The digital nomad movement is growing!
As remote work becomes a normal part of life, people crave new adventures in new locations. The digital nomad lifestyle looks attractive so the movement continues to explode.
Even governments are on board with tons of countries now offering digital nomad-friendly visas to try and attract an ever-growing remote workforce.
These digital nomad statistics tell the whole story of what the digital nomad lifestyle looks like in reality.
In this blog, we will look at digital nomad statistics on:
- The total number of digital nomads in the world
- Why people become digital nomads
- The age and demographics of digital nomads
- Most popular digital nomad jobs
- How much money do they earn
- Trending digital nomad hotspots
- The biggest challenge facing digital nomads today
And so much more! Strap yourself in as we dive deep into the digital nomad life with these digital nomad statistics.
Key Digital Nomad Statistics
The nomadic lifestyle is not one for the faint-hearted.
There are lots of challenges that digital nomads overcome every day, but the lifestyle payoff is well worth it.
Here are some quick digital nomad statistics you need to know:
- There are an estimated 35 million digital nomads worldwide
- Digital nomads contribute a global economic value of $787 billion per year
- If the global digital nomad movement was a country it would rank 41st in the world in terms of population
- Mexico is the most popular digital nomad destination in the world right now – Thailand is the second most popular
- The average age of a digital nomad is 32 and most digital nomads start their nomad journey at the age of 29
- The US accounts for more than 51% of digital nomads worldwide
- 46% of digital nomads are self-employed and 35% are employed by a company
Check out the digital nomad statistics infographic below for a visual representation of some of these top stats.
Now let’s jump in!
How Many Digital Nomads Are There?
The growth in people becoming digital nomads over the last 4 years has been huge. The Covid pandemic only seems to have accelerated the movement even further.
These are the current stats about the digital nomad population.
Total Number Of Digital Nomads Worldwide
There are currently over 35 million digital nomads worldwide as of 2022.
This is expected to grow significantly over the next few years as people switch to remote work more and more.
In the United States alone, there are 15.5 million digital nomads meaning that US digital nomads make up the vast majority of the nomad population. This is a huge result, considering in 2019 only 7.3 million Americans identified as digital nomads.
|Year||Number Of US Digital Nomads|
Between 2019 and 2020, the digital nomad movement grew by a huge 49% with 10.9 million nomads from the US.
Why is the growth so fast?
More working flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere in the world! The Covid 19 pandemic also fuelled remote working and travel as lots of US citizens went to countries with more relaxed laws and less threat of lockdowns.
Top Reasons Become Digital Nomads
The top 5 reasons most people become digital nomads are:
- 73% said they wanted a better work-life balance
- 68% said they love the freedom of the lifestyle
- 55% said they just love to travel
- 43% said they wanted to avoid office politics
- 37% said they had a desire to explore other cultures
There are clearly lots of reasons that push people to make the switch to the digital nomad lifestyle.
But most interestingly, the top 2 are to do with freedom and work-life balance. The flexibility to choose what you want is something that most digital nomads seem to value.
Digital Nomad Statistics About Demographics & Relationships
As you can imagine, relationships can be a bit of a challenge for digital nomads.
Although lots of digital nomads travel as a couple, many nomads are looking for love as they move from place to place. The following demographic and relationship digital nomad statistics paint a very good picture of who digital nomads are.
Average Digital Nomad Age
There is no doubt that digital nomad life is more popular among younger adults.
The average age of a digital nomad is 32 years old.
Most people start their digital nomad journey at 29. Ironically, the average age of burnout is 32 years old with most people starting to feel the negative effects of corporate work-life balance at the age of 29.
This could be a driver of digital nomads starting during this age range.
Here’s a full breakdown of digital nomads’ age range:
|Age Range||Percentage of Digital Nomads|
|20 to 29||14%|
|30 to 39||47%|
|40 to 49||16%|
|50 to 59||19%|
|60 to 69||3%|
|70 and above||1%|
You can see that almost half (47%) of all digital nomads are aged 30 to 39.
Interestingly there are more digital nomads in their 50s than there are in their 40s. There is also a significant drop-off after the age of 60 years old. It makes sense as being “nomadic” is significantly harder the older you get.
Digital Nomads Come From These Countries
Where do most digital nomads come from?
Here are the top 15 countries that digital nomads come from:
|Poland||Less than 1%|
|Italy||Less than 1%|
|Switzerland||Less than 1%|
As you can see, the US accounts for 51% of total digital nomads.
