Where do Australians put their tattoos?

Angus Kidman 20 July 2017 NEWS

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According to YouGov, 20% of us have them, but what will they do to your job prospects?

Disclosure: I have no tattoos. I don't want to draw attention to my scrawny arms or my pathetic chest. Also, I'm too hairy and a bit of a wimp when it comes to needles. And while that doesn't put me in a minority, tattoos are becoming more popular.

A recent YouGov survey of 1,000 Australians suggests that 20% of us have been inked. The age bracket where it's most popular is 35 to 44, with 30% having at least one tattoo. Women (25%) are more likely to have tattoos than men (19%).

And where are those tattoos going? For men, the arm is the most popular choice, with 70% of men with tattoos having one there. For women, it's a tie between the arm and the back, both at 41%. The chart below shows the full figures (remember many people will have tattoos in more than one location):

The other issue the YouGov study explored was how people perceive tattoos. Overall, 48% of Australians have a negative view of them, while 43% see them positively. But that doesn't necessarily translate into the belief that was widespread when I was a teenager: that having a tattoo would lower your chances of getting a job. Just 8% of those who have tattoos believe it has affected their chances of getting a job. Of course, we don't know if the other 92% are happily employed as tattoo artists or professional bikies, but it does suggest the stigma isn't extreme.

That said, tattoo regret is real, if uncommon: 13% of those surveyed have considered getting their tattoo removed. Reminder: don't expect your health insurance to cover that. If you're at all uncertain, a temporary tattoo seems a wiser move.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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