Digital Nomad Statistics for 2023

Did you know there are around 35 million digital nomads worldwide — 16.9 million in the US alone?

Or, that most of them are Millennials who earn around $123,578 a year on average?

Do you know why digital nomads produce 78% less CO2 than the average American? 

Do you know why the majority of digital nomads have visited the US, Spain, and Thailand in 2023?

If the digital nomad lifestyle seems appealing to you and you want to learn more about future trends in digital nomadism, keep on reading.   

We bring you the most interesting figures and statistics about digital nomads, including:

  • The statistics on digital nomad demographics, 
  • The statistics on the best countries for digital nomads, 
  • The statistics on the digital nomad lifestyle, and 
  • The statistics on the future trends in digital nomadism. 

Let’s get started! 

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Table of Contents

What is a digital nomad?  

In their research report The Digital Nomad: Buzzword or research category, Müller defines digital nomads in the following way: 

The term “digital nomad” describes people who no longer rely on work in a conventional office; instead, they can decide freely when and where to work. They can essentially work anywhere, as long as they have their laptop with them and access to a good internet connection. This means that their workplace might be in a shared office in Berlin, Germany for one month, and a month later they will be working on the same project in a café in Chiang Mai, Thailand.” 

The term was originally coined by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners in their 1997 book titled  Digital Nomad, which pretty accurately predicted the nomadic lifestyle we are now witnessing. 

The definition and evolution of digital nomadism can’t be separated from the development of technology. The paper The History of Digital Nomadism helps us trace the evolution of the term, noting, for example, how the first telecommuting jobs gave rise to the first surge of backpackers in Thailand in the 1980s. 

It’s also worth mentioning that a “location-independent entrepreneur” is also a widely used term recently for digital nomads. Some argue it might be a far better alternative to the term digital nomad, which might not be descriptive enough to cover all the nuances that make up the lifestyle. 

The difference between digital nomads, remote workers, and expats 

The term digital nomad is often confused with two other similar terms — remote workers and expats. 

To best demonstrate the difference between digital nomads, remote workers, and expats, we can use the scalar definition of the term digital nomad developed by Ina Reichenberger in the article Digital Nomads — a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure:

“Digital nomads are individuals who achieve location independence by conducting their work in an online environment, 

  • Transferring this independence to mobility by not consistently working in one designated personal office space, but 
  • Using the possibility to simultaneously work and travel to the extent that no permanent residence exists.” 

Therefore, as opposed to remote workers, which is a larger term, the digital nomad term implies the element of travel. 

And, in contrast with expats — digital nomads don’t strive for a permanent residence nor do they work for a company in the country they’re staying at.  

Statistics on the number of digital nomads 

Recent research on digital nomadism — Digital Nomads: Toward a Future Research Agenda — reminds us of the limitations in accurate assessment of the actual number of digital nomads, as: 

  • Digital nomads rarely inform their countries of origin about their plans to stay in other destinations (as there are no legal requirements in most cases), 
  • Digital nomads rarely need to register in the countries they choose to stay at, 
  • There’s no clear proof as to whether digital nomads use any of the digital nomad visas available, and 
  • There’s even no consensus on the official definition of the term digital nomad.  

That said, there are a few compelling surveys and studies indicating somewhat more precise numbers.  

Digital nomads are undeniably on the rise. According to MBO Partners’ research study, the number of digital nomads in the US is continually on the rise from 2019 onwards. 

As expected, the pandemic had the biggest impact recently. The highest increase was noticed in 2020, which saw 10.9 million digital nomads, as opposed to 7.3 million in 2019 — which is a whopping 49% increase. 

In 2021, the number of digital nomads experienced a 42% increase compared to 2020, with 15.5 million Americans identifying as digital nomads. Although not as dramatically as in the first years of the pandemic, the numbers continued to grow steadily in 2022 when 16.9 million Americans said they identify as digital nomads. Data shows the total increase reached 131% from the pre-pandemic years (2019) to 2022.

Number of American digital nomads

Statistics on the rising number of traditional workers becoming digital nomads

More and more traditional workers are becoming digital nomads, as well. The MBO research shows an interesting trend with traditional workers who have joined the digital nomad tribe due to the pandemic. Namely, 66% of digital nomads in 2022 have traditional jobs (employed full time by a company), whereas only 44% of digital nomads held traditional jobs in 2019. 