This is followed by the United Kingdom with 8% and Russia making up 5% of the digital nomad population. The next two nationalities are Canada at 5% and Germany at %3.
If you break it down by regions, it gets more interesting:
|Rest of World||17%|
North America makes up 56% of digital nomads worldwide, with Europe coming in second with 27%. Just 17% of digital nomads come from other regions of the world.
Single vs In A Relationship
The majority of digital nomads are single.
66% of digital nomads said that they were single.
34% said that they were currently in a relationship. Of those people that are in a relationship, 66% of them are married and 34% are unmarried. This is interesting contrast – different to what most people might have thought!
Only 31% of married digital nomads travel with their partners full-time.
38% travel with them part-time and a significant 32% of married digital nomads don’t travel with their partners at all.
Digital Nomads With Families
Only 26% of digital nomads in a relationship have children under the age of 18.
Clearly, the digital nomad lifestyle is more suited to people who are single or in a relationship but don’t yet have families. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
There is a growing trend for digital nomad families to pack up and hit the road with their children. Nomad parents want to give their children more opportunities to learn about new cultures and see the world from a different perspective. Personally, I love this idea!
My parents took my brother and I out of school for a year in 2004 (I was 10 years old) and we did a world trip. This was my first time out of Australia and it had a significant, positive impact on my life.
But this idea hasn’t taken hold in every parent. Only 41% of children travel with their digital nomad parents full-time. That means 59% of children travel part-time with their parents or not at all.
This is likely due to education.
It’s difficult for parents to home-school their children, so it’s often easier to enrol them in a traditional school while the parents travel.
Dating & Relationships
Digital nomad dating has certainly grown in popularity over the last few years.
There have even been new dating apps popping up specifically for digital nomads.
Here are the latest digital nomad statistics about what nomads are actually looking for:
|Looking For||Percentage (%)|
Most digital nomads are looking for friends and travel buddies. 35% of digital nomads said they were looking for more friends and 32% said they were looking for travel buddies.
That means 2/3 of digital nomads aren’t looking for dating relationships at all!
16% of digital nomads are looking for casual relationships at the moment. 13% are looking for more long-term relationships.
There is no doubt that dating is difficult as a digital nomad.
Most digital nomads spend only shorter periods in each location. This makes it hard to not only meet someone but also spend enough time to get to know each other.
But what about relationship status specifically?
|Relationship Status||Percentage Of Digital Nomads|
|In a Relationship||65%|
65% of digital nomads are currently single and 35% of digital nomads in a relationship. That means the vast majority of digital nomads are actually single.
Education And Training Statistics
A huge 90% of digital nomads have some form of formal education.
In fact, most digital nomads complete their degrees and then do a few years in the corporate world before becoming digital nomads.
Here is the kind of formal education that digital nomads have:
|Education||Percentage Of Digital Nomads (%)|
Bachelor’s degree is the most popular form of formal education with at least 54% of all digital nomads possessing one. Even a Master’s is not uncommon, with 33% of all nomads obtaining their Master’s.
PhDs are far less common, with just 3% of all nomads spending the time to get one.
What about high school?
Just 10% of digital nomads completed their high-school diploma and did not pursue any other form of education.
The bottom line – The vast majority of digital nomads are college-educated.
Digital Nomad Jobs & Careers
The amount of jobs you can now do remotely is amazing.
And digital nomads are the best at finding ways to take their work remote. These are the latest digital nomad statistics on jobs and careers.
Employed vs Self Employed
Most people think that digital nomads are employed.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s what it looks like:
Just over 1 out of 3 digital nomads are full-time employed. 46% of digital nomads are self-employed.
19% of digital nomads described themselves as “other” when it came to working.
The truth is that lots of nomads join the digital nomad lifestyle to have the freedom to work on what they want. Nomads tend to be people who are passionate about what they do and put their hearts and souls into their work.
Self-employed digital nomads aren’t all “business owners” either.
61% of self-employed digital nomads are freelancers. 39% consider themselves business owners.
Becoming a freelancer is a popular option because you get the flexibility of working for yourself without the stricter policies of being a full-time employee at a company.
Top Digital Nomad Industries
What kinds of digital nomad jobs do people do?
There is quite a big difference between men and women when it comes to industries. Here are the top 10 industries for both:
|Top Industries For Women||Percentage Of Women|
What’s interesting about these digital nomad statistics is that women’s top 10 career fields are pretty even. There are no single industry standouts in which most female digital nomads work.
