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48 Rap & Hip-Hop Statistics (2022): Listeners, Demographics, Industry

Last updated: 4 weeks ago
8 min read

Rap/hip-hop started gaining mass popularity in 2016 when 30% of the top 100 Billboard songs came from the genre (The Data Face). Ever since, its popularity has been rising, especially in the US.

Let’s find out:

  • Where rap and hip-hop are the most popular
  • What are the most successful artists
  • Which demographic commonly listens to it

How high does hip-hop rank worldwide? Find out down below.

Rap & Hip Hop Statistics

How many people listen to rap and hip-hop?

How many people listen to rap and hip-hop in America?

Hip-hop audience demographics: Who listens to rap?

Why do people like rap/hip-hop?

How big is the rap/hip-hop industry?

Rap vs. rock statistics

Rap & Hip-Hop Music Statistics (Top Picks)

  • Around 26% of music listeners worldwide listen to rap and hip-hop.
  • Rap/hip-hop is already the most popular music genre in the US and UK, while on global scale, it sits on 6th place.
  • Rap/hip-hop is most popular among 16-24-year-olds and listeners from black communities.
  • With $470 million in revenue, Jay-Z was the most successful rapper and second most successful musician in 2021.
  • Drake is one of the most listened rappers, currently owning 26 top-charting hits.

How many people listen to rap/hip hop?

Based on the IFPI survey, 1.85 billion people, or 26% of music listeners worldwide, listen to rap/hip-hop.

Around 26% of people worldwide listen to rap/hip-hop

The survey included 19,000 respondents from 18 countries.

  • That translates into 1.85 billion rap/hip-hop listeners, based on the 7.11 billion people worldwide that listen to music.

(IFPI)

Rap/hip hop music ranked as the 6th most popular music genre worldwide in 2021.

(IFPI 2)

Based on TikTok music reports, rap/hip hop music jumped from 2nd most popular genre in the UK in 2020 to the most popular genre in 2021.

(TikTok, Music Week)

How many people listen to rap/hip hop in America?

Almost a third, or over 90 million Americans listen to hip-hop.

Share of Americans listening to hip-hop
  • 27.7% of Americans listened to hip-hop in 2021.
  • That translates into 93.3 million individuals that listen to hip-hop.

Here’s a table of rap/hip-hop listeners in the US:

YearPercentage of
US listeners
Number of
US listeners
202127.7%93.3 million
202028.2%92.9 million
201927.7%90.9 million
201831.2%101.9 million
201725.1%81.6 million
(Nielsen Music Reports 2017-2019) (MRC Data Reports 2020-2021)

In the US, the hip-hop genre represented 32.2% of all on-demand video streams in 2021.

Hip-hop and rap take a large cut of all music sales.

2021Hip hop % among
all other genres
Total albums sales13.7%
Physical album sales13.3%
Digital album sales15%
Digital song sales21.2%
Total on-demand streams29.9%
On-demand video streams32.2%
On-demand audio streams29.8%
(MRC Data Reports 2021)

In 2019, 52 out of 100 top-streamed songs in the US were from the hip-hop genre.

In the top 10, 6 songs were from the rap/hip-hop genre.

(MBW 2019)

Hip hop audience demographics: Who listens to rap?

Rap/hip-hop is the most popular among 20-24-year-olds, with a 54% audience.

The audience was asked which music genre is their favorite.

Share of US rap/hip-hop listeners by age

Here’s a table of US listeners who claimed rap/hip-hop is their favorite genre (by age group):

Age groupPercentage
16-1948%
20-2454%
25-3442%
35-4433%
45-5415%
55-645%
65+1%
(Statista)

Even in China, 37.1% of listeners (or 296 million people) aged between 15 and 25 listen to hip-hop.

Hip-hop listeners are among the youngest out there. Another genre with a young audience, alternative music, has, on average, 3 years older listeners.

(K-Frawley)

Hip-hop genre popularity among Gen Z and millennials.

Age groupPopularity
in 2019
Popularity
in 2021
Gen Z34%55%
Millennials56%54%
(YPulse)

The music genre is also one of the most popular among gym-goers.

