As we enter 2022, it’s impossible to notice how much we have changed our habits. Moreover, it seems like everyone embraces a nomadic lifestyle. But what does it mean to be a digital nomad? Traveling and working all the time without letting your roots ever grow?
Not exactly. Let’s look at what digital nomad statistics say and what you should consider before embracing this lifestyle!
7 Digital Nomad Statistics And Facts In Bullet Points
- Digital nomads worldwide: 15.5 million
- Average digital nomad’s age: 32 years old
- Average salary: $30,000 per year
- Biggest challenge: Wifi and time zones
- Working hours: < 40 hours/week
- Work stations: 19% work in coworking spaces. The majority work from hotel/hostel (46%), coffee shops (45%), Airbnb (27%), van, camper, RV, car, etc. (21%), or a library (20%).
- Best traveling places: America (53%); Western Europe (18%); Asia (13%); all over the world (12%)
What You Should Know Behind Digital Nomad Stats in 2022
If you wonder how hard it is to make money while traveling, a digital nomad study won’t ever provide the perfect answer for you. The point of this lifestyle is finding what works for you through different experiences. However, studies and research on the topic can give you a good overview of the pros and cons.
So, without further ado, here are the most important digital nomad statistics you should know before starting your nomadic journey!
How Many Digital Nomads Are There? And What Do They Look Like?
According to MBO Partners digital nomad data, there are over 15.5 million nomads worldwide. Due to the global shift to remote work, most people changed their lifestyles. As a result, we can see an exponential increase of people calling themselves digital nomads.
But what do they look like according to digital nomad data?
- Gender: Among the digital nomad community, males (50.19%) and females (49.81%) split almost equally.
- Origins: 76% of digital nomads are white; 10% Latino/Hispanic, 8% Asian, and 6% black. In addition, the most common digital nomad nationalities are American (31%), Portuguese (8%), German (7%), and Brazilian (5%) – 51% of digital nomads worldwide.
- Relationship Status: According to the Welance survey, 55% of nomads are in a relationship.
- Age: 33% of digital nomads are between 31 and 36 years old, while 29% are between 26 and 30. Finally, 18% were between 37-45 years old and 11% aged 60 or older
However, digital nomads’ demographic shifts keep evolving following the pandemic. For example, Baby Boomers reached a pre-pandemic share of 27% in 2019. After that, numbers decreased to 17% in 2020 and to 12% in 2021. On the contrary, the Gen Z and Millennials increased among digital nomads. Between 2020 and 2021, Gen Z’s share grew from 19% to 21%, and Millennials’ from 42% to 44%.
To recap, the digital nomad demographic breakdown of 2021 is:
Due to the pandemic, older generations are more cautious when traveling and moving to different places – with different health systems. So, they tend to prefer working remotely from their own homes. On the other hand, younger generations don’t have the same health concerns. In addition, because of their life stage, they are more likely to opt for traveling experiences and working abroad.
Are Digital Nomads Like Freelancers?
Digital nomads can work in any field and industry as long as they have a laptop and internet connection. According to digital nomads statistics, the most popular fields include:
Once again, the pandemic changed the cards on the table. Digital nomads with a traditional job grew from 6.3 million in 2020 to 10.2 million in 2021 (42%). Thanks to lockdowns, most people kept their older jobs, opting for remote arrangements while traveling. On the other hand, location independent workers grew by 15% in 2021.
That is to say, many digital nomads are still working for a company (35%), others are freelancing (28%), and a small part of them are business owners (18%).
How Much Do Digital Nomads Make?
According to Flexjobs survey, 1 in 5 digital nomads makes between $50,000 and $99,999 per year – the average US salary is $55,629. On the other hand, MBO Partners research reports 44% of US digital nomads earning $75,000 or more per year.
However, 56% of remote workers are earning less than $75,000. Most digital nomads make around $10 and $30 per hour ($25,000/year) based on their working field. What makes working remotely convenient in these scenarios is moving to cheaper locations. Indeed, most digital nomads save over $4,000/year because of remote work.
What these digital nomad stats are saying is simple. If you are looking for a remote job, you will probably earn a small salary initially, saving on other costs like commuting and food. However, if you stick with it, you can create a solid network of clients to increase your venue keeping the benefits of remote work.
Do Digital Nomads Travel All the Time?
Image source: Welance, digital nomads study
Unlike what people think, digital nomads don’t travel all the time. Digital nomad statistics show that most people don’t have a 100% nomadic life. Most working travelers spend 1-3 or 3-6 months in each destination. And only a small percentage (9%) travel to over 10 countries over 12 months. Also, according to Flexjobs, 73% visits 1-2 countries, 19% between 3 and 4, and 8% over 5 countries.
When they travel, most digital nomads live in hotels (51%), with friends/family (41%), Airbnb (36%), car/van/RV (21%), and hostels (16%). Finally, a small part of digital nomads opt for travel programs (6%) or co-living spaces (5%).
Facts About Nomads: Do They Work More or Less?
Remote work doesn’t mean avoiding extra workload or burnout. According to Buffer’s 2021 report, remote workers usually work more hours and have more meetings. After COVID-19, 45% of employees feel they work more from home, 42% the same amount, and 13% think they are working less. Finally, 52% think they have more meetings after the shift to remote work.
However, post-COVID remote workers aren’t the only ones working extra hours. According to recent data, 70% of digital nomads work 40 hours per week or fewer. One-third of them work over 40 hours per week- 86% of men and 67% of women. Finally, the digital nomad lifestyle looks like a holiday. However, the average holiday time for most nomads is between 11 and 15.
Other Digital NomadFacts To Consider
After the pandemic, the number of ‘VanLifers’ increased – VanLifers are people converting their vehicles into nomadic residences to work and live.
In 2021, the number reached 37% (2.6 million). Traveling is expensive, especially booking different accommodation everywhere. And now, 21% of digital nomads work from their van.
Even for digital nomads without a van, accommodation and working space is crucial. Indeed, only 19% of nomads work from co-working spaces – they are expensive! Most of them work from their hotel/hostel (46%), local coffee shops (45%), Airbnb (27%), or a library (20%).
Last But Not Least
Being a digital nomad has its challenges – from loneliness to bad internet connection. However, these digital nomad statistics show that it’s worth it!