The term digital nomad simply describes a person who travels and makes a living working online in locations around the world.
So instead of being fixed to just your home office or a singular co-working space, you’ll be working from all different places and are not location dependent.
It’s been quite attractive for those looking to explore the world and not live by societal working norms. But how common are digital nomads? Is it just a trend? What other data is out there?
Don’t worry, I gathered a collection of the more fascinating and important digital nomad statistics and insights. Let’s dive in!
Digital Nomad Stats Overview
It’s not exactly clear where the term “digital nomad” started or where the trend really exploded, but we do know a few things.
According to Mighty Networks, the term was popularized in a 1997 book by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners, who argued that technology would allow people to return to a nomadic state and work from anywhere.
And they certainly predicted that accurately!
Over the years since, the term digital nomad has continued to trend and grow in interest. Take a look at the graph below:
Now let’s get into some common questions and data.
How Many Digital Nomads Are There?
Worldwide, there are an estimated 35 million+ people considered digital nomads and over 15 million of those are from the United States alone! These numbers are expected to continue to grow as younger generations want more out of “when” and “how” they work.
What is the Average Age of a Digital Nomad?
According to Statista, almost half of the digital nomads around the world are in their 30s. And the survey also found that the 40-59 age group accounted for 35% of digital nomads worldwide.
Additionally, data gathered from active users of NomadList shows that roughly 58% of digital nomads are in their 30s. However, these numbers are continuing to evolve so we may see these percentages continue to fluctuate.
How Much Does the Average Digital Nomad Make?
The average digital nomad tends to make somewhere between $40,000 and $200,000 per year. However, the amount of income depends on a few factors including hours worked, having their own business, if the individual is working on a freelance or contract basis, or working full-time while traveling.
I found NomadList’s data around income pretty interesting too. Check out this data table from the website (this is the data as of publishing this post).
Which Country Has the Most Digital Nomads?
The United States by far has the most digital nomads currently. There have been a few studies around what that percentage looks like and some research firms found 30% are based in the United States. And other research reports found closer to 50%+ of worldwide digital nomads are currently in the United States.
What Are The Best Countries for Digital Nomads?
The countries below are the most mentioned and represented for digital nomads. This data mostly factors in available work visas, safety, tourist destinations, internet speeds, and more.
|Portugal 🇵🇹||Mexico 🇲🇽||Estonia 🇪🇪|
|Thailand 🇹🇭||Croatia 🇭🇷||Germany 🇩🇪|
|Czech Republic 🇨🇿||Georgia 🇬🇪||Barbados 🇧🇧|
|Costa Rica 🇨🇷||Spain 🇪🇸||Iceland 🇮🇸|
|Malta 🇲🇹||Bermuda 🇧🇲||Cayman Islands 🇰🇾|
|Colombia 🇨🇴||Vietnam 🇻🇳||Indonesia 🇮🇩|
|Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬||Mauritius 🇲🇺||Norway 🇳🇴|
|Anguilla 🇦🇮||Australia 🇦🇺||Singapore 🇸🇬|
|Hungary 🇭🇺||Greece 🇬🇷||United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪|
|Malaysia 🇲🇾||Bulgaria 🇧🇬||Philippines 🇵🇭|
|Canada 🇨🇦||France 🇫🇷||Switzerland 🇨🇭|
|Argentina 🇦🇷||Peru 🇵🇪||South Africa 🇿🇦|
|Taiwan 🇹🇼||New Zealand 🇳🇿||United States 🇺🇸|
Some of these countries are exploring 4-day workweeks too. So if that also interests you, then something to keep in mind!
More Digital Nomad Statistics and Trends
Now that we got some of the most common digital nomad statistic questions answered, let’s jump into more interesting data.
- If the global digital nomad community were a country, it would rank #41 by population size, just after Canada and Morocco in population size.
- If the global digital nomad community were its own country, it would be roughly the 38th most prosperous country based on gross national income per capita, ranking just after Portugal and Saudi Arabia.
- The global digital nomad community’s economic value is $787,000,000,000 per year, calculated as the aggregate of digital nomad spending annually.
- Most digital nomads live in hotels (51%), then with friends/family (41%), Airbnb (36%), Car/RV/Van (21%), and hostels (16%).
- 80% of digital nomads stay in one place between 3 to 9 months on average, and 66% stay in one place between 3 to 6 months.
- MBO Partners’ research found a strong increase in digital nomad salaries, concluding that 44% of American digital nomads earn over $75,000 per year.
- the average person who spends half their time working remotely saves between $2,500 to $4,000 per year compared to those who work 100% onsite.
- Surprisingly, 32% of nomads see this way of work as a phase in their life and only plan to be digital nomads for just a year or less. 54% plan on traveling for at least the next two years.
- Data from MBO Partners shows 52% of American nomads plan to travel and work within the United States, while 48% will be going to international destinations.
- 29% of digital nomads will visit 3-5 countries, and roughly 17% will visit more than five countries per year.
- A FlexJobs survey found that 52% of digital nomads rated finding reliable WiFi as one of the main challenges of the nomadic lifestyle. 29% also reported difficulties working with colleagues in other time zones, and 20% say communication is tougher.
- 70% of digital nomads work 40 hours or less per week. Less than 1 in 3 nomads work over 40 hours per week, which means most nomads have a better work-life balance than traditional workers.
- Almost 50% of all digital nomads come from the United States, with the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, and Germany rounding out the top 5.
- The digital nomad community is split nearly evenly between males and females at 49.81% females and 50.19% males.
- 29.6% of digital nomads have no higher education, 26% of digital nomads have an undergraduate degree, 37% of digital nomads have a graduate degree, and 7.4% of digital nomads have a Ph.D. or MD.
- 66% of self-employed digital nomads report owning their own business, while 34% work as freelancers or gig workers
- The most common professions for digital nomads are marketing, computer sciences/IT, design, writing, and eCommerce, and account for 51% of all reported digital nomad professions.
- Cost of living and fast, accessible internet is the major factor in choosing a location to most nomads, reported as factor #1 by 56% of nomads
- 9 of the top 10 preferred locations for digital nomads are coastal countries that are gateways to their region (major airports and intl. flights) and a gross national income per capita that is less than the average budget of a digital nomad.
- Loneliness, missing family & friends, and lack of connection is the #1 reason digital nomads return home. Traveler fatigue and long-term culture shock are not far behind as reasons why digital nomads return home.
- 21 countries so far have created a digital nomad visa or have a program targeting digital nomads. And 28 countries offer visas valid for six months or more.
All the above data is from these sources:
Why Is Being A Digital Nomad Popular?
As you saw from the Google trends graph earlier, there has been an increasing interest in being a digital nomad. With technology and new generations viewing work differently, it makes a ton of sense.
After all, who wants to be in a stuffy corporate office 40+ hours per week!?
But mostly the reasons this concept took off are due to better work-life balance, freedom, love of travel, and desire to try something new.
But either way, the concept of being a digital nomad is here to stay and is only growing in numbers. Check back in the future as I update and expand this list.