Is Digital Nomadism On The Rise In 2023?
With remote work becoming a norm, especially since the pandemic, digital nomadism is on the rise, and here are statistics to prove it! In 2020, 10.9 million people identified as digital nomads, but this number grew to 35 million by the end of 2022. The momentum carried into 2023, with 17.3 million American workers embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, marking a 2% uptick from the previous year.
This shift towards remote work and nomadic lifestyles became more pronounced post-pandemic, with approximately 11% of US workers in 2023 classifying themselves as digital nomads. While the number of digital nomads holding traditional jobs dipped by 4% in 2023 due to some employers reverting to in-office work policies, the community of independent digital nomads – freelancers, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – saw a significant growth of 14% compared to 2022.
The digital nomad demographic also witnessed a youthful skew, with 58% being Gen Z and Millennials, though the share of older digital nomads increased to 42% in 2023, propelled by the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s explore the latest digital nomad statistics and what you should consider before embracing this lifestyle.
9 Key Digital Nomad Statistics And Facts In Bullet Points (2023)
- Digital nomads worldwide: 35 million
- Average digital nomad’s age: 32 years old
- Average salary: $120,512 per year
- Demography: Females (49.81%) and males (50.19%)
- Biggest challenge: Wifi and finding a good place to work
- Working hours: < 40 hours/week
- Workstations: 46% work from apartments and hostels while 45% choose to work from cafes. 27% complete their work hours from an Airbnb, while 19% frequent coworking spaces during the work day.
- Best traveling places: America (31%), Portugal (8%), Germany (7%), Brazil (5%).
- Professions: Digital nomads usually belong to the fields of marketing, computer sciences, writing, design, and eCommerce.
Are Digital Nomads the Same as 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 the following.
Once again, the pandemic changed the cards on the table. Digital nomads with traditional jobs grew from 10.9 million in 2020 to 35 million in 2023. Thanks to lockdowns, most people kept their older jobs, opting for remote arrangements while traveling.
On the other hand, 69% of digital nomads in 2022 stated that they plan on continuing their lifestyle for the next 2 to 3 years. This number increased from 49% in 2020 and 54% in 2021.
That is to say, many digital nomads are still working for a company (21%), others are freelancing (36%), and a small part of them are business owners (33%).
How Many Digital Nomads Are Around The World?
Currently, there are a total of 35 million digital nomads in the world, and 23.2 million of these live in America. This is a 37% increase from a figure of 16.9 million workers recorded in 2022.
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% are Latino/Hispanic, 8% are Asian, and 6% are 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: 66% of nomads said they are single, while 34% admitted that they are in a relationship. 66% of people in a relationship are married, while the rest are unmarried.
- 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% were 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, the numbers decreased to 17% in 2020 and to 12% in 2021.
On the contrary, 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, here is a demographic breakdown of digital nomads:
Millenials 44% Gen X 23% Gen Z 21% Baby Boomers 12%
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 and are more likely to opt for traveling experiences and working abroad.
How Wealthy Are Digital Nomads?
Before you adapt to a digital nomad lifestyle, you need to get your finances in order. Let’s first talk about wealth in digital nomad statistics.
- According to a Flexjobs survey, one in five nomads on the road earns somewhere between $50,000 and $90,000.
- Digital nomads who are employed in the marketing field tend to bring in a minimum of $40,000 in a year.
- 49% of digital nomads earn more on the road than they do in traditionally taxed jobs.
- While the average annual salary in the US is around $53,000 right now, digital nomads are estimated to make $117,959 at the same time.
Here is a breakdown of digital nomad statistics salary:
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.
How Often Do Digital Nomads Travel?
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.
- According to Flexjobs, 73% visits 1-2 countries, 19% between 3 and 4, and 8% over 5 countries.
- When digital nomads travel, 46% work from apartments and hostels while 45% choose to work from cafes. 27% complete their work hours from an Airbnb, while 19% frequent coworking spaces during the work day.
