Top 12 Aquarium Industry And Fish [Statistics & Data]

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This article was published on 25 September 2022. Tip – Press Ctrl + D to bookmark this page, pin this page on your Pinterest board, or save it to your swipe file for later referencing purposes.

Key Takeaways: 

  • In total, 11.8 million US households own freshwater fish, while 2.9 million own saltwater fish.
  • Nearly 1 in every 8 households in the US keep fish.
  • Florida ranks on top in terms of aquarium plants and aquarium fish production.
  • There are 32,000 fish species in the world and 18,075 species of freshwater fish.
  • The aquarium and fish bowl market is expected to reach US$ 3.0 billion by 2032.
  • The worldwide aquarium market is expected to grow up to 8636.3 million by 2028.

Whether you are an aquarium hobbyist, content researcher, data, or market analyst, knowing the stats about the aquarium industry is always interesting.

So let’s begin with some of the best data sets and figures relating to the aquarium and fishkeeping.

#1. How Many People In The US Own Aquarium Fish?


The number of US households owning freshwater fish is 11.8 million. On the other hand, the number of US households that own saltwater fish is 2.9 million. Thus, the total number of US households that own fish is 14.7 million. 

Around 1 in 8 households in the US keep fish as pets in their home. When it comes to aquarium fish and aquatic plant production, Florida tops the US.

Aquarium fish make up around 44% of overall aquaculture sales in Florida. Aquatic plants contribute more than one-fifth of overall sales, placing them in second place.

#2. Fish Popularity In The Aquarium Hobby Worldwide

Betta fish (Siamese Fighting Fish), Goldfish, Guppy, Neon Tetra, and Angelfish are some of the popular fish in the aquarium hobby. Out of them, the worldwide Google trends analysis of the past 12 months shows that Betta fish has the highest search interest, then comes Goldfish, Guppy, Angelfish, and Neon Tetras, respectively.

FishAverage Interest Over Time
Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish)86
Neon Tetra9

On average, a freshwater fishkeeper keeps 12 fish. On the other hand, saltwater fish keepers keep an average of 11-12 fish. 

#3. Life Expectancy Of Freshwater Fish

The average life expectancy of freshwater fish is 1-3 years. However, with proper care, there are some fish that can live for 3-5 years and even up to 10 years.

Fish LifespanFish
Short (1-3 years)Mollies, Cory Catfish, Tiger Barbs, Rasboras, Swordtail Platy
Medium (3-5 years)Bettas, Zebra Danios
Long (up to 10 years)Oscars, Angelfish, 

Goldfish – among the most common types of freshwater fish, live the longest. These fish have a 15-year lifespan under ideal conditions (i.e., good food and water quality).

It’s possible for goldfish to live for decades. “Goldie,” the goldfish reported to have lived the longest, passed away in 2005 at the age of 45. “Tish,” who passed away at the age of 43, was the second oldest goldfish.

#4. Fish Sourcing And How It Supports The Hobby

The vast majority of saltwater fish offered in pet stores are wild-caught, with the majority coming from areas around Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and Fiji. Each year, over 30 million fish and millions of other marine species, such as anemones, shrimp, and mollusks, are collected to sustain a $200 million global hobby.

On the other hand, nearly 90% of the freshwater fish species in the hobby are bred in captivity. Fishkeepers usually prefer the captive-bred species because they are hardy and tend to have relatively long lifespans. Also, feeding them is easier.

#5. How Many Fish Species Are There In The World?

There are about 32,000 fish species in the world, and the figure is more than all the vertebrate species (birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians) altogether. Indeed this data also makes sense since 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water – giving them enough space to grow and thrive.

#6. How Long Has Fish Been In This World?

Fish species can be found in a wide range of aquatic environments, from coral reefs and streams to rivers and the sea. Also, fish are quite old evolutionarily. As per fossil records, fish have been on this planet for over 500 million years. To compare, the earliest known mammals, the earliest known mammals, existed on earth only 210 million years ago.

#7. Total Number of Freshwater Fish Species In The World

Species of fish that live in freshwater sources like lakes and rivers are considered freshwater fish. 

In the aquarium hobby, freshwater fish keeping is usually preferable for beginners because the fish are easily available, and tank maintenance is relatively easier. There are 18,075 species of freshwater fish in the world which comprises 51% of all the fish species. 

#8. People Working In The Zoo And Aquarium Industry

There are around 27,267 people working in the Zoo and Aquariums Industry in the US. From 2017 to 2022, a 1.2% increase was noticed in terms of people working in the zoos and aquarium industry.

#9. Aquarium And Fish Bowl Market Growth

By 2022, the aquarium and fish bowl industry is expected to be worth $1.5 billion. The aquarium and fish bowl market is expected to reach US$ 3.0 billion by 2032, with sales growing at a (CAGR) of 5%.

#10. Aquarium Industry Market Growth

The worldwide aquarium market is expected to grow from USD 6366.1 million in 2021 to USD 8636.3 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2022 and 2028.

#11. Global Reef Aquarium Market Growth

With the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 6.20%, the worldwide reef aquarium market is forecast to expand from $4.05 billion in 2021 to $4.30 billion in 2022. At a CAGR of 9.79%, the market is projected to hit $6.25 billion by 2026.

Saltwater is a broad general term that refers to saltwater that includes marine species. A reef tank is also a saltwater tank, but it includes live corals, fish, invertebrates, and other photosynthetic species.

A reef tank focuses on coral husbandry and fish health, and that gives rise to some distinct requirements. 

For coral photosynthesis, you need a high-output, full-spectrum reef light. You’ll employ additives to regulate water chemistry and restore nutrients that corals consume and internal wave pumps/powerheads to boost water flow. In short, reef tanks are more specialized, involving additional equipment, upkeep, and precision.

#12. Ornamental Fish Aquarium Market Growth

From 2022 to 2030, the global market for ornamental fish is forecast to increase from its 2021 value of USD 5.4 billion at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.5 percent. Millennials’ increased interest in colorful aquarium fish as a part of the luxury lifestyle is expected to boost business expansion.

Bottom Line

The aquarium market is predicted to expand in the coming years, and one of the factors is rising urbanization. Increasing numbers of people with disposable incomes are also one of the primary drivers of the Aquarium Fish Market. 

The world’s population is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and as more and more people develop an interest in the fishkeeping hobby – the industry and the hobby, together with new technological advancements, can be expected to have a bright future.


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By Praveen Ghoshal

Hi! I'm Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.