Although creative and marketing tend to be the biggest industries right now, you can see that there is a wide range of industries you can work in while being location independent. Creative also includes work like being a content writer.
What about men?
|Top Industries For Men||Percentage Of Men|
Development is undoubtedly the primary industry for men.
Marketing and creative are also popular industries for men to be involved in.
When combing the data for men and women, we see that Marketing and Creative are the most popular industries as a whole.
A combined 33% of nomads work in the marketing industry and 31% in the creative industry.
How Much Do Digital Nomads Earn?
It’s common to think that digital nomads earn less when they join the lifestyle.
But that’s not the case. The median salary of a digital nomad is $85,000 per year and the average salary is $120,512 per year.
The truth is that digital nomads can earn more than they did in a corporate job.
These are the latest digital nomad statistics on salary:
|Annual Income Range||Percentage (%) Of Digital Nomads|
|Less Than $25k||7%|
|$25k – $50k||17%|
|$50k – $100k||34%|
|$100k – $250k||33%|
|$250k – $1M||7%|
|Over 1+ Million||2%|
69% of digital nomads’ annual income is between 50k to 250k. The average monthly income of a digital nomad is about $10,042, although the median income works out far less at $7,083 per month.
The average income in the United States is $51,480.
This means that most digital nomads make more than the average US worker.
But not everything is sunshine and rainbows. 32% of digital nomads said they have received financial support from outside sources like friends or family to help make ends meet.
46% of digital nomads said they earn less than when they used to work in corporate.
31% said they make similar amounts of money. 38% of digital nomads said they don’t feel as stressed about money anymore and 34% said there has been a change. I guess it’s more or less based on the kind of person you are.
Average Cost Of Living
Here’s the truth:
Traveling full-time as digital nomads isn’t cheap. But it also doesn’t have to be expensive either.
37% of nomads said they became digital nomads because they wanted to avoid the high cost of living in their home country.
There are so many locations that digital nomads visit throughout the year that the cost of living differentiates a lot. This makes it hard to nail down an average because each place changes.
These next digital nomad statistics about the cost of living are based on our average monthly cost of living over the last 4+ years.
Note: This is for us as a digital nomad couple:
|Activities & Entertainment||$89|
The average monthly cost of living as digital nomads is $1,724 USD.
Remember: This is average and for a couple. Single nomads will have a cheaper cost of living – usually by about 30%.
Some places are more expensive while others are cheaper. This also doesn’t include the cost of flights throughout the year.
We spend about $2,142 USD each (total $4,284) on flights per year. This works out to be about $179 USD each per month that we need to budget for flights. Despite what you have been told…
International travel is expensive and travel expenses do add up quickly.
2 other important categories for us are-
- Travel Insurance
We take Coworking in most places we stay in the world and the average coworking space costs about $120 USD per month.
Most nomads are big on value for money.
Check out our full review of the best travel insurance for digital nomads.
Do Digital Nomad’s Budget?
We ran a survey on a couple of popular Facebook groups to find out how many digital nomads budget.
Here’s what we found:
The majority of digital nomads don’t use a budget at all.
54% of digital nomads said they don’t use a budget to manage their money.
27% of respondents said they use a custom Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet to track their spending. 19% of digital nomads use an application to track all of their costs. We use a digital nomad app to budget called Trail Wallet.
What Are The Top Digital Nomad Destinations
There are tons of great digital nomad destinations around the world.
Here are the digital nomad stats on the top countries and cities for digital nomads.
Popular Digital Nomad Countries
The top 10 most popular countries for digital nomads are:
- Costa Rica
The truth is the whole of Latin America has become very popular for digital nomads.
Portugal has also become a popular digital nomad country post-pandemic. Lisbon is the most popular city due to the lower cost of living (for Europe) and beautiful aesthetic.
Interestingly 9 out of 10 (90%) digital nomads said they prefer to live in the coastal countries of the world.
Popular Digital Nomad Cities
What’s interesting is that the most popular cities don’t necessarily line up with the top countries.
The top 10 most popular digital nomad cities are:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Bali, Indonesia
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Medellin, Colombia
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Phuket, Thailand
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Tbilisi, Georgia
Chiang Mai and Bali are basically the OGs of digital nomad cities. Mexico City and Istanbul have also become trendy digital nomad hotspots recently.