Another research by SafetyWing reveals similar data. When asked about the main reason for becoming digital nomads, 74.5% of digital nomads reported that the pandemic had the biggest impact on their decision to take the leap.   

The number of independent workers (independent contractors, freelancers, etc.) has also increased in 2021 — although only by 5%. This is not necessarily a surprise, as the MBO report suggests. We haven’t seen a larger impact of the pandemic on this group, as independent workers weren’t constrained to a single physical space before, so the pandemic didn’t necessarily create a significant difference in their lifestyle. 

Statistics on the popularity of digital nomadism 

Digital nomadism is becoming a popular lifestyle. According to MBO insights, the digital nomad lifestyle is becoming more and more popular among US citizens. The number of Americans keen on becoming digital nomads went from: 

  • 54 million in 2019, to 
  • 65 million in 2020, and 
  • up to 72 million in 2022

What’s more, as much as 86.8% of respondents in a SafetyWing survey revealed that they would like to explore the digital nomad lifestyle. 

Statistics on the digital nomad demographics

In the early days of digital nomadism, we were able to paint a clear picture of what a typical digital nomad looks like. In most cases, this was a White man in his thirties working freelance in a creative (or creative-adjacent) field who loves the outdoors and is adventurous. 

And, while most digital nomads still very much fall into these categories, we’re happy to see that the image that’s been typically associated with digital nomads is slowly starting to morph into a more diverse one.  

That being said, let’s analyze the profile of an average digital nomad in 2023 and get all the details. 

We will start with the overall profile and continue with a more specific analysis of each category. 

The anatomy of a typical digital nomad

According to the latest digital nomad statistics, here’s a profile of a typical digital nomad in 2023: 

  • Around 34 years old, 
  • Male, 
  • White, 
  • Nonreligious, 
  • American,
  • Progressive, 
  • Environmentally friendly,
  • Has a bachelor’s degree, 
  • Works as a software developer,
  • Works from a home office,
  • Makes $123,578 per year on average, 
  • Works 40 or fewer hours a week, 
  • Loves coffee, 
  • Eats meat, 
  • Hiking is his favorite workout activity, 
  • Tokyo is his favorite city, and
  • Stays in a destination for around 8 months.
The anatomy of a typical digital nomad

Digital nomads are predominantly young and male

According to data from the tens of thousands of Nomad List members presented in The 2023 State of Digital Nomads report, most digital nomads are young people aged between 23 and 44, with the highest percentage of digital nomads being 34 years old (8%). Although there is some percentage of digital nomads in their twenties and early forties, the overwhelming majority of Nomad List members are in their thirties. 

The nomadic lifestyle still appeals more to male nomads, with 51% of digital nomads identifying as male, as opposed to 49% of female digital nomads.  

Similar data comes from MBO Partners, which consistently show a higher male-to-female ratio throughout the years — with 59% male and 41% female nomads in 2022.    

MBO Partners have analyzed the demographic of digital nomads by generation over the last 4 years. 

In 2020, there were:

  • 17% of Baby Boomers, 
  • 23% of Gen X, 
  • 42% of Millennials, and 
  • 19% of Gen Z. 

In 2021 and 2022 we can see a shift in younger generations and a drop in the percentage of older generations — understandable due to the higher risk of COVID-19. 

In 2021: 

  • 12% of Baby Boomers, 
  • 23% of Gen X, 
  • 44% of Millennials, and 
  • 21% of Gen Z. 

In 2022: 

  • 13% of Baby Boomers, 
  • 23% of Gen X,
  • 47% of Millennials, and 
  • 17% of Gen Z. 

Digital nomads skew American and White 

Nomad List members are predominantly American. US citizens make up 47% of digital nomads on the platform, which is precisely 26,633,727 people. 

UK nationals take the second spot with only a 7% share, or 4,123,932. Next up are Russia, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Spain, all of which combined make up 24% of digital nomads surveyed by the Nomad List platform. 