1000 surveyed gym-goers and their music genre preferences during workouts:

Music genrePercentage
of listeners
Pop53.4%
Rap/hip-hop48.6%
Classic Rock46.3%
Alternative30.4%
Electronic/Dance29.2%
Heavy Metal24%
(FitRated)

Percentage of rap/hip-hop listeners among white/black Americans:

  • Out of 100%, 35% of black Americans listen to rap/hip-hop.
  • Out of 100%, 7% of white Americans listen to rap/hip-hop.
White7%
Black35%
(CBS News)

50% of households with at least one hip hop listener have one or more people collecting $50,000+ yearly wage.

Also, statistically, hip-hop listeners are the likeliest to live in poverty.

(K-Frawley)

70% of African Americans have hip-hop tracks in their top 100 track lists.

RacePercentage of hip-hop music
in their Top 100 tracklist
Black70%
Hispanic31%
Other14%
(Coleman Insights)

Around 48% of Apple Music users listen to hip-hop.

Interestingly, the genre seems least popular among Amazon Music users, sitting at 11% of listeners.

Music genre popularity on streaming services
Music genre popularity on streaming services

Here’s a table of music .genre popularity among different streaming services:

Genre popularity
among music
streaming
services
Apple
Music
YouTubeSpotifyPandoraAmazon
Music
Hip-Hop48%38%24%23%11%
Rock8%8%16%7%9%
Pop31%36%44%29%41%
Dance8%7%11%5%9%
Country3%8%4%35%28%
Latin1%2%<1%<1%1%
Other1%1%1%1%1%
(Coleman Insights)

The highest percentage of 12-34 years old men have hip-hop music on their TOP 100 lists.

On average, listeners in this age group filled their TOP 100 playlist with 43% of hip-hop songs…

Age groupPercentage of hip-hop
songs in their playlists
12-3443%
35-5411%
(Coleman Insights)

Countries where hip-hop is the most popular

The most downloaded music genres based on country.

CountryMost downloaded
music genres
USAHip-hop, Trap, R&B
UKHip-hop, Trap, House
CanadaHip-hop, Trap, EDM
NigeriaHip-hop, African, Afrobeat
ChinaHip-hop, Trap, R&B
IndiaHip-hop, Trap, EDM
South KoreaHip-hop, Trap, EDM
AustraliaHip-hop, Trap, EDM
BrazilHip-hop, Trap, House
(MRC Data Reports 2021)

Hip hop popularity statistics per country.

Most music listeners that listen to hip-hop in digital formats (on-demand, downloads) come from South Africa, with 59% of respondents listening to the genre.

CountryPercentage of people listening
to hip-hop in digital formats
South Africa59%
Mexico41%
India36%
Australia35%
USA34%
UK31%
Germany25%
China25%
Brazil23%
South Korea21%
(Statista 3)

Rappers with the most number 1 hits.

With 26 chart-toppers, Drake holds the first place among rappers with the most no. 1 hits.

Lil Wayne is at the distant second place, having “only” 11 chart-topping hits.

RapperNumber of #1 charting hits
Drake26
Lil Wayne11
Puff Daddy10
Kanye West10
LL Cool J8
50 Cent7
Bow Wow7
TI7
Nicki Minaj7
Ice Cube6
Nelly6
Cardi B6
Eminem5
Post Malone5
T-Pain4
(Highsnobiety, Billboard)

Top 20 rappers from 2021, based on Billboard charts.

  1. Drake
  2. Pop Smoke
  3. Lil Baby
  4. Juice WRLD
  5. Polo G
  6. Moneybagg Yo
  7. Megan Thee Stallion
  8. Lil Durk
  9. Rod Wave
  10. Post Malone
  11. J.Cole
  12. The kid LAROI
  13. Kanye West
  14. Da Baby
  15. 24K Goldn
  16. Pooh Shiesty
  17. Cardi B
  18. Jack Harlow
  19. Masked Wolf
  20. Lil Tjay

(Billboard 2)

Most listened to hip hop songs by year.

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd was the most streamed hip hop song in 2021.

Check out the #1 most-streamed hip hop song of 2021:

The Weeknd – Blinding Lights (Official Video)

Most streamed hip-hop song that year:

YearMost streamed
hip-hop song that year
2021“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd
2020“The Box” by Roddy Ricch
2019“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X (Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)
2018“God’s Plan” by Drake
2017“Bad and Boujee” by Migos (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
2016“Panda” by Desiigner
2015“Trap Queen” by Fretty Wap
2014“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea (Feat. Charli XCX)
2013“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (Feat. TI & Pharrell)
(Billboard 3)

“Rapstar” by Polo G was the most streamed rap song in 2021.

