The latest Yoga in America study shows that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, compared to 15.8 million from the previous 2008 study, an increase of 29 percent. In addition, practitioners spend $10.3 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations and media. The previous estimate from the 2008 study was $5.7 billion.
Data for this survey, the most comprehensive study of the consumer yoga market available, were collected by Sports Marketing Surveys USA on behalf of Yoga Journal.
The 2012 study indicates that 8.7 percent of U.S. adults, or 20.4 million people, practice yoga. Of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves “aspirational yogis”—people who are interested in trying yoga.
The study also collected data on age, gender, and other demographic and lifestyle factors. Of the yoga practitioners surveyed:
•82.2 percent are women; 17.8 percent are men.
•The majority of today’s yoga practitioners (62.8 percent) fall within the age range of 18-44.
•38.4 percent have practiced yoga for one year or less; 28.9 percent have practiced for one to three years; 32.7 percent have practiced for three years or longer.
•44.8 percent consider themselves beginners (22.9 percent are new to yoga; 21.9 percent are beginning to practice yoga after taking some time off); 39.6 percent consider themselves intermediate; 15.6 percent consider themselves expert/advanced.
•The top five reasons for starting yoga were: flexibility (78.3 percent), general conditioning (62.2 percent), stress relief (59.6 percent), improve overall health (58.5 percent) and physical fitness (55.1 percent)