The previous 2020 a rough year for gyms and gym owners worldwide, as the gym membership statistics outline, and 2021 is not much different either. But despite the tough period, 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 attendance 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 for 2021
- 63.3% of Americans with active gym memberships go to the gym at least twice a week.
- 60.6% of gym members are 18 to 34 and 35 to 54 years old.
- There were 73.6 million health club members in the US in 2019.
- The average Planet Fitness gym has 7,500 members.
- In 2020, the US gym market size reached $32.52 billion.
- Gym membership statistics report one of the most expensive gyms in the US costs $25,000 per year.
- 56% of Americans say they found more affordable ways to stay fit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- California has the highest number of gyms in the US — 5,123.
- 62.5% of gym chains in the US charge less than $500 for their membership plans.
- AI gym companions can improve gym visit rates by 21%.
Gym Membership Demographics
What age group visits gyms the most, and how often do they exercise?
1. 41 is the average age people start feeling too old to work out.
You may think age is just a number. Yet, this is the perfect excuse for a large percentage of Americans 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. 63.3% of Americans with active gym memberships go to the gym at least twice a week.
Suppose we are to believe the latest gym membership statistics by month. In that case, not all Americans end up using their gym memberships. Merely 16.34% go to the gym once a week. Likewise, 4.35% of people with active gym memberships go to the gym just once a month.
That said, 19.55% of Americans spend over $30 of their income on gyms. 2.89% spend $51–$70, and only 0.93% spend over $91 and more to exercise at the facility.
3. 33% of people aged 18–35 feel too self-conscious to join a gym, according to gym membership statistics for the UK.
A recent survey revealed what people were scared of the most when it comes to the gym — feeling self-conscious.
What’s more, 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. Not everybody is a fan of Instagram fitness influencers.
4. UK gym membership statistics from 2019 show 1 in 7 people were gym members.
(Sports Think Tank)
In the pre-covid era, there was an increase in the total number of fitness objects in the UK by 2.9%, from 7,038 in 2018 to 7,239 in 2019. In addition to that, the number of members grew by 4.7%, which means there were 10.4 million people belonging to a sports facility.
There was also an increase in the total market value by 4.2%, amounting to £5.1 billion ($7.09 billion).
On the other hand, UK gym membership statistics from 2020 imply that the Gym Group, one of the biggest gym companies in the UK, lost 178,000 customers due to the lockdown.
5. 60.6% of gym members are 18 to 34 and 35 to 54 years old.
If you’re retired and believe you’d stand out at the gym, you should know this is certainly not the case. The average age of gym-goers is steadily rising in the US. According to gym membership demographics, 22.3% of members in the US are older than 55. That’s an increase of 37.69% compared to 2010.
Only 16.10% of gym members are under 18, though.
6. 66.34% of gym members are Caucasian/White and/or non-Hispanic.
(RunRepeat) (Compare Camp)
Based on the race and ethnicity statistics, 12.78% of members are Hispanic, whereas 12.30% are African American/Black.
Regarding the gym gender statistics, 50.5% of gym members were women as of 2019. There was also an increase in the number of female health club-goers by 32.2%.
On that note, half of the new members (50%) quit the gyms in the first six months. Women are more likely to terminate their membership within a year (14%) than men (8%).
7. Based on the IHRSA gym statistics, 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 11.09 million members, followed by the UK, with 9.9 million gym members.
8. 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.
9. Gym membership age statistics show 7% of the Silent Generation are active members.
33% of Millennials, 24% of Gen Xers, 22% of Baby Boomers, and 14% of Gen Z are active gym members.
While 4.9 years is the average membership length, older generations (over 65) tend to obtain longer memberships — up to 7.3 years.
In contrast, people between 18–24 give up their membership after an average of 2.7 years.
Gym Membership Trends for 2021
How did the pandemic affect the gyms and gym members, and how big is the gym market?
10. 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.
11. The average Planet Fitness gym has 7,500 members.
Planet Fitness is a well-known brand and one of 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.
By comparison, the average number of members per gym at Gold’s Gym is around 4,200. Still, 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.
12. In 2020, the US gym market size reached $32.52 billion.
In 2019, the market for gyms and health clubs hit a record-high $37.46 billion in the US alone. Despite the rising trend from 2011 onwards, due to coronavirus, in 2020, there was a decrease to $32.52 billion.
According to the gym membership statistics, the fitness market is expected to recover in 2021, reaching $33.25 billion.
13. 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.
Additionally, exceptional customer service from fitness staff can help a gym receive 600% more income per member on average.
14. Gym membership retention statistics show average retention rates of around 60%.
Big box gyms typically have the lowest retention rates. In contrast, 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
How much money do people pay for annual gym memberships?
15. One of the most expensive gyms in the US costs $25,000 per year.
Not only that, but you’ll also end up using your credit card to pay an additional $250 initiation fee and a $125 monthly membership fee at David Kirsch’s Madison Square Club. To be fair, it costs $25,000 per 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.
16. $58 is the average gym membership cost in the US.