Listen to the #1 most-streamed rap song of 2021:

Polo G – RAPSTAR (Official Video)

Most streamed rap songs that year:

YearMost streamed
rap song that year
2021“Rapstar” by Polo G
2020“The Box” by Roddy Ricch
2019“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X (Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)
2018“God’s Plan” by Drake
2017“Bad and Boujee” by Migos (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
2016“Panda” by Desiigner
2015“Trap Queen” by Fretty Wap
2014“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea (Feat. Charli XCX)
2013“Gangnam Style” by PSY
(Billboard 4)

What is the most streamed hip-hop album ever?

XXXTentacion’s album “?” from 2018 is the most streamed hip hop album on Spotify.

It has more than 8 billion plays.

RankingArtist
+ album
Number of
Spotify streams
1.XXXTentacion’s – “?”8+ billion
2.Drake – “Scorpion”8 billion
3.Drake – “Views”7.3 billion
4.Travis Scott – “Astroworld”6.2 billion
5.Juice WRLD
– “Goodbye & Good Riddance”
5.7 billion
6.XXXTentacion – “17”5.7 billion
7.Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.”5.3 billion
8.Drake – “More Life”5.1 billion
9.Pop Smoke
– “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon”
5.1 billion
10.Juice WRLD – “Legends Never Die”4.3 billion
(Radio France)

Which rapper has the most songs?

As of 2017, Snoop Dogg holds the record for the most songs in the catalog.

That also includes featured songs.

Rappers with most songs
Data is from 2017.
RapperTotal number of songs
in the rapper’s catalog
Snoop Dogg583
Lil Wayne430
Eminem388
Bun B280
2 Chainz274
Busta Rhymes254
Nate Dogg241
Jay-Z229
Kendrick Lamar206
E40200
(musicMagpie, Reddit)

Why do people listen to rap/hip-hop?

Rap/hip-hop music inspires people to express themselves in a more positive way.

(Daily Universe)

When looking past the edgy lyrics, hip-hop culture actually advocates for:

  • Social justice
  • Respect
  • Self-worth
  • Peace
  • Having fun

(Conversation)

Lyrics in rap/hip-hop music also:

  • Inspire
  • Boost energy (when exercising)
  • Are thought-provoking
  • Reflect on current (social, political, economic) events

This genre of music is also easy to practice, making if more attractive for young people to start expressing themselves artistically or even start their own musical path.

(Audio Dome)

Hip-Hop Industry

How big is the rap/hip-hop industry?

In 2004, the hip-hop industry was worth $10 billion.

In 2016, it was worth $15.7 billion.

Researchers at Wonder estimate that by 2021, the hip-hop music industry will already reach $19.8 billion.

(ABC News, Wonder)

R&B/Hip-Hop, while landing third in music genre sales share, doubled its sales in the last 10 years.

Data from 2017.

Music genreRevenue
percentage
Pop31.1%
Rock24.1%
Hip-hop/R&B11.9%
Dance5.9%
Country5.3%
Classical4.3%
Latin1.9%
Jazz1.4%
Other14.1%
(Music & Copyright)

Jay-Z earned $470 million in revenue in 2021, making him the second biggest earner that year.

Kanye West landed 4th with $250 million in revenues.

(RollingStone)

What percentage of all music is rap and hip-hop?

Hip-hop accounted for 13.7% of all albums sold in 2021 in the US.

Percentage
of engagement
Total rap
album
sales
13.7%
Physical
album
sales
13.3%
Digital
album
sales
15%
Digital
song
sales
21.2%
(MRC Data Report 2021)

Hip-hop market share for the US.

YearMarket
share
Q1 202128.25%
Q1 202028.44%
201927.7%
201825.6%
(Billboard 5, Billboard 6, Twitter 4)

Best-selling rap albums:

RankingAlbum nameAlbums sold
1.“The Eminem Show” by Eminem27 million
2.“The Score” by Fugees22 million
3.“The Marshall Mathers LP” by Eminem21 million
4.“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Lauryn Hill20 million
5.“Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” by MC Hammer18 million
6.“Crazy Sexy Cool” by T.L.C.15 million
7.“To the Extreme” by Vanilla Ice15 million
8.“Devil Without a Cause” by Kid Rock15 million
9.“Curtain Call: The Hits” by Eminem13 million
10.“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” by Outkast13 million
11.“Get Rich or Die Tryin'” by 50 Cent12 million
12.“Big Willie Style” by Will Smith12 million
13.“Encore” by Eminem11 million
14.“Nellyville” by Nelly11 million
15.“Doggystyle” by Snoop Dogg11 million
16.“The Massacre” by 50 Cent11 million
17.“2001” by Dr. Dre10 million
18.“Greatest Hits” by 2Pac10 million
19.“Life After Death” by Notorious B.I.G.10 million
20.“E. 1999 Eternal” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony10 million
(Audio Network)

There’s a 57.4% likeliness for gym-goes to achieve personal records if they listen to rap/hip hop.

