Home Features The Odds of Regretting Tattoos

The Odds of Regretting Tattoos

The latest data shows that there are about 145 million people in the US that have at least one tattoo. That figure is nearly half of the entire population in the US. Scattered around the country there are around 22,000 tattoo parlours with people in the US spending more than $1.2 billion on getting inked. It would come as no surprise if that figure continues to grow, given the information in the media and social media platforms that tattoos are an expression of creativity or serve as a reminder of something.

Even though many people love their tattoos, some people tend to regret their decision to get one over time. Our team at CasinoTop wanted to find out what the odds are of someone regretting a tattoo and asked over 300 people to participate in our survey. We dove deep to ask questions that would tell us what types of tattoos people regretted the most, which part of the body they had tattooed, how old they were when they got it and more. There is a lot to think about when getting permanent ink set under your skin, so take a look at our findings before committing.

Trending Tattoos

[Image of Regrettable Tattoo Types]

Between men and women in our study, there was more consensus on the types of tattoos they regretted rather than the position on their bodies. The findings showed that male and female respondents regretted tattoos of a tribal design or the name of someone. Another tattoo that men regretted was having a person’s face or figure on their body. Female respondents on the other hand regretted having tattoos of an animal theme or stars.

[Tattoo Regrets for Position on the Body]

Out of all the people that took part in the survey, more than 11% of women had regrets about having a tattoo placed on their lower back. Additionally, tattoos that were located on their feet and chest were also among the most regretted tattoo placements in women. Having a tattoo on their biceps is a placement that men regretted and it was from 24% of the male respondents. Other remorseful tattoo placements for men were images on their shoulders and calves.

[Image of Deciding on a Tattoo by Gender]

One would think that getting a permanent tattoo takes a lot of thought. However, women (29.7%) and men (28.6%) agreed that the tattoos they regretted the most were the ones that were done spontaneously. Women also tend to be a lot younger than men when getting a spur of the moment tattoo. For something so permanent, both genders advised that they spent very little time thinking about getting a tattoo or about the design they would get.

Non-Removable Statement of Love

[Image of Statistics on Who Regrets Tattoos of a Significant Other]

The figures when it came to getting a tattoo of their significant other are far higher than the other categories we have explored thus far. About 57% of women regret getting tattoos of their significant other while there were fewer men that regretted the tattoo. About 43% of the male respondents admitted that the name of a lover was a regrettable tattoo.

Tattoos By Level of Education

[Image of Which Education Level would get a tattoo]

Our survey yielded some interesting results, even though many people believe that getting tattoos can be addictive. Out of more than 300 respondents, there were about 32% of them with tattoos that completed high school or with equal qualifications. On the next level where people had completed college or university, these individuals had fewer tattoos than others and wouldn’t be keen on adding more.

Interestingly, respondents that held master’s degrees had a higher average number of tattoos than those with no high school diploma. The least likely to have or get tattoos were the respondents with doctorate degrees. Additionally, the study showed that individuals were three times as likely to get a tattoo they would come to regret than any other of the surveyed levels of education. Only 2% of respondents with professional degrees regretted the tattoos they had. We also found that respondents with high school diplomas up to doctorate degrees were less regretful and happier than respondents without a degree.

Learning To Love It

[Statistics on Which Age the Most Regretted Tattoo was done]

The study went on to show that 38% of respondents made their first bad tattoo decision between the ages of 18 to 21. The legal age to get a tattoo done professionally in the US is 18 years old. However, teenagers can get written consent from their parents to have it done as well. Even though it is the legal age, more people in this age category regretted having a tattoo by the age of 21.


We also found that respondents in the survey that had their tattoos done before they were of legal age, had fewer regrets about their decision when compared to those that waited to get theirs between 18 and 25 years of age. This could have been because the teenagers needed their parents’ consent to have it done, so there was a lot more to think about before getting inked.

Inspiration for Tattoos

[Image of What Inspired Tattoos]

There were a significant number of respondents that said that getting a tattoo was done spontaneously but choosing the design of the tattoo seemed to tell a different story. More than 42% of the survey respondents said that the tattoo they came to regret was just something they liked at the time. More than 11% of respondents regretted the tattoo they chose on the wall of the tattoo parlour and another 11% had regrets about the tattoo design suggested by a friend. That goes to show that someone else’s inspiration for a tattoo may not stand the test of time and your life.

We did find that more of the respondents did not regret tattoos that were inspired by the internet, books or movies.

The Average Size of the Tattoo

[Image of Regretted Tattoos based on Average Size]

For some of the respondents, nearly 58% were lucky enough to regret a tattoo that wasn’t too big, perhaps the average size of a dollar bill or smaller. More than 19% of respondents regretted tattoos that were about the size of a quarter. People with larger tattoos didn’t seem to have too many regrets with only 3.8% of them unhappy about their decision. Luckily, these days it has become much easier to have a tattoo removed. While it may be a bit painful, the cost of having it removed can save you a lifetime of regret.

Regretful Tattoos by State

[Image of Regretful Tattoo Decisions by State]

Furthermore, the study showed that people from states such as Nebraska, Arizona and Illinois tend to have more people that regret having tattoos. The state with the highest number of tattoo regrets was Nevada. There are several ink parlours to choose from in the state, but Nevada is also known for spur of the moment decisions. Even if it is the spur of the moment, you can still get work done professionally, but make sure that you are committed to what you put on your skin.

Reasons for Tattoo Regret

[Image of Top Reasons to Regret Tattoos]

Out of all our respondents from the survey, 38% of them said that they no longer identify or value that specific symbol any longer. It was something that was valued at the time but did not find its way into the future lives of our respondents.

Some of the other reasons that people have stated was that the quality of the tattoo and the work done was not the best. Poor workmanship or linework was the second biggest reason why people came to regret their tattoos over time. Other people stated that they were just tired of seeing the tattoo or that the tattoo reminded them of something or someone that was no longer in their lives.

Remember that you need to ensure that you find out more about your tattoo artist or parlour before you walk in and be prepared to spend more than you were expecting to ensure that you get good quality tattoos done.

Think About It

If you are considering getting a tattoo there is a lot to think about before walking into that tattoo parlour. We have found a variety of reasons why people tend to regret their tattoos over time. So, make sure that you are getting something memorable or significant to you as a person that will grow along with you. Remember that it will be a permanent fixture in your life and getting it removed is pretty painful.

Make sure to take your time and think about where you want the tattoo placed, what the design will be, your inspiration and what you want to think about when you look at it.


We spoke to more than 300 people to find out why they had regrets about the tattoos they had, when they got these tattoos, which designs they regretted and even why they regretted the decision.

Fair Use Statement

You are free to publish and share any of the information presented on this page as long as it is not for commercial gain. We request that you include a source link that comes back to this page to ensure that the contributors are given credit.