New York City has always been a tattoo town, even during the 37 years when tattooing was illegal. After all, modern electric tattooing was born in the Bowery around the turn of the century, it's only natural that tattooing remained integral in the lives of New Yorkers. There's a reason that Inked calls this place home.
Now a survey by the NYC Department of Health shows that 31.4% of adults residing in Gotham have at least one tattoo. Percentages always seem a little misleading, so to give you the raw number, that means there are roughly 2.7 million people with tattoos in New York City. That's a staggering number of people. To put it into more perspective, the number of tattooed people in NYC is equal to the entire population of Chicago. That's pretty damn cool if you ask us.
Which borough do you think has the highest percentage of tattooed folks? We were guessing that it would be the hipster stronghold of Brooklyn, especially given the prevalence of tattoo shops throughout most of the borough's neighborhoods. WRONG. Staten Island leads the way with 36.6% of its residents tattooed with the Bronx narrowly behind with 36.4%. Only 32.1% of Brooklyn is tattooed.
Another thing that the survey shows is that it's high time we throw out the misconception that tattoos are just for men. We know that Inked readers don't think this malarkey, but my grandma certainly does. In NYC women lead the way for getting tattoos with 34.9% of them having at least one tattoo, far ahead of the 27.4% of men who can say the same.
New York City is an amazing place to get a tattoo, even if you don't live here. The number of amazing artists working within the five boroughs is unprecedented. It's hard to throw a stone without hitting a rad tattoo studio, including the soon to open Inked NYC. In the gallery below you'll find tattoos by just a tiny fraction of the phenomenal artists that call NYC home.
If this gallery contained even one-third of the amazing artists in NYC it would have to be hundreds of pictures long. We don't have the time, nor the bandwidth, to make an article including every deserving individual. Just get out there and support your local artists, New Yorkers. If we put our minds to it we can make this place the most tattooed city on Earth!