14 Surprising Facts About Prostitution In America

When thinking about prostitution or human trafficking, the United States may not be your first association. However, prostitution is one of America’s largest and most profitable industries, even thoug

When thinking about prostitution or human trafficking, the United States may not be your first association. However, prostitution is one of America’s largest and most profitable industries, even though it is underground. It is estimated that there are over 42 million prostitutes in the world and 1 million of those are living in the United States. Do not assume most of these girls chose their career paths as many of these sex workers are forced into the industry and feel as though they have no way out.

Since it is illegal, prostitution is also unregulated. With most of it happening behind closed doors, there are many facts you may not know about the American sex trade industry. Here are 14 things you probably didn’t know about prostitution in the USA.

14 Reasons why men hire prostitutes

13 There are big bucks involved

If you thought that guns and drugs were America’s biggest problems, think again. There is more cash flowing through the sex industry than drugs and guns combined in many American cities, according to The Urban Institute.

Atlanta leads the way in terms of income with a sex trade net worth of $290 million. Miami and Washington D.C. took the silver and bronze with $235 million and $103 million respectively.

12 One of America’s most dangerous professions

Prostitution is more dangerous than logging, fishing in Alaska or working on an oil rig. The death rate for prostitutes is 204 for every 100,000, whereas the death rate for fishermen is almost half at 129 for every 100,000. Moreover, prostitutes get attacked physically on average of once per month. With no legal recourse without finding themselves arrested, prostitutes are easy prey.

11 Not all prostitutes hang out on street corners

More and more sex trade deals are made over the Internet. The reasons for this are numerous – more anonymity, security for the business and employees, and just ease of service. Online forums also attract a different clientele that often has deeper pockets.

10 Pimps capitalize on vulnerabilities

Recruitment is a large part of a pimp’s job, and he often starts by lending a listening ear to runaways and the homeless at transportation hubs.

Even though pimps avoid sending out underage workers onto the streets, they are still their primary recruitment targets. After identifying whatever void a young girl has, the pimp will seek to nab her by showering her with whatever is “missing” in her life.

9 Craigslist isn’t the top site for advertising sex work

8 Many prostitutes are just trying to get by


The majority of sex workers have at least earned a high school education. Many have even attended a university. A motivating factor for many entering the sex industry is providing for their families when they have exhausted all other options.

7 Prostitution is a family affair

More than a quarter of respondents in the study knew a family member who was pimping or prostituting before they entered the trade. More than 30 percent entered the trade for the same reason.

6 The customer base may surprise you

The respondents in the Justice Department survey couldn’t identify just one profile as the typical client. While close to 40 percent are white, people of all races participate and come from many walks of life. Professions include lawyers, judges, teachers and even law enforcement officers.

5 The sex trade is not as underground as you think

The sex industry would fail if it weren’t for its relationship with other legal entities like lawyers, law enforcement officers and places like hotels.

4 Prostitution is NOT legal in all of Nevada

3 Prices 


Licensed brothels do not have set prices as we would assume they do, in fact they tend to get pricier the closer they get to Las Vegas. But the fact of the matter is, most people who show up to get lucky at a brothel will pay whatever price they are told. For more info, here are some prices according to Business Insider:

2 The girls can't refuse you
Sex workers line up for a customer in the parlor of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel

1 Undercover police officers don’t have to identify themselves

Urban legend and many TV shows and movies assume that police officers have to tell the truth if they are asked if they are officers. This is a far cry from the truth.

The truth is that officers wouldn’t be able to gather the necessary evidence to make arrests if they were under an oath of truth every time their profession was questioned. This is the same type of procedure that would be used to catch a sex worker. Sometimes deception is the only way to bring down underground activities.


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14 Surprising Facts About Prostitution In America