Going to the gym is a staple part of many Americans’ weekly routines. Given exercise’s many benefits, it’s no surprise. Staying active can help decrease risk of disease, improve mood, boost energy and promote better sleep, to name a few. But just exactly how many people in the world are enjoying these benefits?

Whether you’re a gym owner looking to implement data-based marketing ideas or you’re just curious about the world’s fitness, keep reading to learn 101 important gym membership statistics.

Key Takeaways

  • There are an estimated 205,180 health and fitness clubs worldwide (Statista, 2019).
  • Globally, there are an estimated 184.59 million gym memberships (Statista, 2019).
  • The global health and fitness market is expected to grow 7.7% annually between 2020 and 2024, with 2024 seeing a projected $96.6 billion in revenue (Statista, 2021).
  • Nearly half of gym-goers (about 40%) pay below $25 per month (IHRSA, 2021). 
  • Chief executives at fitness and sports centers average $127,000 in annual wages (BLS, 2022). 

Table of contents:

Global Gym Statistics Global Gym Statistics graphic

Going to the gym is a worldwide experience, with people attending in every continent apart from Antarctica. Not only is the global gym market expansive, but it’s also lucrative. Health clubs around the world pulled in just under $100 billion in revenue, with numbers increasing each year on average.

Wondering what else there is to know about the global gym market? Take a bird’s-eye look at worldwide fitness with these statistics.

There are an estimated 205,180 health and fitness clubs worldwide.

By region, Europe has the most health and fitness clubs globally (63,644).

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By country, the United States has the most health and fitness clubs globally (41,190), followed by Brazil (29,525) and then Mexico (12,871).

Worldwide Gym StatisticsGym statistics - worldwide

Globally, there are an estimated 184.59 million gym memberships.

Planet Fitness has the most memberships worldwide, at 13.5 million.

U.S. Gym Statistics US Gym Statistics

Despite being known for its unhealthful food, the United States still holds several impressive fitness bests. Not only does the United States have the most fitness clubs and memberships out of any other country, but it also shows a continually growing market. The number of fitness gyms in the United States increases each year on average, a great sign if you are hoping to open your own gym.

Want to know more about the U.S. gym market? These statistics can help you see the big picture.

The United States has an estimated 64.19 million gym memberships, the most of any country.

From 2000 to 2019, gym memberships nearly doubled in the U.S. (32.8 million to 64.2 million).

California has the most health and fitness gyms in the U.S. (5,123).

Wyoming has the least health and fitness gyms in the U.S. (81).

The United States has a total of 106,132 fitness businesses as of 2022, up from 103,626 in 2021.

The United States gym, health and fitness club industry employs an estimated 823,652 people.

European Gym Statistics

The United States isn’t the only place where the health and fitness industry is booming. Europe has the largest number of health and fitness clubs by region, a total of 63,633 as of 2019. This represents over 39 million memberships in total, broken down as follows:

Germany has an estimated 11.66 million gym memberships, the most of any European country.

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The United Kingdom has an estimated 10.39 million gym memberships.

France has an estimated 6.19 million gym memberships.

Italy has an estimated 5.51 million gym memberships.

Spain has an estimated 5.51 million gym memberships.

Typical Gym Demographics

Now that we know how many memberships exist around the world, who exactly is a typical gym-goer? Gym memberships are largely held by white or non-Hispanic men and women from upper-middle class households. Despite men spending more time exercising on average, women are about as likely as men to hold a gym membership.

When it comes to age, gyms typically attract young adults and the middle aged. Seniors 55 and up are the least likely to go to the gym.

About 24.2% of men engage in sports and physical exercise compared to 22.6% of women.

Women spend an average of 0.3 hours on sports, recreation and exercise daily while men spend an average of 0.44 hours daily.

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Gym memberships are split nearly equally between men (49.5%) and women (50.5%).

Young adults ages 18-34 (31%) as well as adults ages 35-54 (31%) make up the biggest populations at the gym.

The next largest population are children ages 6-17 (16%).

People between 55 and 64 (10%) and 65+ (12%) are the least likely to be gym members.

Most gym-goers are white and/or non-Hispanic (66.34%). The next largest populations are Hispanic (12.78%) and Black (12.3%).