The same research shows that: 

  • Most digital nomads are White (60%), while 
  • The other 40% are Non-White with:
    • 13% Asian, 
    • 12% Latin,
    • 7% Black, 
    • 5% Indian, 
    • 3% Middle Eastern, and 
    • 1% Pacific. 

MBO Partners show a similar breakdown of digital nomads based on their ethnicity and race:

  • A little over two-thirds of digital nomads identify as White (76%), 
  • 18% as African American,  
  • 8% are Hispanic, 
  • 4% are Asian, and 
  • 3% are from another background (respondents were allowed to give more than one answer to this question). 

Digital nomads are progressive and non-religious 

The overwhelming majority of nomad women identify as progressive when it comes to their political preferences and affiliation, according to the Nomad List research. Almost half of the nomad men (49%) are progressive in their politics. 

Namely, 49% of nomad men and 72% of nomad women identify as progressive.

Out of 51% of non-progressive nomad men:

  • 26% consider themselves libertarian, 
  • 20% are centrist, while 
  • 6% lean conservative.   

When it comes to the 28% of non-progressive nomad women,

  • 13% are libertarian, 
  • 12% are centrist, and 
  • 3% identify as conservative.  

MBO Partners had a similar political breakdown of digital nomads: 

  • 51% identify as democrats, 
  • 24% are republicans, while 
  • 23% declare themselves independents.

The majority of digital nomad respondents in a Nomad List research identify as non-religious (55%). 

The religion breakdown among the religious digital nomads is the following: 

  • 28% of digital nomads believe in spirituality, 
  • 8% of digital nomads are Christians, 
  • 3% identify as Buddhists, 
  • 2% of digital nomads believe in astrology, 
  • 2% are adherents of Islam, 
  • 2% identify with Judaism, 
  • 1% of digital nomads are Hindus, and 
  • A little below 1% of digital nomads are Sikhs.  

Statistics on digital nomads’ education and professional life

On average, digital nomads are well-educated, tech-savvy individuals who make a good living working from a home office.   

Digital nomads are well-educated 

When it comes to the education levels of digital nomads, data from both Nomad List and MBO Partners shows that digital nomads are, by and large, well-educated. 

Only 10% of the Nomad List respondents are high school graduates. 

90% of digital nomads have a higher education, out of which: 

  • 54% of nomads have a Bachelor’s degree, 
  • 33% have a Master’s degree, and 
  • 3% have a Ph.D.  

MBO Partners show similar stats: 

  • 59% of respondents report having a college degree or higher, and 
  • 26% report having an advanced degree. 

Digital nomads are independent workers 

The Nomad List and MBO Partners show different data regarding the type of employment most digital nomads have. 

As we mentioned earlier, MBO Partners showed a significant increase in the number of traditional workers (people employed full time by a company) hitting the road in the past year. Namely, more than half of digital nomads (66%) now hold traditional full-time positions, according to MBO Partners. 

The Nomad List, however, shows a slightly different digital nomad makeup by employment type.

According to this source: 

  • 43% of digital nomads are employed full-time, 
  • 17% report being freelancers, 
  • 16% of digital nomads are startup founders,
  • 8% are full-time contractors, 
  • 7% are agency contractors, 
  • 5% answered other when asked about their employment type,
  • 2% chose part-time, and 
  • 1% said part-time contractors.   

Digital nomads work around 40 hours a week from a home office 

When it comes to their favorite work background, most digital nomads prefer a home office. Nomad List finds out: 

  • 61% of digital nomads work from a home office, 
  • 15% of nomads choose coworking spaces most often, 
  • 8% like to work from a cafe, 
  • 5% work from an office, 
  • 4% choose a dining table, 
  • 3% prefer couch, 
  • 2% bed, 
  • 1% like to work from a balcony, 
  • 1% of digital nomads work from a van, 
  • 1% work from the kitchen, and 
  • The rest reported working from a garden, a boat, a pool, or a library.

The fact that most digital nomads prefer to work from a home office may have something to do with the fact that the majority of digital nomads own a home. Namely, contrary to popular belief, there are slightly more digital nomads who own a home than those that are not homeowners at the moment. According to the same research by the Nomad List, 51% of digital nomads are homeowners, while 49% of respondents are not homeowners.    

