Tattoos in Australia: Perceptions, Trends and Regrets

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tattoos in Australia: Perceptions, trends, and regrets | McCrindle ResearchThere is a niche of Australians who love tattoo sleeves and full image tattoos covering a large portion of their bodies, while others appreciate tattoos but have decided to keep their ink-loving small scale.  

Our latest research surveying 500 ordinary Australians revealed that 12% of individuals had one or more tattoos. Below are some insights we gained into the latest perceptions and trends Australians hold towards tattoos. 

Not just youthful rebellion

While a number of individuals reported getting tattoos when they were younger, 40% of people got their first tattoo aged 26 or older, and 1 in 10 Australians got their first tattoo aged mid 40s or older.

“It was a midlife crisis at age 45…a beautiful frangipani flower.”

Mainly one-offs or few tattoos

Of those who have tattoos, 54% only have one tattoo, 23% have two to three tattoos, and a further 15% have four or five tattoos.

The traditional approach of getting many tattoos is not the mainstream today, with only 8% of those with tattoos having more than 5. 

Tattoos of words or symbols increasing

For a third of tattooed Australians, the most recent tattoo was a word or symbol. Popular at the moment are names or initials of family members, children, or partners, as well as symbols that have personal meaning and Latin or Chinese character text.

“I have the phrase, ‘Never Give Up,” on my left wrist. I got it as a reminder because I suffer from depression.”

“It means a lot to me – it is a gift from one of my best friends and it has my children’s and husband’s name [in it].”

“I always wanted [a tattoo] to remember a happy time in my life.”

Not without regrets

One third (34%) of Australians with tattoos say that they regret, to some extent, getting a tattoo. One in 7 (14%) have commenced or looked into tattoo removal.

“It is my ex-boyfriends initials… now means little but serves as a reminder to think and then think again before I get another tattoo.”

“I really wanted it at the time – it’s been nice but now I would remove it.”

“I was young, only 18, and wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. I’m glad I only got one.”

General perceptions

Whether tattooed or not, 3 in 4 all Australians (76%) would discourage or strongly discourage their adult children from getting a tattoo. In fact, only 1 in 20 Australians would encourage their adult children to get a tattoo, and 1 in 5 parents would remain indifferent as to whether their son or daughter, if over 18, walked away with permanent memorabilia after visiting a tattoo artist.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


