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Every few years, ABMP undertakes a process to query state massage therapy boards in order to prepare a massage therapist population estimate. Based on the work conducted for our 2023 process, ABMP estimates the number of massage therapists in the United States at approximately 321,493, which is down from the height of 2019's estimate of 334,221. Since we began the process in 1998, this is the first estimate where the therapist population has not grown. The time period between 2019 and 2023 obviously covers the COVID-19 pandemic, and all the associated negative outcomes and challenges during that time that have affected the world at large—and the massage therapist community specifically—undoubtedly contributed to the nearly 4 percent drop in overall population. As we all emerge from the COVID-19 emergency, the recovery in the massage profession continues on, and we see different results in different states. Twenty-eight states reported a decline in the number of massage therapists since 2019, and 23 reported an increase (Washington, D.C., is included in the estimate). ABMP's 2023 survey of massage school enrollment suggests that the number of graduates in 2022 exceeds the number in 2020, and is more on par with our 2018 survey. Surveys of our ABMP membership indicate that session pricing is on the rise, with an average rate of $87 for a 60-minute session, nearly half of respondents indicating they raised their prices in the past year, and 1 in 3 respondents planning to raise their prices in the next year. 1 From that group, only 4 in 10 respondents said they had openings for new clients. Taken together with the fact that franchise and spa businesses are in constant need to hire more massage therapists to meet demand, it is safe to say the demand is there to meet an increased number of massage therapists. 10 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 3 ABMP PROFESSION UPDATE How Many US Massage Therapists Are There in 2023? By Les Sweeney Though the overall population has declined slightly, one thing has remained constant—massage therapists report they love their profession. In a recent internal member survey, when asked how satisfied they were with their career, members gave an average score of 8.3 out of 10. The top reason for that satisfaction, shared by 80 percent—helping people. On that note, I'll leave you with this article from my friend and former colleague Cindy Williams, "Eight Reasons Why I Love Being a Massage Therapist" (find it at abmp. com/updates/blog-posts/eight-reasons-why-i-love-being- massage-therapist). 1998 2001 2004 2006 137,390 172,564 189,711 241,058 US Massage Therapist Population Estimate

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