Swimming Pool Statistics (2023)
Homebuyer interest in swimming pools is as strong as ever. The pool industry in the United States continues to grow with no sign of stopping. In this article, we will examine the number of swimming pools in the U.S., the cost to build them, how pools affect the value of a home, and accident and drowning statistics. Here’s a quick table of contents so you can navigate our swimming pool stats page effectively:
- How Many Swimming Pools Are There in the U.S.?
- How Much Do Swimming Pools Cost?
- Do Pools Increase a Home’s Value?
- Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
- There are 10.7 million swimming pools in the U.S.
- 36% of children and 15% of adults swim in a pool at least 6 times a year.
- The average cost of an in-ground pool is $35,000.
- Swimming pools can boost the value of a home up to 7%.
- 379 children younger than 15 drown in a swimming pool or spa each year.
- 71% of drowning deaths of children under 15 occurred at a private residence.
How Many Swimming Pools Are There in the U.S.?
According to the trade group Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, there are 10.7 million swimming pools in the United States. 10.4 million of the pools are residential, and 309,000 are public. In total, that's about one pool for every 31 people in the country!
There are 130 million households in the U.S., and an estimated 8% of homes have a swimming pool. Regarding the type of pool, nearly 59% of residential pools are in-ground while 41% are above ground.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of swimming pools nationwide:
|Type of Pool||Number of Pools in the U.S.|
|Residential In-ground Pools||6,100,000|
|Residential Above-Ground Pools||4,300,000|
Source: Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
Number of Swimming Pools by State
According to estimates by PoolResearch, Florida (1.59 million) and California (1.34 million) have the most swimming pools out of all the states. Wyoming (3,000) is estimated to have the fewest swimming pools.
Accounting for population, Arizona, Florida, & New Mexico have the most swimming pools per capita. What's more, we estimate that there is one swimming pool for every 13 people in Arizona! By population, swimming pools are the least popular in Wyoming, Utah, and the Dakotas.
|State||Number of Residential Pools||People per Pool|
Swimming Pool Market Size
According to Statista, the U.S. swimming pool sector's market size is projected to reach $1.33 billion in 2022, up 8% since 2012 and 32% since 2020. Homebuyer demand for pools has grown over time, and property developers have taken notice and included them in their designs. Rising residential demand is the primary driver of growth in the pool industry.
Swimming is also a popular recreational and tourist activity. For this reason, health centers, hotels, resorts, and cruise ships also contribute to the increase in demand for pools. Due to the global pandemic, many tourist and recreational activities slowed down in 2020, which saw the pool industry take a dip. In 2019 the pool market size peaked at $1.56 billion, dropping to $1.01 billion in 2020. Though the swimming pool market has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the industry projects a rise of 32% from the low in 2020.
Here is a table of U.S. pool market value since 2012:
|Year||Swimming Pool Market (U.S.)|
How Much Do Swimming Pools Cost?
According to Forbes, the average cost of an in-ground pool is $35,000. Many things can affect the cost of building a pool, but the two most significant factors are the size of the pool and the material used.
Cost of Pools by Size
A small 10x20 ft. in-ground pool costs between $18,000 and $26,000 to build. As you might expect, the cost increases with size. As you might expect, the cost increases with size. For example, building a 20x40 ft. pool typically costs between $40,000 and $104,000. This table details what homeowners can expect to pay to build pools of various sizes:
|Pool Size (feet)||Average Cost to Build|
Cost of Pools by Material
In-ground pools are commonly made from three materials: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Concrete pools last the longest, usually 50 years or more, but they also cost the most to maintain. Vinyl pools are the cheapest to build, but owners must replace the liner every 10 years. Fiberglass pools last 25 years or more and have the lowest maintenance cost of the three pool types. Here's a breakdown of what one can expect to pay on average for each type of pool:
|Type of Pool||Average Cost to Build|
In-ground vs. Above-Ground Pool Cost
In-ground pools are typically more desirable than above-ground pools. However, above-ground pools are usually much cheaper. Above-ground pools typically last 7-15 years, while in-ground pools last decades. Above-ground pools are generally harder to clean and have a uniform depth. in-ground pools often have a shallow end and a deep end. While an in-ground pool costs $35,000, the average above-ground pool comes in at roughly $3,000.