Caregiver belief WA generation Z urban taskforce schools students winter blues CBD Australian Families retirement national private wealth Australian Bureau of Statistics entertainment 1994 Kiwi money university bus high density living men skills states social commentary Queensland nfp investing communicate participants divorce rate infographic Christmas season HSC live the dream christmas national crime rates wealth distribution technology screenage Melbourne mentor house price rise Andrew Duffin shopping centre employment visual community casual gender VET financial dreams 10 years sydney event dream educated Love Christchurch urban living teachers sentiments friendship princess charlotte teaching mobile wages education sector ACT census results EFF housing affordability culturally diverse social analysis aussie culture alpha Generation X James Ward cica society cooking young people food bank Mark McCrindle in the media Births overcast group Deaths Royals future proofing public holiday wolloomooloo high density learning choice workers staff narcissism neutral bay owning a home dessert showreel Lower Hunter Region bondi paying to work fresh workplace culture food australian community trends report System's Architect careers tv Vocational education manly tableau TAS "know the times" professional speaker daily telegraph define hunger customer REIV National Conference children community event learner presentations middle class challenge townhouses social commentator McCrindle Speakers conference presentation stay home vegemite easter ipswich tips survey forecast hello fresh curiosity households dreaming medicine brands engage society trends workshop blaxland What is food insecurity? Canberra shopping South Australia Sydney ashley mckenzie spirituality media activity care support australian The Daily Edition tea ashley fell norwest trend tuesday local community Mark McCrindle pyrmont VET sector 2017 generation consumer volunteering church rule keeper ideas future parents global generations renter of the future English salary digital car presentation data sustainable SRE 2016 census Assistant Store Manager 23 million analysis focus group Jura Australia world youth day Hills Shire Council insights spend demographic google Territory Word Up demographics training holidays low density Australia Day list capital cities keynote speaker younger generations engagement Australian communities the hills unemployment quote office Australian Communities Trends tattoos divorce Sydney’s south west screenagers emerging technologies global financial crisis marriage trends dreams water panel equip increasing densification ease of travel Australian community trends millennials menai Christmas lunch chairty social enquiry Northern beaches Event DIY clothing Hunter Valley living 1975 Wagga Wagga politics income the australian dream future-proof wellbeing year 7 faux-cilising educhat growth business newspaper mccrindle tea internet life religion cost of living tertiary education happiness January 26th responsive train economic Financial Planning Association of Australia the changing face of storytelling Financial Planning Association PSI education marrickville organisational culture SMSF Geoff Brailey statistics daily commute baby boom jobs of the future cancelling event workforce bureau capital city high density apartments world Australian Dream sydney hills population education future report ethnography youth relevant cultural diversity ageing story housing consumerism school NBRS prince george 2020 optus my business awards ACT Report hornsby home victoria authenticity speakers pack school students earnings culture royal family sydney metro in the media house price Jura Coffee social change real selfie emerging trends Engineering Manager Channel 7 New Zeland renting business index relational NT professional Australians mateship royal Work place weekly earnings award winner easy rider baby name trends australian communities trends report internships wealth inequality poker master mccrindle research research sector wide study business performance generational trends investment hobart high school Wodonga Australia street emerging generations conference education research generations shifts data analyst conference speaker TEDx Australia Day 2017 study personal growth results social researchers gen alpha stats new york times cancel plans work from home repayments faux-cilise data visualisation baby boomers 2015 debate future proof giving coffee volunteering data publication vegetarian cost couple supply and demand 2012 average Australian post rationalism Res Vis Macquarie University Aussies home owner youth unemployment demographer transport wealth speajer TED talk Business analysis wealth and income identity faux-ciliser Gen Y priorities social life Northern Territory mccrindle women celebration unaffordable internship follow future of education online Elderslie-Harrington park SMART travel state ACF 2016 TED moderators guide social researcher wealth and income distribution census sports twentyseventeen charities research report REIV Conference recap thrive group session friends rain affordability city Valentine’s Day public speaking population map rent ferry village local communities media commentary food insecurity GPO baby names social research national wealth apartment communications click census 2016 commuters social issues average sydneysider Wellington earn plans goal Australian demographics social lives university degree product focus groups demography schools the hills shire house prices Sydney keynote speaker learn qualitative research census fail Australian Population rising house prices social micro apartments anzac February 16 entrepreneurial professional presenters research pack logan baby name global purpose Gen X socialising baby mccrindle in the media tuesday Maxim Accounting economy household Christmas presents Scouts crime sector wide suburbs work wage gig hills office opening australian social research urban futurist summer baby names australia report generation alpha Australian Trends housing growth cold australia urban living index leadership research data optus christianity Do It Yourself research visualisation rise of local megatrends goals cloudy days healthy future father's day 2016 social shifts professional development eliane miles future of shopping motivate monarchy property market changing face of sydney financial fears McCridle communities aged care puzzle criminal speaker pharmacies conferences buildings commuting work-life FOMO leader jobs New Zealand personalities 2013 contiki workplace interactive in depth interviews experience property families Hornsby Shire Council royal influence DESTEL financial independence typical australian domestic 40 million offenders student poor office space financial planning rental stress know the times etiquette woolworths #censusfail average aussie government Mount Annan-Currant Hill innovation greatness weather gig economy graphs Adelaide news brand census data crows nest teleworking teach speakers Charlotte baby names report brisbane Myth Real Estate Institute of Victoria social trends Australian Census earning VIC resilience area energy JOMO Social Trend Netflix house Australian Home The ABC of XYZ cash employmee media the great screenage impact online shopping perth trend Bathburst 24 million annual income long weekend sydneysider young australians forecasting population growth litter events Tuesday Trend Tasmania investor infographics geomapping deloitte New South Wales ageing population not-for-profit apartments CPI new office millenials waverton teacher year 12 dare to dream career Crime Rates local mining boom research on coffee marketing mortgage the average aussie sun potts point parenting moreton bay ACF2017 christian not for profit research NSW growing population micro suburban living housing market australians staying home more 2014 outsourcing marriages community engagement Real Estate event seasons lifestyle Australian schools safe going out collaborative sydneysiders Cobbitty-Leppington Aussie future of work forum australian communities forum TDE Channel Seven shbc optimistic sunny days family hopes names Education Future Forum mover and shaker donate insight communication trends of 2017 cartodb acf15 mythbusters media release home ownership Sydney population grave decision organisations builders change visualisation royal baby infographic wall non profit aged care mccrinlde entrepreneur Northern Beaches Christian School holiday lalor park SA keynote innovative students employmer video balance socialites coffee lovers gold coast Research Executive work mates financial future pharmacy who is generation z property price the lucky country australian real estate IT Specialists World Water Day language donation shopper's pick Financial Planning Week sector volunteers Population Clock Duchess of Cambridge Queensland: QLD Merry Christmas case study environment volunteer land of the middle class public speaker demographic trends research services ultimo sunburnt country trends analyst gen z toys kate middleton report slideshare staying in researcher Kirsten Brewer FPA grandparents facts brand experience cars google for education market research networking cultural diveristy entrepreneurs of today Skilling budget cancelling plans Lower Hunter NFP event ABS meals huffington post environmental scanning omnibus Western Australia 2016 census results learning styles growth of sydney Research Director education future award small business social impact public transport snapshot program baby name predictions commute mythbusting intern survey design school satisfaction financial mother's day millionth sydney speaker 1980 ACF17 Generation Y darwin 1968 Willowdale faith affordable social analyst hills shire collaboration trades breakfast winter residents wedding employers Northern Beaches rich travelling trends of 2016 debt child care ACF professional services NEETs eliane housing trends fears resource 24,000,000 sydneycity finance not for profit meetings population milestone proactive Tuesday Trends suburb social media Performance Sentiment Index thought leadership demographic transformations NBRS Architecture Sydney Hills Business Chamber charity leadership workshop