This 2020 has been a rough year for gyms and gym owners worldwide. But despite the continuing trough in gym attendance statistics, things are starting to look up. Perhaps the best thing about the dry spell is just how eager it made health club owners and members about getting back into the fold.
If you’re still unable to go to the gym, don’t despair. It looks like most gyms are going to make it through the crisis.
To prove it, we compiled some key gym membership statistics that show the fitness industry’s strength. Whether you’re trying to substantiate business decisions about your health club or figure out when the best time to go to the gym is, these stats should help you out.
Have we got your undivided attention? Good! Now, let’s get those gains going too.
Keep on reading and do just that!
Top 10 Gym Membership Statistics You Need to Know
- 33% of people aged 18–35 feel too self-conscious to join a gym.
- There were 73.6 million health club members in the US in 2019.
- In the UK, gym usage peaks at age 72.
- The gym and fitness club market size will shrink by 13.2% in 2020.
- The average Planet Fitness gym has 7,500 members.
- 6.3% of gym memberships in the US go unused.
- 56% of Americans say they found more affordable ways to stay fit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- California has the most gyms of any state with 3,365 facilities.
- The biggest gym in the world has over 150,000 square feet of exercise space.
- The best time to get a deal on a gym membership is in December.
Gym Membership Demographics
1. 41 is the average age people start feeling too old to work out.
You may think age is just a number. Yet, for a large percentage of Americans, it’s the perfect excuse to get out of a workout. However, in a recent survey, most people said that not having enough time was the main reason they opted out of exercising.
2. 49.9% of Americans with active gym memberships go to the gym at least twice a week.
If we are to believe the latest statistics on gym membership, not all Americans end up using their gym memberships; merely half go to the gym at least twice a week. Likewise, another 24.2% of people with active gym memberships go to the gym just once a week. And 11.7% either don’t use their membership at all or go less than once per month.
3. 33% of people aged 18–35 feel too self-conscious to join a gym, according to gym membership demographics from the UK.
A recent survey revealed what people were scared of the most when it comes to the gym — feeling self-conscious.
Also, 22% of respondents felt pressured by seeing other people’s gym photos on social media, and as much as 30% of those wished to see more authenticity in said pictures.
4. 39 is the average age of a health club member.
(Club Industry) (24/7 Fitness)
If you feel too old to go to the gym, don’t be. The average age of gym-goers is steadily rising in the US. According to statistics on the age group of gym membership holders, adults aged 25–54 make up the lion’s share of members.
5. More than twice the number of men have gym memberships than women.
(Statistic Brain) (Shape)
A nationwide survey of over 5,000 people found a 70:30 split between men and women who have gym memberships in the US. The largest age group was 24–44, with 72% of participants of both sexes falling in that range.
These gym gender statistics jibe with studies showing that men get twice the amount of exercise as women, on average.
6. There were 73.6 million health club members in the US in 2019.
(IHRSA 2020) (Deloitte)
The US has the most gym members of all countries with a little under 74 million, up from 58 million in 2010.
Europe is a close second, with 62.2 million members across all member nations.
Germany is the largest market in Europe, with a respectable 11.1 million members, followed by the UK, with 9.9 million gym members.
7. Gym membership rates in the US show a 20.3% penetration rate.
IHRSA’s global report shows the US has the highest penetration rate in the Americas for gyms. In fact, the US market was firing on all cylinders pre-COVID-19. Revenue, membership rates, and club counts were all growing.
It will be interesting to see how the situation develops post-COVID-19.
8. Gym membership age statistics show gym usage peaks at age 72 in the UK.
Surprisingly, septuagenarians make up the most-active user base among gym members in the UK, with an average of eight visits per month no less.
In fact, in Leicester, a city in the East Midlands, 74 year-olds averaged a whopping 14 gym visits per month.
Current Gym Membership Trends (2020)
9. 7 major fitness and sports goods companies filed for bankruptcy in the US in 2020.
