Digital Nomad 2022 Statistics and Trends

Digital Nomad Statistics and Trends

Consider this:

When COVID-19 started to wreak havoc in 2020, the number of digital nomads in the US increased by nearly 50% from 2019.

The result?

Nearly 10.2 million Americans today consider themselves digital nomads—people who travel and explore while working—and that number is only expected to go up.

So—

At Passport-Photo.Online, we’ve decided to compile a comprehensive list of digital nomad statistics and trends for 2022 to help you stay on top of things.

List of Digital Nomad Statistics:

  1. TOP 10 Digital Nomad Statistics
  2. Portrait of a Typical Digital Nomad
  3. What Digital Nomads Do for a Living
  4. How Much They Spend (+Earn)
  5. Top Destinations for Digital Nomads
  6. Nomadic Lifestyle: Pros and Cons
  7. Digital Nomadism Trends

TOP 10 Digital Nomad Statistics

TOP 10 Digital Nomad Statistics
  1. Digital nomads are a mix of full-timers (71%) and part-timers (29%), with most (85%) being satisfied or highly satisfied with their work.
  2. Digital nomads’ average monthly income is $4,500.
  3. To sustain the nomadic lifestyle, 36% freelance for multiple companies, 33% own their own businesses and 21% work as regular employees for just one company.
  4. Digital nomads’ core expenses include housing ($1000), transportation ($211), and food ($409).
  5. Indonesia is a top destination for digital nomads, followed by Mexico and Thailand.
  6. Most digital nomads prefer to stay at hotels (51%). Other options include friends/family’s place (41%), Airbnb (36%), car/van/RV (21%), and hostels (16%).
  7. Digital nomads stay in 3–4 countries on average in total.
  8. Roughly 20% became digital nomads during 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19.
  9. For 88%, digital nomadism had a major positive impact on their lives.
  10. 24 million Americans plan to become digital nomads in the next 2–3 years.

Portrait of a Typical Digital Nomad

  • A demographic breakdown of digital nomads:
  1. Millennials: 44%
  2. Gen Xers: 23%
  3. Gen Zers: 21%
  4. Baby Boomers: 12%
  • Men are generally more likely than women (59% vs. 41%) to pursue digital nomadism.
Men are generally more likely than women (59% vs. 41%) to pursue digital nomadism
  • Digital nomads’ racial makeup generally resembles the US population. It’s as follows:
  1. White: 70%
  2. African American: 14%
  3. Hispanic: 7%
  4. Asian: 7%
  5. Another background: 2%
  • Roughly 72% have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 33% have a master’s.
  • Nearly 61% of digital nomads are married: 31% of married digital nomads’ partners travel with them full-time, and 38% travel part-time.
  • Just 26% of digital nomads have underage children. Of those, 59% don’t travel with them at all.
  • A full 97% of digital nomads received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Most digital nomads (52% of men and 73% of women) have progressive political views.

What Digital Nomads Do for a Living

  • Digital nomads are a mix of full-timers (71%) and part-timers (29%).
  • Digital nomads work in a wide variety of fields, including:
  1. IT: 19%
  2. Creative services: 10%
  3. Education and training: 9%
  4. Consulting, coaching, and research: 8%
  5. Sales, marketing, and PR: 8%
  6. Finance and accounting: 8%
  • Nearly 85% of digital nomads are satisfied or highly satisfied with their work.
  • Digital nomads work 46 hours weekly on average. Hers’s what they do for a living:
Digital nomads work 46 hours weekly on average. Hers’s what they do for a living
  1. Freelance for multiple companies: 36%
  2. Own their own business: 33%
  3. Work as regular employees for one company: 21%
  4. Consult for one company: 5%
  • About 77% of digital nomads use technology to gain a competitive advantage at work.
  • Another 76% of digital nomads are more likely to be early adopters of technology than non-nomads (36%).
  • 64% of digital nomads’ work requires specialized training, education, and/or expertise.

How Much They Spend (+Earn)

  • One in five digital nomads (21%) earn less than $25,000 yearly. Yet, 44% earn $75,000 or more.
  • Regardless of how much they bring home, most digital nomads (79%) are satisfied or very satisfied with their earnings.
  • Digital nomads’ average monthly income is $4,500. Below are their three main expenses:
Digital nomads’ average monthly income is $4,500. Below are their three main expenses
  1. Housing: $1,000
  2. Transportation: $211
  3. Food: $409
  • Digital nomads spend nearly half as much on food as they do on housing each month.

