06 February 2022, by Victoria Séveno

New figures from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) reveal that the Netherlands saw its number of tattoo shops double between 2014 and 2021, with the country now home to a very impressive 1.658 tattoo parlours.

The Netherlands home to thousands of registered tattoo parlours

The city of Amsterdam has become an international hub for world-renowned tattoo artists, with people travelling from all across the globe to get inked in the Dutch capital. With more and more tattoo shops opening every year, the industry is booming in the Netherlands. 

Indeed, recent figures released by the RIVM reveal that, over the past seven years, the country has seen its number of tattoo shops double to 1.658. While this figure is already impressive, it falls short of the real number, with the RIVM only counting businesses that are registered with a permit from the GGD. The number of tattoo shops registered with the Chamber of Commerce amounts to over 2.500.

Popularity of tattoos continues to grow amongst the Dutch

While the coronavirus pandemic meant tattoo shops had to close their doors for weeks on end as a result of the various lockdowns introduced by the Dutch government, tattoo artists haven’t suffered from a lack of customers. In fact, business owners have seen their target demographic grow significantly over the past few years, and Henri Beunders, professor of developments in public opinion at Erasmus University Rotterdam, estimates that around 1,5 million Dutch citizens have tattoos.

“Nowadays, it is no longer just people in their 20s who want to get a tattoo; teenagers or people in their 40s do as well. Even young people come to get a tattoo together with their grandfather or grandmother,” explains Linda Berserik, owner of the tattoo shop Tattoo Garden in The Hague, to NOS. “I notice that tattoos are becoming more and more accepted. I see pilots, city officials, police officers and even lawyers.”

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