Body modification. In statistical study it’s generally broken up into two parts: tattoos, and body piercings. It’s estimated that up to 83% of the population has their earlobes pierced, making those of us who don’t (like me!) a definite minority. For the purposes of labeling the modification level of the U.S. population and that of Europe, most studies performed since the 1990s consider a “piercing” to be anywhere except the earlobe.
For example, a survey published in 2008 by a team of professors at Texas State University concluded that approximately 16 percent of persons aged 18 to 24 have both piercings and tattoos. Considering that in many states you must be 18 to get tattooed in the first place, this is actually a pretty high number. A survey that wrapped up just two years earlier in England found that a whopping 46 percent of women between the ages of 16 and 24 were pierced in places other than the lobe, with the navel, nose, and ear cartilage fighting over top spot, just as in the U.S. Recent studies performed in America have upped our numbers to an estimated 14% overall who have at least one body piercing, and 16% overall who have at least one tattoo. According to data compiled in 2004, approximately twelve percent of those who have never been pierced say that it’s due to allergies to certain metals. Studies conducted in the past decade also confirm that women are more likely to get pierced than men, while men are slightly (about 2%) more likely to get tattooed than women.
Although the United States beats out Great Britain by a small margin for most pierced and tattooed country, in terms of percentage it can be noted that England remains by far the most modified country in all of Europe. And numbers around the globe are only expected to continue to rise.