To sum up, let’s look at the following.
How Many Hours Does The Average Digital Nomad Work Per Day?
Digital nomads are required to work regular work hours, which are a minimum of 40. This is especially important for you to know since you will have to schedule your travel and work around it.
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.
Additional digital nomad statistics regarding their work schedule:
- 70% of digital nomads across the globe work 40 hours a week or even less.
- Less than 1 digital nomad out of 3 works more than 40 hours weekly.
- Due to these statistics, most people leading a nomadic lifestyle tend to have a better work-life balance than other traditional workers.
Despite this, digital nomads need to be really organized with their daily routines. They must find time for work, rest, travel, and adapt to each place they arrive. There are many digital nomad forums where they share their experiences and advice in order to have a good experience and don’t feel overwhelmed.
Also, being part of digital nomad communities is very important to have a support group, resolve doubts and obtain valuable information.
What Is The Geographical Breakdown Of Digital Nomads?
Here is a breakdown of the percentage of people who have adapted to the nomadic lifestyle in various countries.
What Are The Best Digital Nomad Locations & Countries?
- 52% of digital nomads from America work and travel within the country.
- 48% of American people living the nomadic lifestyle travel to international destinations for their adventure.
- A total of 29% of digital nomads go to 3 to 5 countries.
- 17% of nomads frequent over five countries in a year.
- Forbes has ranked Norway at the top as the best location for digital nomads, based on nomad acceptance, happiness, and internet speed.
- Germany has been deemed to be the best country for people to access remote work.
- Cybersecurity experts from Nordlayer have referred to Algeria being the least ideal country for digital nomads based on English proficiency, socioeconomic conditions, online connectivity, and healthcare.
Here is a list of some countries that digital nomads choose to travel to:
Which Countries Give Out Digital Nomad Visas?
Something that nomads consider when choosing their destinations, it’s the possibility of applying for and getting a digital nomad visa. There are many countries in the world that offer these visas and are digital nomads friendly.
- Around 50% of countries offering digital nomad visas are located in Europe, 6 of which are part of the Schengen program.
- 46 countries have separate visas for digital nomads.
- 28 countries offer visas that are valid for up to 6 months for digital nomads.
- According to Statista, Germany offers the longest duration of visas to digital nomads, which is up to three years.
- The most expensive digital nomad visa is the one granted by Iceland, which allows you to earn around $42,000 in a year.
- The most affordable digital nomad visa is offered by Bermuda, which has a minimum income requirement of $0.
- The first country to introduce a digital nomad visa was Estonia.
Here are some countries and their durations of visas:
Country Duration of Visa Mexico 12 months Portugal 12 months Spain 12 months UAE (Dubai) 12 months Georgia 12 months Iceland 6 months Germany 6 months Croatia 12 months Czech Republic 12 months Estonia 12 months Norway 6 months
Do Digital Nomads Pay Taxes?
Yes, despite being on the road, digital nomads often pay taxes. These can be to their home countries or host countries, and at times to both due to double tax treaties.
The following states do not charge taxes from digital nomads or have a tax-free visa:
Challenges Faced by Digital Nomads
Digital nomads report a variety of challenges that they face, including feeling unsafe (34%), missing family and friends (32%), difficulty dealing with time zone differences (30%), and missing having real connections with people. (26%), figuring out the logistics of travel (25%), and balancing work and travel (25%).
Traveler fatigue and culture shock are two other reasons for digital nomads to give up on this lifestyle.
- 52% of nomads have difficulty finding a reliable WiFi source.
- 29% have issues while working with colleagues based in other time zones.
- 20% of digital nomads state that communication is difficult while on the road.
- 34% of digital nomads also cited that they were concerned for their personal safety.
- 32% reported they felt homesick for their friends and family.
- 25% said they had difficulty juggling work, and 25% said they were unable to figure out travel logistics.
While the digital nomad lifestyle may be complex, you can always make it easier with useful apps for digital nomads.
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!