Gym Membership – Who Actually Works Out? 4

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (, 50.2 million Americans held gym memberships at 29,890 clubs throughout the United States in 2010.  How active are these members?

Not every gym member visits their gym every day – or every week – or month – or at all.  Gyms have smartly figured out that many people pay for memberships but don’t attend too often. Who, though, are the people that do go to the gym at least twice per week and where do they live?  What do we know about them?

People living cities – especially on the east and west but also in areas around the Great Lakes are the ones most likely to attend the gym at least 2+ times per week.  The chart below shows two things.  The first is the index, by zip code, of those that attend the gym 2+ times per week.  An area with an index of 150 means they are 1.5 times more likely than the average American to attend the gym at least twice per week.  Well Above Average is defined as 150 or higher.

The second thing the chart shows is the number of adults that attend the gym at least twice per week by CBSA.  A CBSA (Core Based Statistical Area) is a US geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget based around an urban center of at least 10,000 people and adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center.  The bigger the circle in a CBSA, the higher the number of adults that attend the gym at least twice per week.  Some areas may have people who are huge gym goers, but have a small population.  Other areas have large population but don’t have people who go to the gym.

Knowing where regular gym goers are by location is important to companies wanting to target them, but knowing who are they is important as well.  Esri, a geographic information systems company which also does data analysis, developed a tapestry segmentation that classifies US residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Metro Renters and Laptops and Lattes residents are voracious users of gyms.  Census block groups where those tapestry segments are dominant have an index of 200 or more.  This means that a consumer living in those neighborhoods is at least 2 times more likely to attend a gym twice per month than the average American.  Metro Renters are young, educated singles just beginning their professional careers in some of the largest US cities.  Residents of Laptops and Lattes neighborhoods enjoy single life in the big city and have a median household income of $84,612.

Lifemodes and Urbanization can also be used to classify consumers.  Segments within a LifeMode group share an experience such as being born in the same period or a trait such as affluence.   The Solo Acts Lifemode has populations that are a large part of the active gym crowd – likely because many are single living in cities.

Urbanization groups share a locale, from the urban canyons of the largest cities to the rural lanes of villages or farms.  The Urbanization population that has the largest active gym crowd is Principal Urban Cities I.  Residents of this group are affluent and found in the county’s largest metropolitan areas.

More information about Esri’s tapestry segmentation can be found at or to learn more about Esri in general, go to

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4 thoughts on “Gym Membership – Who Actually Works Out?

  • Robin Rowe

    This has always been a super interesting topic me – a great way to segment folks who have a bit of disposable income. What county in Wyoming that has a higher than average gym attendance?

    • Pam Allison Post author

      I actually did the map by zip code (I’ll update the caption to reflect that) but the zip code in Wyoming with the highest than average gym attendance (in the state) is Teton Village, which is in Teton County. Other zip codes in that same county also have high indices. This is all near Jackhole, WY. Looks like lots of people there like to exercise in a gym!

  • Penelope

    Nice article. Can you tell me which zip codes in NJ have the highest gym attendance – preferably those with an average household income of 75K or greater. Thanks!

    • Pam Allison Post author


      Unfortunately I can’t give you that data as it is part of a product that Esri sells. If you’re interested, I can put you in touch with one of their sales people.