Minority Groups Better Represented at Studios than at Other Club Types

Studios may have an opportunity to engage ethnic consumer bases that are otherwise "overlooked" at many commercial clubs, according to a recent industry report by IHRSA.

Consistent with historical trends, the IHRSA 2017 Health Club Consumer Report found that more than two-thirds of health club members in 2016 were Caucasian (69 percent/39.6 million). African Americans (11 percent/6.6 million), Hispanics (10 percent/5.9 million) and Asians/Pacific Islanders (7 percent/4 million) were represented at all club types but, in some cases, found better per-capita representation at studios and niche facilities.

"If this trend continues in the years to come, studios may reap the profits of serving a consumer base that seems to be overlooked by other commercial clubs," according to the report.

Those of Asian/Pacific-Islander descent are especially drawn to mind-body and indoor cycling/rowing studios, the report said. Hispanics are often consumers of boot camp/cross-training and personal and small group training studios. African Americans are more likely to be members of boxing/martial arts/MMA and indoor cycling/rowing studios.

Although only 4.3 million Asians/Pacific Islanders were health club members in 2016, this group accounted for the highest index rating among all ethnic groups: 138. This means American health club members are more likely to have Asian/Pacific Islander heritage when measured against the overall U.S. population.

Other index ratings: Caucasians, 101; African Americans, 88; Hispanics, 86.

The report states: "An Index compares a group to the actual percent that group represents of the total U.S. population; an index of 100 means the percentage of a group’s participants equals the percent of the national population who participate."

View this clickable gallery for a breakdown of ethnic representation at 11 major club types.

The Health Club Consumer Report surveyed 24,134 American adults on a wide array of fitness topics in 2017. It includes insights for better engaging club members from all demographics—Millennials, Generation XGeneration Z and Seniorsas well as data on agegender and the appeal of various club models.

View the complete report here



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