(Prosperly Way) (The Hustle) (Finder)
On average, Americans spend $696 a year on a gym membership. Yet, there’s more to it than that. Getting a gym membership doesn’t mean squat! While 87.6 million Americans pay about $34.8 billion on gym memberships annually, 8.3 million pay $1.8 billion each year for gym memberships they never use.
Moreover, the costs of gyms vary widely. For example, gym attendance by month might cost you $10–$100. Add to that the variable initiation fee, annual fees, and other additional charges, and you’ll 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. 62.5% of gym chains in the US charge less than $500 for their membership plans.
The most affordable major gyms in the US according to their annual fees for 2021 are:
- Planet Fitness ($159–$315),
- Youfit ($170–$338),
- Work Out World ($180–$408),
- World Gym ($192–$444), and
- LA Fitness ($275–$491).
Fascinating Gym Membership Statistics and Details
Here are some less-known facts and stats about gyms you should keep an eye on.
19. California had the highest number of gyms in the US before the coronavirus pandemic — 5,123.
In the pre-covid era, there were 41,370 health clubs throughout the US. The Golden State had the highest number of gyms, followed by Texas (3,285), Florida (2,809), and New York (2,263).
The states with the lowest number of gyms were Wyoming (81), Alaska (89), and Vermont (103).
20. China has the highest annual revenue per gym — $2,232,032.
Based on the statistics on gym membership, next to China is Hong Kong with $2,200,000 revenue per gym, followed by Singapore ($1,760,000) and Taiwan ($1,356,667).
When it comes to annual revenue generated per member, Singapore is the leader with $1,100. At the same time, Japan takes second place with $929.95.
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.
Gym Membership Cost Comparison Statistics
What are the price differences of gym memberships in other countries?
22. Qatar citizens pay the highest gym membership fee in the world — $112.12 per month.
It’s all about the money? Or not? If you want a gym membership in Qatar, be prepared to lay down a small fortune every year.
Not a fan of big-ticket gym memberships?
You’ll find the least expensive gym memberships in Sri Lanka, at just $13.87 per month on average.
23. Australian gym membership statistics show Aussies spend about $79 per month, i.e., $948 per year on gym memberships.
45% of Oz citizens visit gyms 3–5 times per week, while 21% attend gyms 1–2 times per week.
The main motivation for gym attendance among Aussies is the improvement of general fitness (40%), weight loss (23%), muscle build (14%), and mental wellbeing (10%).
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 an average gym membership expenses.
The most common reason people quit 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.
The 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 the population has a gym membership?
21.2% 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 64.2 million. That represents around one in every five people.
Millennials make up 33% of all gym-goers, followed by Gen X (24%), Baby Boomers (22%), and Silent Generation (7%).
How many gyms are in the US today?
According to market research, there are 41,370 gyms and fitness clubs in the US. California is the state that had the highest number of health clubs in 2019 — 5,123, followed by Texas (3,285), Florida (2,809), and New York (2,263).
Are gyms on the rise or decline?
Gyms are definitely on the rise after coronavirus challenges in 2020. The US gym market is expected to recover in 2021, reaching a growth of 7.2%, amounting to $37 billion
In the pre-covid era, the global health club industry witnessed a rise in revenue by reaching $96.7 billion in 2019. In a like manner, the US gym market size was worth $37.46 billion. However, due to the pandemic, gym membership statistics report there was a decline in numbers.
Many fitness centers closed their locations and declared bankruptcies (24-Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym) while digital fitness became the new normal. In addition to that, 50% of members didn’t plan to return to the gyms when they reopen.
However, the gym’s future looks bright again.
How many members do most gyms have?
The average number of gym members is between 1,000 and 10,000, while boutique gyms (under 4,000 square feet) have 100–500 members.
Be that as it may, the gyms usually have 300–500 people on a daily basis due to the facility’s capacity. For example, Planet Fitness has approximately 6,500 memberships per gym, but their facilities can accommodate only 300 people working out at the same time.
Likewise, only 16.34% of Americans visit gyms once a week, whereas 63.3% go to gyms twice a week, and 9.45% less than once within a month.
What percentage of gym memberships go unused in the UK?
11% of gym memberships go unused in the UK. While 23% of Brits are gym members, only 12% visit gyms regularly.
If we do the math, Brits “throw away “over £369 million per month ($514.75 million), i.e., over £4 billion per year ($5.58 billion) on unused gym memberships.
The main reasons why Brits avoided going to the gyms were feeling intimidated (22%), feeling that everybody was watching their moves (18%), and feeling bored at the facility (22%).
How much does a gym membership cost?
The average yearly gym membership is $507 (first year + fees). From the second year on, Americans usually pay $479 per annum.
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 base memberships cost about $2,200 per year, and it has a $500 initiation fee.
Overall, in the US, the average cost of a gym membership per month is around $31.71.
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 offer 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.
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
- Canstar Blue
- Compare Camp
- Daily Mail
- IHRSA 2020
- Noob Gains
- Nuffield Health
- Prosperly Way
- Sports Think Tank
- Study Finds
- The Hustle
- Verywell Fit