When COVID-19 started to wreak havoc in 2020, the number of digital nomads in the US increased by nearly 50% from 2019.
Nearly 10.2M Americans today consider themselves digital nomads—people who travel and explore while working—and that number is only expected to go up.
At Passport Photo Online, we’ve decided to compile a comprehensive list of digital nomad statistics, facts, and trends for 2022 to help you stay on top of things.
List of Digital Nomad Stats, Facts, Trends:
- Top 10 Digital Nomad Statistics You Should Know in 2022
- Portrait of a Typical Digital Nomad
- What Digital Nomads Do for a Living
- How Much Digital Nomads Spend (+Earn)
- Top Destinations for Digital Nomads
- Nomadic Lifestyle: Pros and Cons
- Digital Nomadism Trends
- Digital Nomad FAQ
Top 10 Digital Nomad Statistics You Should Know in 2022
- Digital nomads are a mix of full-timers (71%) and part-timers (29%), with most (85%) being satisfied or highly satisfied with their work.
- Digital nomads’ average monthly income is $4,500.
- 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.
- Digital nomads’ core expenses include housing ($1,000), transportation ($211), and food ($409).
- Indonesia is a top destination for digital nomads, followed by Mexico and Thailand.
- 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%).
- Digital nomads stay in 3–4 countries on average in total.
- Roughly 20% became digital nomads during 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19.
- For 88%, digital nomadism had a major positive impact on their lives.
- 24M Americans plan to become digital nomads in the next 2–3 years.
Portrait of a Typical Digital Nomad
- A demographic breakdown of digital nomads:
- Millennials: 44%
- Gen Xers: 23%
- Gen Zers: 21%
- Baby Boomers: 12%
- 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:
- White: 70%
- African American: 14%
- Hispanic: 7%
- Asian: 7%
- 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:
- IT: 19%
- Creative services: 10%
- Education and training: 9%
- Consulting, coaching, and research: 8%
- Sales, marketing, and PR: 8%
- 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:
- Freelance for multiple companies: 36%
- Own their own business: 33%
- Work as regular employees for one company: 21%
- 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 Digital Nomads 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:
- Housing: $1,000
- Transportation: $211
- 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:
- When choosing a destination, digital nomads’ most important considerations are:
- Reliable Internet
- Good weather
- Low cost of living
- Easy visa or none needed
- Destination attractions
- How much digital nomads travel while working:
- 1–3 months: 65%
- 3–6 months: 14%
- 1+ year: 11%
- 6–12 months: 10%
- How long digital nomads typically stay in one place:
- It varies: 27%
- 1–2 weeks: 22%
- Less than a week: 17%
- 3+ months: 12%
- 3–4 weeks: 11%
- 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:
- Friends or family: 41%
- Airbnb: 36%
- Car/van/RV: 21%
- Hostels: 16%
- When choosing accommodation, digital nomads pay attention to:
- Reliable Internet
- Suitable space to work
- Proximity to attractions
- 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.
- The top six reasons for living the digital nomad lifestyle are:
- Being able to constantly travel
- Experiencing different cultures
- Meeting locals
- Visiting places with a better cost of living
- Living a more simplified lifestyle
- 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:
- Inability to unplug from work
- Potential financial difficulties
- Collaborating and communicating
- Staying motivated
- 55% of digital nomads save for retirement. Yet, 65% are concerned or very concerned about saving for retirement.
Digital Nomadism Trends
- The number of digital nomads with regular jobs grew from 6.3M in 2020 to 10.2M 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):
- Gen Zers’ share of digital nomads grew from 19% to 21%.
- Millennials’ share increased from 42% to 44%.
- 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 2.6M.
- 24M 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.
- The number of US guests’ reviews on Airbnb mentioning “remote work” or “work remotely” has nearly tripled since the pandemic started.
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Digital Nomad FAQ
How much money do digital nomads make in 2022?
Although it might sound like a dream lifestyle, digital nomads have to work hard to make a living. In fact, digital nomads’ average monthly income is $4,500 or $54,000 per year.
How many digital nomads are there in 2022?
In 2021, there were 10.2M digital nomads in the US. That’s a 38% increase compared to 2020, when there were just 6.3M Americans who identified as digital nomads.
How often do digital nomads move?
It varies from person to person. Some digital nomads (22%) typically spend 1–2 weeks in one place, while others (11%) can enjoy one destination for as long as 1–2 months.
How many hours do digital nomads work?
Digital nomads work 46 hours weekly on average. Some (36%) freelance for multiple companies, 33% own their business, while others (21%) work as regular employees for one company.
Which country is best for a digital nomad in 2022?
Indonesia is a top-ranked destination for digital nomads looking for long stays. Other digital nomads’ favorite destinations include Mexico, Thailand, and Spain.
Where do digital nomads stay?
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%).
What is the average age of a digital nomad in 2022?
Most digital nomads (44%) are in their twenties or thirties. This group is known as the Millennials.
Stacking It All Up
There you have it.
A comprehensive list of trends, facts, 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 data you’d like to see.
Fair Use Statement
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- Airbnb, Work From Anywhere: How Airbnb & Guests are Approaching Remote Working, 2020
- Adventure Travel, Work and Wander: Meet Today’s Digital Nomads, 2021
- Fiverr Workspace, Anywhere Workers
- FlexJobs, Digital Nomad Survey: Insights into the Remote Lifestyle, 2018
- MBO Partners, State of Independence Research Study, 2021
- MBO Partners, The Digital Nomad Search Continues, 2021
- MBO Partners, COVID-19 and the Rise of the Digital Nomad, 2020
- Nomad List, State of Digital Nomads, 2021
Max Woolf is a writer and travel lover at Passport Photo Online. His insights, advice, and commentary have been featured in Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, BBC, MSN, NBC, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox News, AOL, The Ladders, TechRepublic, Reader’s Digest, Glassdoor, Stanford, G2, and 300+ other outlets.