Digital nomads work less than the general workforce, however. A survey by FlexJobs reveals that most digital nomads (70%) spend 40 hours per week (or fewer) working. This means only one-third of digital nomads work more than 40 hours a week, compared to 86% of men and 67% of women non-digital nomads who work these hours. 

Digital nomads are tech-savvy  

Digital nomads statistics by MBO report that digital nomads have strong technical skills. Namely, 86% of digital nomads use technology at work to be more competitive, which is almost double the number of non-digital nomads (47%) who do the same. 

Moreover, digital nomads are more skills-oriented than non-digital nomads:  

  • 73% of digital nomads (versus 53% of non-digital nomads) have participated in work-related skills training over the past year, 
  • 68% of digital nomads, as opposed to 47% of non-digital nomads, report their work requires specialized training, education, or expertise. 

Digital nomads also lead in the percentage of early adopters of technology — 74% (versus 42% of non-digital nomads) are likely to be early adopters of technology. 

Digital nomads make a good living

Digital nomads make a decent living, on average. Nomad List members earn an average income of $123,578 per year, with a median of $90,000 per year. 

  • 6% of the Nomad List members report earning less than $25k a year,
  • 15% of them report earning between $25k–$50k a year, 
  • 34% earn between $50k and $100k annually, 
  • 36% of them make between $100k and $250k per year,
  • 8% of the Nomad List members make between $250k and $1M annually, and
  • 2% earn more than $1M per year. 

MBO Partners find that digital nomads are overall more satisfied with their work, lifestyle, and income. 

A whopping 81% of digital nomads report feeling highly satisfied with their work and lifestyle regardless of their income, versus 68% of non-digital nomads who feel satisfied with their work. 

Almost half of the respondents (45% of them) said they earn $75,000 or more per year, while 21% of digital nomads report earning less than $25,000 a year. Still: 

  • 82% of digital nomads report feeling very satisfied with their income, 
  • 51% say they are very satisfied, and 
  • 31% feel satisfied with their earnings. 

Digital nomads work in a variety of tech professions and industries

Digital nomads come from a wide range of professions and industries — from sports and modeling to software development and finance.

Still, the overwhelming majority of digital nomads work in IT or IT-adjacent industries, according to the Nomad List digital nomad statistics and the data by MBO Partners. 

MBO Partners show that in 2022, professionals in the following industries make up the digital nomad community: 

  • IT — 21%,
  • Creative services —  12%, 
  • Education and training — 11%, 
  • Sales, marketing, and PR — 9%, 
  • Finance and accounting — 9%, and 
  • Consulting, coaching, and research — 8%.

The Nomad List members are career-wise predominantly: 

  • Software developers, 
  • Startup founders, 
  • Web developers, 
  • Marketing professionals, 
  • Creatives, and 
  • UI/UX Designers. 

There are slight differences in the chosen professions between male and female digital nomads, according to Nomad List members’ responses. 

Nomad men mostly work in the following industries/positions: 

  • Software developers — 34% — 225% more than female nomad software developers,  
  • Web developers — 28% — which exceeds the female share by 228%, 
  • Startup founders — 28% — which is 123% more than nomad women in these professions, 
  • SaaS professionals — 13% — which outnumbers the share of nomad women by 170%, and 
  • Crypto professionals — 11% — 233% more than nomad women in crypto. 

Nomad women mostly work in the following industries/positions: 

  • Marketing — 16% of nomad women — 3% more than nomad men, 
  • Creative professions — 16% — 24% more than nomad men, 
  • Blogging — 8% of female digital nomads — 28% more than male nomad bloggers, 
  • Community professionals — 8% — which exceeds the male share in these professions by 28%, 
  • Education professionals — 8% — which is 19% more than nomad men in these professions. 

Male digital nomads are predominantly in IT, while nomad women mostly have a background in humanities 

Interestingly, there are some pretty large differences between the professions mostly occupied by male digital nomads and professions predominantly held by digital nomad women.

The largest point of difference between genders when it comes to digital nomad professions is noted in the IT vs humanities comparison. As you’ll see in the tables below, nomad men are far more likely to occupy positions in the IT sector, compared to female digital nomads who have a bigger share in positions in HR, Psychology, Medicine, and Journalism.  