Medellin in Colombia has also become a nomad hub. This is due to the lower cost of living and how modern the city is.
We had a great time as Medellin digital nomads.
How Long Do Digital Nomads Stay In One Place?
Originally digital nomads used to fast travel through countries to visit as many countries as possible.
For some people, the lifestyle was almost like a checklist of trophies to post on Instagram. But as the digital nomad movement has grown, it has evolved (thankfully).
Today most digital nomads prefer to slow travel, staying in locations for 1+ months and really experiencing the place for what it is.
This is how long most digital nomads spend in a single destination:
|Duration In One Place||Percentage Of Nomads|
|Less Than 7 Days||22%|
|7 – 14 Days||27%|
|15 – 30 Days||11%|
|31 – 60 Days||12%|
|61 – 90 Days||11%|
|More Than 90+ Days||17%|
There has undoubtedly been a significant shift to slower travel.
It’s become much more balanced than it used to be, with 51% of digital nomads spending more than 2 weeks in a location and 49% spending less than 2 weeks.
Interestingly there is a growing movement of long-term stay nomads, with 17% of digital nomads spending more than 90+ days in a digital nomad destination. These kinds of digital nomads are called slow-mads.
More than 1/3 of digital nomads stay over 1+ month in a single destination. Fast travel as a digital nomad isn’t sustainable for most people.
At some you have to do work, right?
But just because nomads visit lots of locations throughout the year doesn’t mean they actually change country all that often.
So how many countries do digital nomads visit each year?
|Number Of Countries Per Year||Percentage (%)|
|1 to 2||73%|
|3 to 4||19%|
|More Than 5+||8%|
A huge 73% of digital nomads visit just 1-2 countries per year outside of their home country.
19% visit 3-4 countries and a small 8% visit more than 5+ countries. We personally fit into the 5+ country category and wouldn’t change it for the world.
What parts of the world are most digital nomads traveling?
|All Over The World||12%|
Digital nomads in Latin America enjoyed fewer restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a huge hotspot. Latin America is also a more accessible place to travel for US and European residents who make up the majority of digital nomads.
Latin American countries also tend to offer longer-term visas for many passports. For example:
- Mexico offers up to a 180-day tourist visa on arrival
- Colombia offers 90 days with the ability to extend for another 90 days
- Guatemala also has the 90 days tourist visa with the opportunity to extend
This means that digital nomads can spend a longer time within these countries without worrying about their visas.
Where Do Digital Nomads Live And Work?
Depending on the speed at which digital nomads travel will often determine the accommodation they use.
Accommodation For Digital Nomads
The most popular accommodations for digital nomads are:
- Coliving Spaces
Airbnb recently reported that they were seeing more long-term stays on the platform. 20% of all Airbnb’s booked were for a month or longer.
The search for “laptop-friendly workspaces” also increased by a huge 73% amongst longer stays.
We conducted our own poll to find out where digital nomads like to stay. These are the results:
|Accommodation Type||Percentage Of Digital Nomads|
Airbnb is clearly the most popular accommodation type with 44% of digital nomads using Airbnb.
Hostels are also a very popular type of accommodation with 33% of digital nomads regularly using them. Coliving spaces are also growing with 16% of digital nomads taking advantage of coliving. The biggest benefit to coliving spaces is that you usually get community combined with a work space and decent apartments/living spaces.
That’s why coliving is growing amongst nomads.
Places For Digital Nomads To Work
When it comes to working digital nomads have 3 primary options:
- Coworking spaces
The numbers a different from what you might think:
|Place To Work||Percentage (%)|
The majority of digital nomads choose to work from their accommodation (Airbnbs, apartments, hostels).
This makes sense to some degree. Most hostels have common spaces with tables and chairs where you can get work done. And as we already saw, Airbnb has seen a 73% increase for apartments with laptop-friendly workspaces amongst long stays.
45% of digital nomads also said they like regularly working from cafes.
The cafe work culture has become a trend on its own. But what about coworking spaces?
Coworking spaces have been around for a long time and ranked lowest for digital nomads. Only 19% of digital nomads said they regularly choose to work in a coworking space.
We fit into this category but totally understand it’s not everyone’s slice of toast. It also depends hugely on the quality of the coworking space and what’s included in the deal.
Still, approximately 1.93 million people around the world use coworking spaces today. That number has increased steadily over the last few years – especially amongst digital nomads.
The biggest reason to join a coworking space was to find a digital nomad community.
