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


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