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IHRSA Report: Record 64.3 Million Americans Use Health Clubs

When trying to get a sense of the state of our industry, it’s wise to follow the trend lines—in particular, the health club usage trends that have emerged in the United States over the past seven years.

  1. Healthy Growth. The number of health club consumers has grown by 24% since 2009, topping 64.3 million Americans. Put another way, that’s one in five Americans ages six and up. The number of health club members has grown by 22%, exceeding 55.2 million Americans in 2015.
  2. Usage is Up. The percentage of active members—that is, those using the club on a regular basis—has grown by 23% over the past seven years, surpassing 49.7 million in 2015. Nearly half of all members use their health club at least 100 days per year, while the average annual attendance for all health club members was 104 days in 2015. 
  3. We’re Talking Billions. Another sign that health clubs are an integral part of people’s lives: the number of U.S. club visits has increased by 25% since 2009. Last year, America’s health clubs serviced 5,418,023,170 visits!
  4. Look Who’s Talking: No, not the baby voiced by Bruce Willis in the 1989 film by the same name, but rather the 8.2 million health club members under the age of 18. The growth rate for this youth segment in health clubs is the greatest by far of any age cohort, increasing by 78.7% since 2009.
  5. Who You Calling "Senior"? Active Americans age 55 and older at health clubs also saw impressive growth since 2009, increasing by 35% to 13.9 million in 2015. The growth rate for those over 65 was also 35% over the same period.
  6. Mind the Millennials. This group comprises one-third of the American workforce, and will soon become the majority as they come of age. Estimated at 80 million, they outnumber Baby Boomers (73 million) and Generation X (49 million). While the 14 million Millennial health club members are a force to be reckoned with, it is interesting to note that the 18-34 age segment at health clubs grew by only 1.7% over the past seven years.
  7. Gen X Marks the Spot. The 35-54 age cohort at health clubs is still the biggest, clocking in at 19 million Americans last year. The numbers of Generation Xers and the younger side of the Boomer Generation have grown by 15% since 2009.

The trend lines are clear. The question is: where do we go from here? One resource to consult is The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. It offers detailed participation rates of both members and non-members and contains many ideas for engaging new and existing customers. To learn more, visit

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