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Digital nomads - statistics & facts

Digital nomads generally combine remote work and travel for various reasons and lengths of time. Passionate about new adventures, they know how to make the most of new technologies and only need an internet connection to work from anywhere in the world. If this community of worker-travelers has existed for a long time, the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to have accelerated this practice within the working population.

Impact of COVID-19 on digital nomads

A global survey on current and future trends in remote work conducted with CIOs revealed that permanent remote work will likely increase in the coming years. As of March 2021, approximately one-third of respondents expected to telework permanently. Furthermore, another survey found that flexibility was the biggest benefit cited by teleworkers around the world. In both 2020 and 2021, around 25 percent of respondents mentioned the flexibility to work from any location as the main remote work benefit, suggesting that digital nomadism is a growing trend.

Who are the digital nomads?

Looking at the nationality of digital nomads, they were mostly from the United States in 2022. Moreover, the country already accounted for over 15 million U.S. digital nomads in 2021. Given their connectedness, their thirst for discovery, and their increased mobility, it is not surprising that U.S. digital nomads were mostly represented in 2021 by the generation of millennials - also known as the generation of digital natives or generation Y – which is precisely characterized by these personality traits. Finally, a global survey revealed that digital nomads were primarily self-employed as of 2022, of whom more than half were business owners and around 35 percent were freelancers or gig workers.

Where do the digital nomads travel?

Digital nomads choose their travel location depending on specific factors, such as safety, the price of accommodation, internet speed, or the co-working spaces on offer. A global online survey found that the main factors in choosing a destination for digital nomads in 2022 were the cost of living and a fast, accessible internet connection to work in the best conditions. Safety was cited as the most significant component in the decision-making process of around 15 percent of digital nomads when looking for a destination.

As of March 2022, the United States was the most visited country by the digital nomad population. Thailand and Spain both came second, with five percent of this traveling community having already stayed there. Looking at the most visited cities by digital nomads, the top three included London, Bangkok, and New York City in 2022.

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