- In-ground pools cost nearly 12X more than their above-ground counterparts.
Pool Maintenance Costs
There are many different costs associated with maintaining a pool. Basic maintenance costs can vary depending on the type of pool, size, and more. One can expect to typically pay between $81 and $143 per month for essential maintenance, but a lot of other costs are also associated with owning a pool.
After accounting for essential maintenance, chemicals, electricity, and more, the average pool cost ranges from $3,030 to $5,995 per year.
|Upkeep||Average Yearly Cost|
|Opening & Closing||$650-$1,000|
|Average Total Cost||$3,030-$5,995|
In addition to the costs for upkeep listed in the chart above, pool owners may need to add permitting costs and insurance, which could add several hundred dollars a year.
Do Pools Increase a Home’s Value?
While the costs to build and maintain a pool can add up, in-ground pools typically increase a home's property value by 7%.
So, is building a pool worth it as an investment? The median home price in the U.S., as the National Association of Realtors reported in the second quarter of 2022, is $413,500. If a pool typically increases a home's value by 7%, homes with pools sell on average for an additional $28,945. Considering that an average pool costs $35,000 to build, it usually is not worth it solely as an investment. However, if you want a swimming pool, you can rest assured that having one will likely boost the value of your home, and even if you don't recuperate 100% of your investment, you're likely to offset much of the cost with the increase in property value.
According to a Redfin analysis, a pool's effect on a property’s value has a lot to do with where you live. For example, residential pools in Los Angeles typically add $95,393 to a property's value, whereas in Phoenix, a pool adds just $11,591. Redfin analyzed metro areas where at least 5,000 homes were sold, and more than 2% of the properties sold had pools.
Here are data from Redfin's report to show the relationship between where one lives and the impact that pools have on property values:
|Metro Area||Value Added to Typical Home|
For homes that sell for less than $200,000, a pool is often negative as it adds extra costs for the homeowner. In the luxury market, the reverse is true. For homes in the $700,000-$1,000,000 price range, the pool maintenance costs become more negligible for buyers who can afford it. If you’re considering adding a pool as an investment, it’s worth considering your home’s value and trends in the part of the country where you live.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 379 pool or spa-related fatal drownings per year for children under the age of 15. Of these deaths, 75% and under the age of 5.
- 71% of pool and spa deaths occur at a private residence such as a family, friend, or neighbor's home.
Drowning is the most common cause of death for children ages 1-4, aside from birth defects. It is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1-14 behind motor vehicle accidents.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Aside from fatal drowning accidents, pools, and spas account for an estimated 6,700 child emergency room visits annually. Non-fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage and long-term medical issues.
Percentage of Americans That Can’t Swim
54% of Americans either can’t swim or lack basic water safety skills. Every day in the U.S., 10 people die from unintentional drowning. While swimming pools are the most common place for children under 5 to drown, drowning incidents also happen at beaches due to boating accidents, ponds, lakes, or anywhere else there is water. Children ages 5-17 are more likely to die in natural water such as lakes and ponds than in swimming pools.
- An average of 3,500-4,000 people drown each year in the U.S.
Children ages 1-4 who take formal swim lessons reduce their risk of drowning by 88%. Learning basic safety skills and wearing life jackets can reduce drowning risks drastically. For homes with swimming pools, enclosed fences can help keep children away when they are unsupervised. A fence separating the house and play area from the swimming pool can significantly reduce the risk of child drowning accidents.
Sources: Red Cross, StopDrowningNow
That’s it for our summary of swimming pool statistics. With nearly 8% of households in the U.S. owning a swimming pool, we see a lot of variation in popularity from state to state. In general, pools add value to a home but not necessarily much more than the cost to build a swimming pool. Pools can cost a lot to maintain and add safety risks which should all be considerations for homeowners. However, for those who want a home with a pool, there are safety precautions that minimize the chances of accidents happening.
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