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Most gym members come from a household making at least $75,000 annually.

Gym Attendance Statistics Gym Attendance Statistics

Just because someone holds a gym membership doesn’t mean they will use it. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 people with gym memberships never attend. This is far from the rule, though. Most people with gym memberships attend at least multiple times per week.

As for when people go to the gym, early mornings before work hours are the most popular. So if you own a gym, opening your doors early is a sure way to keep many of your patrons happy.

Want to know more about how people typically attend the gym? Here’s when (or if) you can expect to see people working out.

About 21% of gym members attend almost daily.

About 38% of gym members attend multiple times per week.

About 15% of gym members attend once a week.

About 18% of gym members never attend.

About 21% of gym-goers stay in the gym between half an hour and an hour each session.

About 35% of gym-goers stay in the gym between an hour and two hours each session.

The most popular time to go to the gym is in the early morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., which is when 38% of gym members attend.

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About 29% of gym members attend in the late morning between 9 a.m. and noon.

About 25% of gym members attend during lunchtime between noon and 2 p.m.

About 20% of gym members attend in the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

About 25% of gym members attend in the early evening between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

About 16% of gym members attend in the late evening between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

About 49% of people during the COVID-19 pandemic felt very uncomfortable attending a gym.

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Of all new gym memberships, about 12% begin in January

Gym Usage Statistics Gym Usage Statistics

If you’re starting a gym, you may be wondering what equipment and amenities to invest in. The data shows your money is likely best spent on weight and cardio machines, as nearly half of gym-goers use them. People value more than just equipment at the gym, though. If you want to set your gym apart, stocking convenience items like towels and snacks can help give you an edge.

Here is how most gym-goers utilize their gyms.

About 38% of gym-goers use training and workout equipment (fitness and cardio machines, weights).

About 31% of gym-goers use convenience items (towels, toiletries, drinks, snacks).

About 30% of gym-goers use sports equipment (punching bags, martial arts equipment).

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About 29% of gym-goers use a personal trainer.

About 24% of gym-goers use a pool.

About 24% of gym-goers use wellness facilities (sauna, spa).

About 23% of gym-goers use professional advice (training or nutrition plan).

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About 21% of gym-goers use coached courses and team training.

About 20% of gym-goers use online courses and workouts.

About 20% of gym-goers use sports facilities (squash courts)

About 14% of gym-goers use outdoor training grounds.

About 14% of gym-goers use EMS training.

Membership Cost Statistics Membership Cost Statistics

How much does staying fit cost? The answer is it depends. Almost half of people pay below $25 monthly for their gym memberships, but about one-third pay $50 or above monthly. For gym owners looking to make the best profit, it’s probably a good idea to offer tiers at increasing prices to cater to the widest audience. Or take a look at how to price your gym programs.

The average gym membership costs about $51 per month.

The average boutique gym membership costs about $90 per month.

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Despite the averages, nearly half of gym-goers (about 40%) pay below $25 per month.

About 28% of people pay between $25 and $49 per month for their gym membership.

About 13% of people pay $50-$74 per month for their gym membership.

About 6% of people pay $75-$99 per month for their gym membership.

About 13% of people pay $100+ per month for their gym membership.

Membership Cancellation Statistics Membership Cancellation Statistics

Most memberships won’t last a lifetime. Turnover is a normal part of operating a gym. But just how much turnover is to be expected? The statistics show if you’re retaining about half of your new members, you’re on par with the average.

Most memberships last an average of 4.7 years.

Gyms typically lose about 50% of all new members within the first 6 months.

About 8% of male gym-goers quit their membership after a year.

About 14% of female gym-goers quit their membership after a year.

Gym Retention Statistics Gym Retention Statistics

Retention is the goal of every gym owner. Improving sales is always helpful, but they won’t matter if you can’t retain your members. Take a look at average retention rates across the industry and find a few tips to possibly increase yours.

Traditional health clubs average a 71.4% retention rate.

The average fitness studio averages a 71.89% retention rate.

Personal training studios average an 80% retention rate.

The average group exercise studio averages a 73% retention rate.

Members who attend group classes are less likely to cancel their memberships than those who do not.