Lockdowns and social distancing measures certainly blindsided the fitness industry in the US. While some gyms and fitness brands are slowly rebuilding, many weren’t well-placed enough to weather the storm.
Among those that declared bankruptcy were two of the biggest gyms in the country, Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness, according to gym membership statistics from 2020.
10. The average Planet Fitness gym has 7,500 members.
Planet Fitness is among the top performers in the industry; its affordable model does a great job of getting people to join. However, the company doesn’t reveal how many people quit after the first year of membership is over.
By comparison, the average number of members per gym at Gold’s Gym is around 4,200. However, these numbers don’t take into account gym size or location. And since Gold’s Gym is an international organization with over 700 locations, some gyms are likely skewing the average substantially.
11. The gym and fitness club market size will shrink by 13.2% in 2020.
In 2019, the market for gyms and health clubs hit a record-high $37.4 billion in the US alone. However, it’s expected to plummet to $32.5 billion in 2020. The average number of gym members per gym is also likely to fall significantly.
That doesn’t bode well for gyms and health clubs, but the decline is smaller than the broader industry of Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation overall.
12. Fitness staff can generate seven times as much income per member as salespeople.
Retention rates are one of the main things gyms struggle with — hence why having competent fitness staff is so crucial. Salespeople are the “first line of defense,” and they’re going to get members in the door. Yet, exceptional customer service from fitness staff can help a gym receive 600% more income per member on average.
13. Gym membership retention statistics show average retention rates of around 60%.
Big box gyms typically have the lowest retention rates, whereas personal training studios and other specialty health clubs have retention rates of up to 80%.
The Association of Fitness Studios reports retention rates of 75.9% among its members, substantially higher than even the top big box gyms.
Average Gym Membership Cost — Stats and Facts
14. The most expensive gym in the US costs $25,000 a year.
(Business Insider) (Self)
Not only that, but you’ll also end up paying a $250 initiation fee and a $125 monthly membership fee at David Kirsch’s Madison Square Club. To be fair, it costs $25,000 a year to get unlimited personal training sessions, not for a basic membership.
After all, David Kirsch is a “celebrity trainer” — he’s been training the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum.
15. 6.3% of gym memberships in the US go unused.
Getting a gym membership doesn’t mean squat! If you need proof, just look at the 5+ million Americans who pay $1.8 billion each year for gym memberships they never use.
16. $58 is the average gym membership cost in the US.
(Prosperly Way) (The Hustle)
On average, Americans spend $696 a year on a gym membership. Yet, there’s more to it than that.
Namely, the costs of gyms vary widely — from around $10 to $100 per month. Add to that the variable initiation fee, annual fees, and other additional charges, and you end up with entirely different actual costs.
17. 56% of Americans say they found more affordable ways to stay fit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A survey by TD Ameritrade looked at the pandemic’s effect on people’s attitudes about gym memberships. Over half (59%) of respondents said they wouldn’t renew their canceled gym membership when the pandemic is over. Staying in and enjoying alternatives to cable TV certainly made an impact.
In addition, the average cost of a gym membership, personal training, and related activities amounted to $177 per month among those surveyed.
18. The average duration of a gym membership is 4.9 years.
People with a gym membership in the US hold it for almost five years. Those older than 65 make the most loyal age group, with average membership retention of 7.3 years.
Those least likely to hold onto their membership are in the 18–24 age group. Their average membership lasts merely 2.8 years.
Fascinating Gym Membership Statistics and Details
19. California has the most gyms of any state with 3,365.
New York follows suit with 2,759, and Florida comes in third, with a respectable 2,463. Despite the impressive total, California is actually among the states with the fewest gyms per 100,000 residents (8.5).
The state with the most gyms per 100,000 residents is Vermont (23.4), with only 146 gyms. Southern states tend to have the lowest gym concentration, with Arkansas only having a meager 4.4 gyms per 100,000 residents.
