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17 Powerful Self Improvement Industry Statistics

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Self improvement industry statistics reported by Market Research state that by 2022 will have an estimated growth of $13.2 billion with 5.6% average yearly gains. Now, more than ever, people are focused on improving the quality of their lives by working on self-improvement. 

By definition, self-improvement is the process of gaining new skills and knowledge to become a better person, personally and professionally. 

Interestingly, in the last few years, more and more people are eager to sharpen their skills and become better versions of themselves. It’s no wonder that the market is so lucrative. 

It offers a variety of products and services such as coaching programs, masterclasses, books, online courses, etc. Each one of them is tailored to improving certain aspects of people’s personalities. Thanks to its broad appeal, this market has been quite successful in recent years. If you want to learn more about this constantly-growing industry, then you are in the right place—keep reading to find out some fascinating self-help statistics.

Best Self-Help Statistics (Editor's Pick)

Self-improvement is one of the topics that is rapidly becoming very popular among people in recent years. To see how huge this industry has become, here are some statistics that will blow your mind: 

  • Deepak Chopra’s net worth is estimated to be $150 million. 
  • Millennials are the generation that is the most interested in self-improvement. 
  • The average consumer of self-help products is a woman between the age of 40 and 50.
  • Around 97 million Americans consider weight loss their primary goal.
  • Cardiovascular fitness equipment was dominating the fitness equipment market share in 2019.
  • The majority of self-help books are written by men, while the majority of self-help readers are women.
  • The self-improvement app “Calm” was recognized as Apple App of the Year in 2017.

Amazing, right? Well, if these facts have already proved to you how huge the self-help market has become, then check out the following statistics to learn more about this topic.

Most Amazing Self improvement Industry Statistics For The US Market

1. Motivational speaker and author Deepak Chopra has a net worth of $150 million.

(Source: Wealthy Persons)

Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American motivational speaker and author of self-help books who started his career by teaching at the medical schools of Boston University, Tufts University, and Harvard University.

He is one of the wealthiest people in the self-improvement industry, and his net worth in 2020 is estimated to be $150 million. 

By 2015, Chopra had written 80 books, and 21 of them are New York Times bestsellers. What’s more, his book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” was featured on the New York Times Best Seller list for 72 weeks.

2. The self-improvement market in the US grew by 4.3% from 2011 to 2016.

(Source: Market Research)

According to Market Research, the self-improvement market reached a growth of just 4.3% from 2011 to 2016. The growth was hurt by poorly performing commercial diet programs and infomercials. 

On the other hand, they foresee a growth of 5.6% average annual gains from 2016 to 2022. They state that by 2022, the self-improvement market size will reach $13.2 billion. 

3. Top motivational speakers in the US earn $200 million per year combined. 

(Source: WebWire)

In 2014, the top nine motivational speakers in the US made a total of $200 million per year. Furthermore, the market as a whole (including over 5000 motivational speakers) is worth $1 billion. 

Interestingly, as the older generation of motivational speakers leaves the stage, their children are taking their mantles and continuing where they have left off. The top aging motivational speakers in the country are Brian Tracy, Dr. Laura, and Les Brown. While the rest of the top 9 motivational speakers from 2014 have already passed away. 

Self Improvement Industry Statistics - photo

Most Fascinating Self-Help Industry Demographics

4. Millennials are an increasingly important target demographic for the self-help market.

(Source: Market Research)

Demographics of the self-help market have shown that Millennials are taking primacy as the industry’s primary consumers, replacing baby boomers. Millennials are considered the future of this market, as around 75 million consumers worldwide belong to this generation.

5. Millennials are traveling to improve their health.

(Source: Cision PR Newswire)

A global study named “Generation Travel,” conducted by Hotels.com, revealed a new type of traveler who belongs to the millennial generation. In the study, they call this type of millennial traveler “Intrepid Improver.” 

This is the type of traveler who goes to all-inclusive vacations, where the primary focus is to improve oneself. Interestingly, around 75% of the US millennial explorers belong to this group of travelers.

The study shows that 42% of “Intrepid Improvers”  prefer a learning-based vacation that will improve their mental and physical health. On the other hand, only 24% of the boomer generation is interested in this type of vacation.

6. The average self-help product consumer is a middle-aged woman. 

(Source: Brandon Gaille)

The average customer in the self-help industry is a middle-aged woman, between 40 and 50. In fact, 70% of all industry customers are women, and most of them live on the East Coast or the West Coast of the United States. 

7. The majority of the motivational speakers are men.

(Source: Market Research)

While most of the self-help market consumers are women, men are far more likely to be motivational speakers. Most of those speeches are tailored towards the younger generation—Millennials, in particular.

The average motivational speaker’s salary is $106,000 per year, while a senior-level professional motivational speaker earns at least $217,872 per year.

8. Millennials are willing to spend $300 per month on personal-development.

(Source: BrandMinds)

Personal-development industry statistics show that 94% of the Millenials are willing to spend up to $300 per month on things that can help them improve themselves. In fact, this generation spends twice as much on self-improvement as baby boomers.

Self Help Industry Statistics About Weight Loss

9. Losing weight is a major goal for around 97 million Americans.

(Source: WebWire)

Diet programs are also part of the self-help industry. According to weight loss facts, large commercial programs are continually growing.  

Commercial and medical programs make around $5.5 billion of the overall self-help industry. To be more precise, commercial weight-loss programs are worth $3.7 billion, while medical ones are worth $1.8 billion.

Around 97 million Americans, mainly women, have set weight loss as their major goal.

10. The training market was worth $719 million in 2018.

(Source: WebWire)

The consumer training market in 2018 was worth $719 million. Dale Carnegie and Sandler Training are at least somewhat responsible for the 17.2% revenue growth that year.