Sources: Two Tickets Anywhere
Digital Nomad Visas
Digital nomad visas are a controversial topic.
Because most digital nomad visas are long-term often 1-2 years. When you stay in a country for more than a year are you really a digital nomad or an expat?
I’ll let you decide.
But there is no doubt that digital nomad visas are a trend. There are now 21 countries that offer digital nomad visas (in some form) worldwide.
These are the latest digital nomad statistics on visas.
What Countries Offer Digital Nomad Visas?
These are all the countries that offer digital nomad visas at the moment:
|Country||Length Of Visa|
|1. Antigua and Barbuda||2 years|
|2. Barbados||12 months|
|3. Bermuda||12 months|
|4. Cayman Islands||2 years|
|5. Costa Rica||2 years|
|6. Croatia||12 months|
|7. Czech Republic||12 months|
|8. UAE (Dubai)||12 months|
|9. Estonia||12 months|
|10. Georgia||12 months|
|11. Germany||3 years|
|12. Iceland||6 months|
|13. Mauritius||12 months|
|14. Mexico||12 months, renewable to 3 years|
|15. Norway||2 years|
|16. Portugal||12 months, renewable to 5 years|
|17. Spain||12 months, renewable|
|18. Anguilla||12 months|
|19. Argentina||12 Months|
|20. Montserrat||12 months|
|21. Aruba||12 Months|
About 50% of the countries that offer digital nomad visas are in Europe. 6 of them are part of the Schengen program.
This is attractive to those who want longer to travel around the Schengen countries longer than 90 days.
But most of these visas come with some travel restrictions on how long you must spend in the country. You also have monthly or yearly income requirements for most digital nomad visas.
This makes sense because they don’t want backpackers trying to do it cheaply.
The goal is to get you to spend money.
Why Do Countries Want To Attract Digital Nomads?
Short answer – Money.
Digital nomads contribute about $787 billion dollars a year to the global economy.
Which country wouldn’t want a slice of that?
Think about it…
Most digital nomads earn money from their home countries. They then take that money and spend it in a foreign country.
That means that the foreign country receives the economic benefits of a digital nomad without having any obligation to them.
While digital nomad visas won’t be for everyone, there is a win-win situation created. Digital nomads can travel to the countries they want for longer and the countries reap the economic benefit.
These digital nomad statistics show that nomad visas will likely become a trend and get huge in the next 5 years!
Biggest Challenges For Digital Nomads
While the digital nomad lifestyle may look glamorous on the outside, not everything is perfect.
Digital nomads face a unique set of challenges that come with the lifestyle. The truth is that digital nomadism isn’t for everyone.
The biggest challenges for digital nomads are:
|Finding reliable wifi||52%|
|Finding a good place to work||42%|
If you know anything about digital nomads, you’ll know that wifi comes up as a topic a lot. It’s the same as people always talking about the weather.
52% of digital nomads said finding a reliable internet connection was their biggest challenge.
Finding a solid place to get some work done was also a big challenge with 42%.
Time zones can also be restrictive for long-term digital nomads – especially if you are employed. 29% said that time zones work as their biggest challenge, with workplace communications below at 20%.
The number #1 reason digital nomads return home is that they miss their families and friends. Loneliness is a killer and if you travel as a nomad by yourself, it can become a drain on your life.
Even if you find a solid digital nomad community, sometimes you just need to return home to recharge. And that’s perfectly fine!
Digital Nomads vs Remote Workers
The remote work trend is in full swing.
Many people have realized they can work remotely from another country while still maintaining their job.
But don’t be fooled…
Remote workers are not the same as digital nomads. We always get this question, so I wanted to explain it. What’s the difference between digital nomads and remote workers?
The digital nomad lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle.
Digital nomads will move more frequently to experience life in many different cities and countries. Being a digital nomad means that you are location independent and your lifestyle is to travel constantly (being nomadic).
Remote workers are simply people that don’t work from a traditional office. You can work from your home office and still be a remote worker!
You could say that digital nomads are a specific type of remote worker. But remote working is not a lifestyle in and of itself. It just describes your work life.
I hope that makes more sense now.
Wrapping It Up
That was a lot of digital nomad statistics to take in.
The truth is that the digital nomad trend is no longer just a trend…
It’s a movement that’s already big and looks like it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. Even countries are looking for ways to attract digital nomads because of the economic benefit they bring.
Now I want to hear from you:
What was your favorite digital nomad statistic?
Let us know in the comments!