20. Between 2000–2019, the number of fitness centers and gyms in Australia grew from 667 to 3,468.
(Statista) (Fitness Australia) (Canstar Blue)
Australian gym membership statistics show Australia was a rapidly growing market pre-COVID. However, almost one in five Australians who join a gym report not attending as often as they thought they would when they signed up.
21. AI gym companions can improve gym visit rates by 21%.
This isn’t something out of a sci-fi movie. If you want to boost your gym membership rates, you may want to enlist the help of an artificial intelligence coach.
CoachAI, an AI gym companion service that syncs with messengers such as WhatsApp, can help gyms hold on to members. A study on the effects of the AI showed decreased membership cancellations after 12 weeks of use and increased the number of members’ visits.
22. The biggest gym in the world has over 150,000 square feet of exercise space.
(HCM) (The Richest)
The honor of the largest gym in the world belongs to the Gold’s Gym location in Amman, Jordan. With six floors and 150,690 square feet, it dwarfs the Greenwood Athletic And Tennis Club (142,000 square feet), which is the second-largest.
Gym Membership Cost Comparison Statistics
23. The average cost of gym membership in Kuwait is $116 per month.
If you want a gym membership in Kuwait, be prepared to lay down a small fortune every year. No surprises here, seeing how we’re dealing with the country with the strongest currency in the world.
Not a fan of big-ticket gym memberships?
You’ll find the least expensive gym memberships in the Balkans, particularly in Kosovo region, at just $14.22 per month on average.
24. 24% of people who cancel a boutique gym membership do so because it’s too expensive.
In comparison, only 13% of those who stop their membership at traditional gyms do so due to average gym membership costs.
The most common reason people give for quitting traditional gyms is failing to go to the gym or use the membership (22%).
25. The best time to get a deal on a gym membership is in December.
It’s no secret that New Year’s resolutions are one of the biggest drivers of gym memberships. And gym owners tend to give out discounts in the weeks leading up to the New Year (shopping) spike.
However, average monthly gym membership numbers dwindle in the summer months. That prompts another wave of discounts, and it’s a good time to look for a cheap gym membership.
What percentage of people have a gym membership on average?
22.4% of people in the US have a gym membership, according to stats from 2019. The latest reliable figures place the number of people with gym memberships in the US at 73.6 million. That represents around one in every five people.
Millennials and Generation Z make up 80% of all gym-goers, according to global surveys. However, it’s crucial to note that figures have most likely fallen; and considerably at that.
How many gyms are in the US today?
(US Business Data) (IHRSA)
According to market research from US Business Data, there are 90,563 gyms and fitness clubs in the US. On the other hand, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association reported 39,570 health club facilities in 2018.
Ultimately, it depends on what you want to describe as a gym. If you use the broadest possible definition, there are considerably more than if you restrict your count to traditional gyms.
How much does a gym membership cost?
(Prosperly Way) (The Hustle) (Business Insider)
The cheapest traditional gym is Planet Fitness at around $10 a month, plus an annual fee. On the other end of the spectrum is Equinox, where memberships range between $160 and $250, and it has a $300 initiation fee.
Overall, in the US, the average cost of a gym membership per month is around $58, or $696 per year.
If you’ve been waffling about joining a gym or not in recent years, it’s probably a good time to look for discounted memberships. As health clubs worldwide are reopening, many are offering incentives to grow their membership numbers as quickly as possible.
Now, if you’re a gym owner, you’re probably not thrilled about recent gym membership statistics. Gym membership dues are the lifeblood of your gym, after all. But, there are encouraging signs if you’ve managed to get through the worst of it.
Now is the time to start thinking of ways to re-engage with old members and entice new ones.
- 24/7 Fitness
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
- Canstar Blue
- Club Industry
- Fitness Australia
- Fit Rated
- IHRSA 2018
- IHRSA 2020
- Nuffield Health
- Nuffield Health
- Prosperly Way
- Statistic Brain
- Study Finds
- The Hustle
- The Richest
- US Business Data