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Two interactions per month between staff and members can reduce cancellations up to 33%.

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Why Do People Join Gyms?

If you’re seeking to improve your gym’s retention rate, it can help to know why people go to the gym in the first place. Here are the reasons cited by gym-goers in the United States.

About 44% are members to be fit and in shape.

About 42% are members to maintain a healthy and active life.

About 34% are members to build up muscle.

About 33% are members to lose weight.

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About 32% are members to look good.

About 31% are members to have fun.

About 28% are members to relieve stress and improve mental well-being.

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About 28% are members to meet new people.

About 25% are members to have exciting experiences.

About 18% are members to spend time with family and friends.

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About 16% are members to get an adrenaline rush.

What Are the Most Important Aspects of a Gym?

Understanding why someone chooses to go to the gym is just one part of the retention puzzle. It’s also important to consider what they want out of their gyms. If your gym sales have dropped, it could be because of one of these aspects.

Here are some of the most important things people value when looking for a gym.

About 37% of people hold price and contract as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 37% of people hold location as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 35% of people hold equipment and facilities as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

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About 31% of people hold opening hours as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 26% of people hold staff as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 25% of people hold atmosphere and design as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 21% of people hold drinks and snacks as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 20% of people hold sauna, wellness and other additional services offered as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

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About 18% of people hold courses and classes as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

About 17% of people hold image as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

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About 17% of people hold fitting in with other gym members as one of the most important aspects of a gym.

Gym Cost and Revenue Statistics Gym Cost and Revenue Statistics

If you’re considering opening your own gym, it’s important to know the average costs and what you may expect to make in revenue. In general, the costs associated with opening and running a gym vary widely depending on location, niche, brand and more. In the United States, the average cost to start a gym is around $50,000. With the average U.S. gym expending $23,771 in Q3, a yearly cost estimate is around $100,000.

Revenue also changes depending on several factors including your location and size. When estimating how much revenue your gym may stand to make, a good rule of thumb is using your projected membership. On average, gym members are worth $517 annually. This means the average U.S. gym must attract about 193 members annually to break even.

So what’s the bottom line? Owning a gym is likely to make you six figures, with fitness center executives making about $127,000 in annual wages.

The global health and fitness market is expected to grow 7.7% annually between 2020 and 2024, with 2024 seeing a projected $96.6 billion in revenue.

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From 2009 to 2019, the global health and fitness market saw a 43.9% increase in revenue.

As of 2020, the top three most profitable gyms globally were Life Time ($948 million), LA Fitness ($900 million) and 24 Hour Fitness ($607 million).

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North American fitness clubs generated $37.98 billion in 2019.

In the United States, fitness clubs generated an estimated $35.03 billion in 2019, a number that dipped to $14.63 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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The average gym in the United States recorded $23,771 in expenses in Q3 2020.

Gym members are worth an average of $517 annually.

The average cost to start a gym in the U.S. is $50,000, although this will vary by location and facility type.

Equipment costs for a commercial gym can range from $300,000-$500,000.

Smaller gyms may spend around $100,000 on equipment.

Chief executives at fitness and sports centers average $127,000 in annual wages.

Gym Statistics FAQ

Have additional questions? Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked gym statistics questions.

What Percentage of Gym Memberships Go Completely Unused?

According to a survey run by Statista in 2021, about 18% of U.S. gym members never attend.

How Many People Go to the Gym in the U.S.?

About 52.6 million people go to the gym in the United States. This is based on 64.19 million U.S. gym memberships minus the 18% of memberships that go unused.

What Percentage of the World Goes to the Gym?

Only about 2.4% of the world’s population attends the gym. This number represents a calculated estimation using 184.59 million worldwide memberships in 2019 and a global population of about 7.7 billion.

What Does the Average Gym Membership Cost?

According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the average gym membership costs $51 per month. Boutique gym memberships come in a bit pricer, averaging $90 per month.

Despite these averages, nearly half of gym-goers (about 40%) pay less than $25 for their gym memberships.

Overall, the gym and fitness club industry shows continued growth, both in memberships and revenue. If you’re a gym owner, keep your eye out for these upcoming industry trends so you can stay ahead of the curve and manage your finances like a pro.

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