Top Destinations for Digital Nomads

  • Indonesia is top-ranked for long stays. Other digital nomads’ favorite destinations include:
  1. Mexico 
  2. Thailand
  3. Spain
  4. Columbia
  5. Portugal
  • When choosing a destination, digital nomads’ most important considerations are:
  1. Reliable Internet
  2. Good weather
  3. Low cost of living
  4. Easy visa or none needed
  5. Destination attractions
  • How much digital nomads travel while working: 
  1. 1–3 months: 65%
  2. 3–6 months: 14%
  3. 1+ year: 11%
  4. 6–12 months: 10%
  • How long digital nomads typically stay in one place:
How long digital nomads typically stay in one place
  1. It varies: 27%
  2. 1–2 weeks: 22%
  3. Less than a week: 17%
  4. 3+ months: 12%
  5. 3–4 weeks: 11%
  6. 1–2 months: 11%
  • Nearly 29% of digital nomads visit 3–5 countries per year. Another 17% visit more than five countries.
  • Most digital nomads prefer to stay at hotels (51%). Other popular options include:
Most digital nomads prefer to stay at hotels (51%)
  1. Friends or family: 41%
  2. Airbnb: 36%
  3. Car/van/RV: 21%
  4. Hostels: 16%
  • When choosing accommodation, digital nomads pay attention to:
  1. Reliable Internet
  2. Suitable space to work
  3. Price
  4. Proximity to attractions
  5. Quiet room for meetings

Nomadic Lifestyle: Pros and Cons

  • Roughly 20% of Americans became digital nomads in 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19.
Roughly 20% of Americans became digital nomads in 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19
  • The top six reasons for living the digital nomad lifestyle are:
  1. Being able to constantly travel
  2. Experiencing different cultures
  3. Meeting locals
  4. Visiting places with a better cost of living
  5. Living a more simplified lifestyle
  6. Meeting like-minded people
  • For 88%, digital nomadism had a major positive impact on their lives.
  • Having trouble shutting down after the workday harms productivity for nearly a third of digital nomads.
  • The top challenges digital nomads face are:
The top challenges digital nomads face are
  1. Inability to unplug from work
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Loneliness
  4. Potential financial difficulties
  5. Collaborating and communicating
  6. Staying motivated
  • 55% of digital nomads save for retirement. Yet, 65% are concerned or very concerned about saving for retirement.
  • The number of digital nomads with regular jobs grew from 6.3 million in 2020 to 10.2 million in 2021.
The number of digital nomads with regular jobs grew from 6.3 million in 2020 to 10.2 million in 2021
  • The number of digital nomads who are independent workers (e.g., freelancers, contractors) increased by 15% in 2021.
  • Growing trends for digital nomadism among different demographics (2020 vs. 2021):
  1. Gen Zers’ share of digital nomads grew from 19% to 21%.
  2. Millennials’ share increased from 42% to 44%. 
  3. Gen Xers’ share remained at 23%.
  • Baby Boomers’ share decreased to 12% in 2021 from 17% in 2020, likely due to health-related concerns caused by COVID-19.
  • Digital nomads have gotten younger. Yet, older age groups are still well represented, with 29% aged 45 or older and 11% aged 60 or older.
  • Generally, half of Americans (54%) plan to continue the nomadic lifestyle for at least the next two years. For independent contractors, that number jumps to 69%.
  • Despite COVID-19, 48% of digital nomads plan to spend at least some time outside the US in the next year, with 52% intending to stay exclusively domestic.
  • The number of VanLifers—digital nomads who travel, live, and work in RVs, vans, and other vehicles converted into roaming residences—grew by 37% in 2021, reaching 2.6 million.
  • 24 million Americans who aren’t digital nomads intend to lead the nomadic lifestyle in the next 2–3 years. It’s a 20% increase compared to 2020. 
24 million Americans who aren't digital nomads intend to lead the nomadic lifestyle in the next 2–3 years
  • The number of US guests’ reviews on Airbnb mentioning “remote work” or “work remotely” has nearly tripled since the pandemic started.

Stacking It All Up

There you have it.

A comprehensive list of trends, figures, and stats you can use to get a better picture of America’s digital nomads.

Let us know in the comments if there are any other digital nomad statistics you’d like to see.

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