  • Around 33.7% of gym-goers think rap/hip-hop motivates them during a workout.
  • 62.1% of gym-goers prefer listening to rap/hip-hop for intense workouts.

(FitRated)

Drake was the most streamed artist of 2021 in the US, with up to 8.6 billion audio streams.

Basically, each 131st stream was a Drake song.

(Twitter)

Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” is also the most popular rap album of 2021 in the US.

It sold around 1.97 million units.

(MRC Data Reports 2021)

Top rap songs in 2021 based on sales, plus on-demand streams.

Artist
+ song
Number of sales
+ on-demand streams
Masked Wolf – “Astronaut in the Ocean”4,159,000
LIL NAS X & JACK HARLOW
– “Industry Baby”
3,574,000
Polo G – “Rapstar”3,563,000
Drake – “Wants and Needs”3,375,000
Cardi B – “Up”3,312,000
(MRC Data Reports 2021)

Rap vs. Rock Statistics

Percentage of people listening to rock globally compared to hip-hop.

57% of respondents listen to rock, whereas 26% listen to rap/hip-hop, according to an IFPI report from 2018.

Music genreGlobal popularity
in percentages
Number of
worldwide listeners
Rock26%1.97 billion
Rap/hip-hop57%4.3 billion
(IFPI)

Rock is the second most popular music genre worldwide, whereas rap/hip-hop ranks 6th place.

Rock is the second most popular music genre worldwide

(IFPI 2)

Rock genre popularity among Gen Z and millennials.

Age groupRock popularity
in 2019
Rock popularity
in 2021
Gen Z31%52%
Millennials56%38%
(YPulse)

Percentage of Americans engaging with rock compared to hip-hop.

Hip-hop is dominant in streaming, whereas rock does better in album sales.

Rock vs. Hip-Hop

Here’s a table of hip-hop vs. rock stats:

CategoryHip-hopRock
Total albums sales13.7%41.1%
Physical album sales13.3%44.3%
Digital album sales15%31%
Digital song sales21.2%21.6%
Total on-demand streams29.9%17%
On-demand video streams32.2%17.3%
On-demand audio streams29.8%11.9%
(MRC Data Reports 2021)

In what countries is rock the most popular?

51% of Mexicans listen to rock music in digital formats.

The USA holds second place at 47%.

CountryMusic genre popularity
(in digital formats)
Mexico51%
USA45%
Germany40%
Australia39%
UK38%
India35%
China25%
South Africa25%
South Korea14%
(Statista 4)

Who listens to rock compared to listeners of rap/hip-hop?

US youngsters aged 18 to 29 prefer rap/hip-hop (32% popularity) over rock (17%).

(CBS News)

Around 40% of white Americans listen to rock compared to 6% of black Americans.

(CBS News)

Around 32% of women listened to hip-hop on Deezer in 2019.

Compared to 68% men.

(Deezer)

Read more:

Conclusion

These were the latest rap & hip-hop statistics. The music genre is getting increasingly popular, primarily due to its musical simplicity and lyrical likability.

What do you think of hip-hop and rap music? Who is your favorite artist? Do you think the genre will keep on growing?

Please let us know in the comments.

SourcesIFPI, IFPI 2, The Data Face, TikTok, Music Week, Nielsen Music Report 2019Nielsen Music Report 2018Nielsen Data Report 2017, MRC Data Report 2021MRC Data Report 2020, MBW 2019, Statista, Statista 2, Statista 3, Statista 4, Statista 5, FitRated, CBS News, Coleman Insights, Highsnobiety, Billboard, Billboard 2, Billboard 3, Billboard 4, Billboard 5, Billboard 6, Radio France, musicMagpie, Reddit, ABC News, Wonder, Music & Copyright, RollingStone, Audio Network, FitRated, Twitter, Twitter 2, CBS News, Deezer, Inside Radio, Conversation, Audio Dome, Daily Universe

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