Aquarium and Fish Industry Statistics

Learn about the remarkable statistics of the aquarium and fish industry. Discover the popularity of fish-keeping, understand the economic landscape, and learn about the fascinating aspects of fish ownership. Join us on this voyage into the thriving world of aquariums.

aquarium and fish industry statistics

According to the American Pet Products Association, fish rank as the third most favored pet in the United States, right behind dogs and cats. Enthusiasm for aquarium keeping shows no signs of waning, adding vibrant life to countless American households. This trend highlights the considerable scope and value of the fish and aquarium industry in the US.

Over 12.5 Million Fish-Keeping Households

If you’ve ever doubted the popularity of fishkeeping, here’s a fact that may surprise you. Over 12.5 million households in the U.S. own a pet fish. On average, each of these households is home to about 12 fish. This statistic confirms a significant interest in fishkeeping across the country.

139 Million Freshwater Fish Pets in the US

In the United States, freshwater fish are prevalent pets. Recent data reveal that approximately 139 million freshwater fish live in domestic aquariums across the US. In comparison, they significantly outnumber the 9.6 million saltwater fish pets. Americans seem to prefer freshwater fish for their pet homes.

17% of Adults Own a Fish Tank

The appeal of fishkeeping reaches wide in America. According to a 2019 survey by Statista, it was found that 17% of US adults own a fish tank. That’s almost 1 in every 5 adults. Clearly, the tranquil allure of underwater life holds a significant place in American households.

10% of UK Households Have Fish

Interestingly, in the United Kingdom, aquarium ownership isn’t just a niche hobby. Covering a sizable market, around 10% of UK households own ornamental fish, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (2019). This statistic underscores the significant role pet fish play in the UK’s pet industry and further highlights the reach of the global aquarium industry.

Australia’s Fish Ownership Exceeds Dogs

Did you know more households in Australia own fish than dogs? According to RSPCA Australia data, approximately 12.3% of Aussie households flaunt ornamental fish in their homes. Especially captivating when compared to the widely held idea of dogs being a popular pet choice. The trends point to a unique preference for aquatic pets Down Under.

Aquarium Industry: A $15 Billion Market

The aquarium industry is a colossal entity, valued at approximately $15 billion globally. This bustling market includes not just the fish, but also aquarium supplies, services, and related products. Its sheer size epitomizes the passion and investment millions around the world pour into fish keeping. In short, the aquarium industry is a major player in the pet sector.

Fish-keeping has become a national pastime in the US, with betta fish enjoying the highest popularity. These freshwater companions are favored over goldfish, mollies, and guppies thanks to their vibrant hues and charismatic fins. Such popularity of bettas certainly adds luster to the dynamics of America’s booming pet fish industry.

Fishkeeping Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

According to several studies, keeping fish has concrete health benefits, specifically alleviating cardiovascular stress. Experts at the Lancet found that watching fish swimming serenely can indeed reduce your blood pressure and heart rate. So, it’s not just the beauty of an aquarium that makes them appealing. Fishkeeping, it seems, can be a significant factor in maintaining your health.

70% of Aquarium Fish Bred in Captivity

A significant part of the Aquarium and Fish Industry is breeding. In fact, 70% of all aquarium fish are born and bred in captivity, according to the World Pet Association. Conversely, the remaining 30% are wild-caught, forming a unique aspect of the pet trade. It’s clear that captive breeding plays a dominant role in the industry.

The $400,000 Platinum Arowana

A shining star in the aquarium industry is the Platinum Arowana. Recognized as the most expensive aquarium fish ever sold, it fetched a stunning $400,000, according to the Asian Arowana Club. This exquisite species underscores the high-end market’s potential within the larger aquarium industry.

Georgia Aquarium Attracts 2 Million Visitors

Every year, the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, draws a crowd of 2 million visitors. This impressive number underscores how aquariums are not just hubs of marine life conservation but also popular tourist destinations. This suggests that despite changes in pet ownership trends, public engagement and interest in marine life remain robust.

Majority of Marine Ornamental Fish Harvested Wild

Believe it or not, most marine ornamental fish are wild-caught. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a hefty 75-80% of these vibrant creatures are harvested from their natural habitat, typically coral reefs. Only about 20-25% are bred in captivity. This surprising statistic reflects the challenges of replicating complex marine environments for breeding.

43% of Marine Ornamental Trade: Clownfish and Damselfish

Marine ornamental fish trading is highly influenced by Clownfish and Damselfish. Remarkably, these charming species make up a staggering 43% of the global trade, as recognized by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. A sizable portion of this popularity comes from the film “Finding Nemo,” which shone a spotlight on these captivating undersea creatures. Thus, the influence of pop culture on the aquarium industry is undeniable.

Global Trade: Up to 2000 Marine Fish Species

From the colorful Clownfish to the agile Angelfish, global trade in marine ornamental fish is dynamic. Various reports suggest up to 1,500-2,000 species are annually traded. This wide diversity further enriches the global aquarium industry. It’s a testament to the vast underwater world and our fascination with it.

700 Suitable Fish Species for Freshwater Aquariums

A wide array of options awaits you in the realm of fishkeeping. The Aquarium Industry Association of North America estimates there are about 700 different species of fish that are suitable for freshwater aquariums. This signifies a vast choice of colors, shapes, and sizes to satisfy any enthusiast’s taste. Thus, it bolsters the aquarium industry’s vitality and diversity.

US Aquarium Industry: Employing Over 220,000 People

Indeed, the Aquarium Industry isn’t just about pet fish and decoration. It’s a major economic player. According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, it employs more than 220,000 people in the US. This sector offers wide-ranging job opportunities, from fish care and aquarium maintenance to marketing roles.

Pet Goldfish Lifespan: Up to 25 Years

Quite surprisingly, your pet goldfish can outlive a cat or a dog. National Geographic affirms that the average lifespan of a pet goldfish is roughly 10-15 years, given standard conditions. Even more striking, in optimal conditions, a goldfish may live up to 25 years or more. Careful handling can indeed make your goldfish a long-term companion.

Habitat Destruction Threatens 10% of Ornamental Fish

Environmental changes pose a serious threat to the aquarium industry. With habitat destruction and climate change, nearly 10% of ornamental fish species are in harm’s way. These are alarming statistics reported by IUCN. Our collective efforts to mitigate these threats are crucial for the survival of these species.

63% of Tank Owners Choose LED Lighting

Gone are the days when aquarium radiance was just about aesthetics. For a bulk of fish tank owners, effective and energy-saving LED lighting holds sway. According to American Pet Products Association’s 2019-2020 statistics, a whopping 63% of owners prefer LED lights for their marine characters’ home. This preference underlines both environmental consciousness and the industry’s tech adoption.


We’ve explored an impressive assortment of statistics in the fascinating world of aquariums and fish. It’s clear this industry is substantial, impacting various sectors from pet ownership to global trade. We’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences related to these statistics – don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.