Gym Membership Statistics

Photo of author

By Rebekah Pierce

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

gym membership statistics

Going to the gym is a great way to stay healthy and active, but is it as popular as we think it is? The global health and fitness industry is worth an estimated $70 billion, but how many people are actually buying gym memberships and using them regularly? 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at gym membership statistics to give you an idea of just how many people are hitting the gym – and why.

What Percentage of the Population Has a Gym Membership?

About 19% of the population in the United States has a gym membership.

gym membership

The rising awareness of the importance of fitness in people’s daily lives is a major factor that has contributed to this trend.

Gym memberships are not evenly distributed across demographics. Women, for instance, are less likely than men to own a gym membership. And people between the ages of 20-64 are more likely to have a gym membership than those who are 65 years and above.

Some regions have a higher percentage of gym members than others. For example, states with higher median household incomes and educational levels have more gym memberships. 

Gym Membership Statistics –  Highlights

  • One of the largest global gym chains is Anytime Fitness, with the second highest being Planet Fitness.
  • The health club and gym industry makes billions of dollars each year.
  • 21% of gym members attend the gym daily.
  • In 2019, about 25% of all Americans went to a gym, fitness studio, or exercise club at least once.
  • About 6% of Americans never use their gym membership.

There are more than 210,000 health clubs and gyms around the world.

Source: Wellness Creative Co. 

That’s a lot of options! Whether you’re looking to join a gym in your hometown or you’re traveling and need a place to work out, it’s clear that there are plenty of choices out there. 

Of course, not all gyms are created equal, so it’s important to do your research and find one that meets your needs and budget.

One of the largest global gym chains is Anytime Fitness, with the second highest being Planet Fitness.

Source: Planet Fitness and Livestrong

planet fitness gym

While these chains may not have a presence in every single town or city, they do offer a consistent experience across all their locations. If you’re someone who travels frequently or wants the peace of mind of knowing there’s a gym nearby wherever you are, then a chain gym might be the way to go.

In the US, the top-earning health clubs are LA Fitness, LifeTime, and 24-Hour Fitness.

Source: Club Industry

These gyms bring in millions of dollars in revenue each year, which means they’re doing something right when it comes to attracting and retaining members. 

With that said, just because a gym is popular and profitable doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you. Take the time to read reviews, visit the gym in person, and ask questions before you commit to a membership.

The average gym membership cost is $37.71 per month.

Source: RunRepeat

Of course, this varies depending on where you live and what type of gym you’re interested in joining. For example, if you’re looking to join a high-end gym with lots of amenities, you can expect to pay more than $37.71 per month. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a basic gym with no frills, you might be able to find something cheaper. 

The least expensive gym membership is at Planet Fitness. 

Source: Active

This gym chain is famous for its low prices and affordable options, making it accessible to a wider audience. Depending on the location, monthly fees can range anywhere from $10 to $40. 

The basic plan includes the use of cardio and strength machines, while the more expensive plan gives access to tanning and massage services. Because of its affordability, Planet Fitness has attracted millions of members across the United States.

The health club and gym industry makes billions of dollars each year.

Source: Global Health and Fitness Association

This growth is driven by an increasing health awareness among people and the rise of boutique fitness studios, which offer specialized workouts with personal attention.

China has the highest average number of members per gym.

Source: Expert Fitness

This statistic might surprise you, but China has experienced a fitness boom in the past few years. Many cities and towns now have gyms that cater to different sports such as boxing, martial arts, and yoga. This growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

21% of gym members attend the gym daily.

Source: Gymdesk

attending the gym

This number varies widely depending on the gym and the member’s fitness goals. Some people might go to the gym three times a week, while others might go once a month. It’s also worth noting that gym attendance tends to decline over time, with many people quitting their gym memberships within six months of joining.

In 2019, about 25% of all Americans went to a gym, fitness studio, or exercise club at least once.

Source: IHRSA

With the increasing concern for staying healthy and active, it’s no surprise that many people are opting to join a gym. This statistic also shows that there’s plenty of potential for gyms and fitness clubs to attract new members.

About 6% of Americans never use their gym membership.

Source: RunRepeat

This could be attributed to a lack of motivation, a lack of available time, or maybe even dissatisfaction with the services provided. In addition, new gym members tend to be excited about starting their fitness journey, and they may sign up without weighing the implications of not using their membership regularly.

About 12% of all new gym memberships begin in January.

Source: IHRSA

The New Year’s resolutions and the “new year, new me” mentality play a significant role in this trend. But most people tend to lose their motivation in the following months, causing the gym attendance to drop. This could also explain why many health clubs and gyms lose 50% of their new members within the first six months of signing up.

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

Source: Gymdesk

These hours are considered the best time to work out because it’s quiet, there are fewer distractions, and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. So if you’re looking for a less crowded gym, try going during off-peak hours.

Most health clubs and gyms lose 50% of their new members within the first six months of signing up.

Source: Glofox

Despite the growing number of people joining gyms and fitness clubs, many new members end up canceling their membership within the first six months. In fact, most health clubs and gyms experience a 50% drop in new members within their first six months of signing up. This is partly due to unrealistic expectations and not seeing results quickly enough.

The average person keeps their gym membership for a little less than five years.

Source: Finances Online 

This might be surprising if you’ve never kept track of how long you’ve been a member, but it makes sense when you consider how life changes and priorities shift over time. Of course, there are some dedicated lifelong gym-goers out there, but for many people, the gym is just one part of their fitness journey.

Of those who keep their gym membership, 38% stay because of the equipment.

Source: Credit Donkey

This highlights the importance of having a gym with a wide variety of quality equipment options. Whether you’re into strength training, cardio, or something else entirely, having access to equipment that meets your needs can be a major factor in keeping your gym membership. 

Plus, the right equipment can make your workouts more effective and enjoyable.

Gym members with a household income of more than $150,000 are more likely to visit the gym more than 100 times per year.

Source: IHRSA

This might sound like a lot, but it works out to around twice a week on average. It’s worth noting that higher-income individuals might also have more free time and resources to make fitness a priority. However, this data could also indicate that those who are able to afford a more expensive gym membership feel compelled to make the most of it to justify the cost.

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

Source: Enterprise Apps Today

gym at sunrise

This statistic shows that many people who join a gym are serious about their fitness goals and committed to maintaining a regular workout routine. Going to the gym frequently can help you build strength and endurance, manage stress, and even boost your mood. It’s clear that for many people, the gym is an important part of their overall health and well-being.

Final Thoughts: Gym Membership Statistics

Despite the concerns surrounding gym safety and cleanliness due to the recent pandemic, the health and fitness industry continues to grow. 

Millions of people around the world are reaping the benefits of regular exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. 

If you’ve been considering getting a gym membership but are hesitant about the cost or commitment, remember that the benefits of regular exercise are worth it. Consider signing up!

Photo of author

Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a professional writer specializing in a variety of niches, including health and fitness. Her unique blend of experience managing and owning a regenerative farm, along with a background working in both secondary and higher education, gives her the versatility needed to write about a variety of topics. She has a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed. in Special Education. She's an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons, and believes in the profound power of overall health, wellness, and good nutrition when it comes to changing lives!