11. Chronic diseases and obesity are the major reasons people choose weight-management programs.

(Source: Cision PR Newswire)

By definition, people who focus on weight management need to control their weight in some way, usually for health or aesthetic reasons. Some people just feel better if they achieve their ideal weight, and they turn to weight-management programs to do that. These programs consist of weight-loss supplements, exercise programs, diet programs, surgery, etc. 

The major reasons for the growth of this market are the rising health awareness and an increase in chronic diseases and obesity. What’s more, obesity is already a part of public healthcare budgets all over the world. This inspired corporations and governments to start initiatives to reduce the prevalence of obesity.  They are implementing those initiatives through wellness programs, promotion of dietary habits, technology, etc. 

According to self improvement industry statistics, this market is expected to reach a value of $269.2 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 6% during the period between 2019 and 2024.

12. The use of fitness equipment will become more common.

(Source: Allied Market Research) 

Due to the increased health awareness around the globe, the demand for fitness equipment has significantly increased. This market, which was valued at $11.5 billion in 2019, is forecast to reach $15.2 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 3.5%.

The cardiovascular training equipment dominated the market share in 2019 and is also forecast to maintain its lead until 2027. Moreover, one of the important factors that contributed to the rise of this market is the fact that, due to their hectic lifestyles, people prefer working out at home and saving on gym memberships. 

Statistics About Self-Help Books and Apps Everyone Should Know

13. Reader demographics breakdown for coaching books shows that women read more.

(Source: Quartz)

Self-help books are an essential part of this industry. According to self-help books statistics by Goodreads, while three-quarters of the overall readers are women, 62.5% of self-help books readers are also women. However, the majority of self-help book authors are men. 

So more men are writing self-help books while more women are reading those books. A significant number of self-help books written by men have a larger readership among women than among men. The answer to the question of who buys self-help books seems very simple, as the majority of readers are women, or at the very least, they’re more willing to admit to it. Most of those books provide advice about how to live well, how to live a minimalist life, and how to find happiness.

14. Self-help book sales reached 18.6 million in 2019. 

(Source: Publishing Perspectives)

NPD reports that unit sales of self-help books have increased at 11% CAGR in only six years (from 2013) and have reached 18.6 million in 2019. Another fun fact about the self-help book market is that the number of published self-help books even outpaced the growth of sales. The number of unique ISBNs has grown from 30,897 in 2014 to 85,253 in 2019. 

15. In 2018, self-help audiobook revenue reached  $769 million.

(Source: Market Research)

While the self-help book market was valued at $800 million in 2018, self-help audiobooks have reached the market value of $769 million. Both markets have shown similar growth tendencies of 6% and 5.6% per year, respectively.

16. The top ten best self-improvement apps in the US have generated over $15 million in 2018.

(Source: Blueprint)

Developers seem to find the self-improvement apps market quite lucrative. What’s more, despite their newness, these apps have already generated a lot of revenue. 

The top ten self-improvement apps in the US have made around $15 million in the first quarter of 2018. Self-help facts also indicate that the most popular app of this type, at least in the US, “Calm,” has a net worth of $250 million. In 2017, it was named Apple App of the Year.

17. The top three self-help topics don’t include stress-management.

(Source: Richard Step) 

Would you be surprised to know that stress management is not among the top three most popular self-help topics? If the answer is “yes,” then you would probably be even more surprised to find out that stress management holds the dead last position on the list. 

The top three self-help topics are: Confidence (10.2%), Career/Interview (7.8%) and Motivation (7%). On the other hand, only 0.8% of the people are interested in learning how to manage stress, which seems to be the root of most personal issues.

Self Improvement Industry Statistics - Reading

Conclusion

In recent years, the self-improvement industry has increased at an unprecedented pace. People are investing in personal development with the aim to improve the quality of their lives more than ever before. 

While self-help books remain one of the most prominent self-help products, this industry has a much broader reach. In fact, it has developed different programs, technology, and media, striving to satisfy the consumers’ needs. Self improvement industry statistics have shown that the majority of consumers are millennials who are willing to become the best versions of themselves. 

FAQ

Why do people read self-improvement books?

Before answering this question, it is important to know what are self-help books good for? Well, self-help books, by definition, are books that are written with the intent to help readers solve their personal issues. Thus, people read self-help books to learn how to solve issues they are facing and improve their quality of life. 

What is the self-help industry worth?

According to Blueprint, the self-help industry reached a market value of $9.9 billion in 2017. Moreover, Market Research reports that this market be worth $13.2 billion

What is the self-help industry? 

The self-help industry is an industry that provides services and products that should help people solve their personal issues, achieve their goals, and find self-empowerment. For those not familiar with the term, self-empowerment, by definition, is having control over one’s life.

How many people buy self-help books?

According to NPD, 18.6 million self-help books were sold in 2019. An analysis of the demographics of self-help book buyers shows that the majority of self-help book authors are men, while the majority of the readers are women.

Why is self-help harmful?

Self-help can be harmful if people follow bad advice, wrong advice, or even misunderstand good advice. In some cases, it is better to seek professional help rather than rely on self-help. However, reliance on self-help can sometimes discourage people from seeking professional help.

How much was the self-help industry worth in 2017?

Self help industry statistics of 2017 indicate that the industry reached $9.9 billion, with a projected average annual growth rate of 5.6%. 

Why are self help-books useless?

Self-help books can be useless if the readers don’t implement what they have learned. Additionally, self-help books sometimes contradict themselves and are almost always written based on the author’s personal experience and opinion, meaning their advice may not be helpful to everyone.

Are self-help books popular?

Self-help books are becoming increasingly popular. NPD reports that the number of unique ISBNs has increased from 30,897 in 2014 to 85,253 in 2019.

Sources: 

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