December 9, 2008

Tattooed Gen Nexters

36%

That’s the proportion of young Americans (ages 18-25) of both sexes who have had themselves tatooed. About half in this age group have done at least one of the following: had a tatoo, dyed their hair an untraditional color or had their bodies pierced in a place other than their ear lobe.

Gen Nexters, Americans in the 18-25 age bracket, are not afraid to express themselves through their appearance and tattoos are the most popular form of self-expression — more than one-in-three (36%) now has one. Tattoos, however, are at least as prevalent among the preceding generation of Gen Xers — 40% of them have a tattoo. Other nontraditional appearance-altering practices are also prevalent among Gen Nexters: About half (54%) have done one or more of the following: gotten a tattoo, dyed their hair an untraditional color, or had a body piercing in a place other than their ear lobe. Roughly a quarter of both Gen Nexters and Gen Xers have dyed their hair an untraditional color. Gender is not a factor in either tatooing or untraditional hair-dyeing — men and women are about equally likely to have done either — but body piercing is more common among young women than among their male counterparts and slightly more prevalent among Gen Next than among Gen X: three-in-ten Nexters have had a piercing somewhere other than their ear, compared with 22% of Xers. The generational divide on these measures is between those under age 40 and those over age 40. Among the over 40 crowd, just 21% have engaged in any of these. Read More