted tattoos are most likely to be given by parents in Delhi, India (60%), other family in Milan, Italy (50%), from friends in Reykjavik, Iceland (90%) and from a partner in Madrid, Spain and Córdoba, Argentina (99%).

The Accessibility Ranking was formed by comparing the number of studios per population to the average hourly rate for getting a tattoo. To calculate the Purchasing Popularity Index, YEAY contacted studios in each city and asked them to provide details on an annual breakdown for each category.

Melanie Mohr, founder of YEAY, states, “The findings of the study show that family and loved ones are purchasing tattoos for one another. It’s great that a pattern we detected within the YEAY app is largely replicated in many locations across the world. Additionally, the findings in relation to ‘tattoo tourism’ are fascinating.”

Daniel Krause of Classic Tattoo, Berlin has said, “Berlin is one of the leading tattoo capitals of the world. Looking at this Index, while other cities might rank ahead in terms of accessibility, 80% of those getting tattoos here are tourists. This is because some of the top tattoo artists in the world are based in this city, which shouldn’t be ignored as a factor contributing towards Berlin’s high levels of tourism in general.”