Skateboarder Census

When we talk about the new skatepark, we are presenting a solution to a problem. You are probably familiar with the reasons why skateboarders need a skatepark, but why does the community need one? And how many skateboarders are we talking about?

The last question is the easiest place to start.

Skateboarding is very popular. The number of skateboarders in the United States varies from year to year, and the most popular types of skateboarding also change. In 2010 there were 9,000,000 skateboarders, according to the research conducted by American Sports Data. The US Census releases a new count every 10 years. (They provide accurate estimates for every year between the new counts but for our purposes we’ll rely on 2010 data.)

We do not have reliable participation data for nations other than the United States. In order to replicate this formula in your country, you’ll need to know the total number of skaters in the country. In the likely event that you cannot find anything, you might use the same percentages as the United States.

When we know how many skaters there are in the nation, we can estimate how many skaters are in your community.

We’re going to start with some general numbers found on the United States Census.

Here’s what we know:

In 2010 there were 308,758,105 people in the United States.
24% are under 18 years old (youth).
76% are 18 or older (adults).

308,758,105 x 24% (.24) = 74,101,945 youth
308,758,105 x 76% (.76) = 234,656,160 adults

Together, that is all of the people in the United States.

Figuring out how many people in the United States are under 18 is simple. We multiply the total population by the youth percentage. We do that by converting the percentage into a decimal: 22.9% becomes .229.

308,758,105 x .24 = 74,101,945 (youth in the U.S.)

It may be important to know how many people are 18 and over. We now have two ways to do that. We can multiply the total population by the smaller group of adults (76%). Even simpler, we can subtract all of the youth from the total population… whoever is left is an adult.

308,758,105 x .76 = 234,656,160


308,758,195 – 74,101,945 = 234,656,250

Market research also shows that the average skateboarder is 14-years-old, and that more than two-thirds (70%) of skateboarders are under 18 years old, (therefore 30% of skateboarders are 18 and older).

Here’s a snapshot of the nation’s skateboarders in 2015:

Of the 308,758,105 people in the U.S….
…9,000,000 are skateboarders.

In other words, 2.9% of all Americans are skateboarders.

Let’s figure out how many skaters are under 18 (youth) and how many are 18 or older (adult).

Of the 9,000,000 skateboarders…

…70% of all skateboarders are under 18.
…30% of all skateboarders are 18 or older.

70% of 9,000,000 is 6,300,000.
(9,000,000 x .7 = 6,300,000)

Of the 74,101,945 youth, 6,300,000 are skateboarders.

Therefore 8.5% of American youth are skateboarders.

Of the 234,656,160 adults, 2,700,000 are skateboarders.

Therefore 1.1% of American adults are skateboarders.

When we know that 2.9% of all people are skaters, we can get a general idea of how many skaters there are in a community of any size based on its population.

That formula looks like this:

(Your local population) X .029 = (your local skaters)

The formula is similar for determining how many youth and adult skaters are in an area:

(Your local youth population) X .085 = (your local skateboarding youth)
(Your local adult population) X .011 = (your local skateboarding adults)

The specific number of skateboarding youth in your area will help your case for a new skatepark. These numbers do not differentiate the various types of skateboarding and don’t accurately suggest how many skaters would use the new skatepark. For example, people that consider themselves skateboarders because they ride a longboard to school twice a year may not use the skatepark, but a person walking by the new skatepark that has never skated before may be inspired to try it.

Work out how many total skaters are in your town and keep that number handy. It will probably come up a lot.