According to the Nomad List digital nomad statistics, these top 15 positions show the largest gender ratio difference in the digital nomad community. 

Positions most often occupied by nomad menThe share of male vs female nomads 
Game developers +339% 
Mobile developers +313% 
Dev Ops +288% 
Sysadmin+234%
Crypto+233%
Web developers +228%
Software developers +225%
SaaS professionals+170%
VR developers +157%
Geo professionals+152%
Sports professionals+128% 
Startup founders +123% 
Finance professionals+117% 
Adult industry workers +100%
Data professionals+96% 

On the other hand, the share of female nomads exceeds the nomad men in other 15 industries/positions. 

Let’s get a closer look at the table below for a full picture of the professions predominantly held by nomad women.  

Positions most often occupied by nomad women The share of female vs male nomads 
Psychologists +131%
Human resources professionals+99%
Journalists +54%
Medical professionals +38%
Support professionals +33%
Community professionals+28% 
Bloggers +28%
Hospitality professionals +25%
Coaches +24%
Creatives+24%
Education professionals +19% 
Law professionals +19%
Recruiters +14% 
Models +12%
Marketing professionals +3% 

Statistics on best countries for digital nomads 

Digital nomads travel all around the world, according to the Nomad List findings.

In 2023, the most visited countries by digital nomads are the USA, Spain, and Thailand. 

When it comes to the most visited cities, most digital nomads visited London, Bangkok, and New York City. 

Here’s the list of the top 10 most visited countries by digital nomads: 

#Country % of digital nomads who visited the country 
1US15%
2Spain 5%
3Thailand 5%
4The UK4%
5Germany 4%
6Mexico 4%
7France 3%
8Italy 3%
9Portugal 3%
10Indonesia 2%

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 cities visited by digital nomads. 

#City % of digital nomads who visited the city 
1London (UK)2.39% 
2Bangkok (Thailand) 1.93%
3New York City (US) 1.62%
4Berlin (Germany)1.58%
5Paris (France) 1.54%
6Lisbon (Portugal) 1.51%
7Barcelona (Spain) 1.46%
8Amsterdam (Netherlands) 1.34%
9San Francisco, CA (US)1.27%
10Chiang Mai (Thailand) 1.1%

It’s important to note, however, that most visited destinations don’t always translate into most liked ones, as we can see from the following lists of most and least liked countries by digital nomads, respectively. 

#Country Rating 
1Croatia4.9
2Japan 4.9
3Taiwan4.85
4Morocco4.75
5Czechia4.75
6Finland4.7
7Australia4.7
8Netherlands 4.7
9Russia 4.7
10Cambodia 4.7
Most liked countries by digital nomads 
#Country Rating
1Barbados3
2Moldova 3
3Chile 3.35
4Malta 3.35
5Ireland 3.35
6Albania3.45
7Laos3.55
8North Macedonia3.55
9Curaçao3.75
10Dominican Republic 3.75
Least liked countries by digital nomads 

Best and worst destinations for expats

When it comes to more long-term settling, expats and digital nomads who plan to extend their stay seem to have a different set of requirements. 

As the Expat Insider 2022 report suggests, the ideal destinations for expats offer a relatively low cost of living and ease of settling in. 

These are the precise main reasons that catapulted Mexico and Indonesia to the top of the list of best expat destinations. Here are the top 10 destinations ranked by the Expat Insider respondents:  

  1. Mexico, 
  2. Indonesia,
  3. Taiwan, 
  4. Portugal,
  5. Spain,
  6. UAE,
  7. Vietnam, 
  8. Thailand,
  9. Australia, and 
  10. Singapore. 

At the same time, Kuwait, New Zealand, and Hong Kong are rated lowest in categories such as quality of life, personal finance, and ease of settling in. Here’s the list of the worst-rated expat destinations: 

43. Malta, 

44. Italy, 

45. Turkey, 

46. South Africa, 

47. Japan,

48. Luxembourg,

49. Cyprus,

50. Hong Kong, 

51. New Zealand, and 

52. Kuwait. 

Favorite digital nomad destinations by gender

Nomad men and nomad women have different preferences in terms of cities they like the most. 

The top 10 cities male digital nomads like the most (according to respondents in the Nomad List research) are the following: 

#City Rating 
1Tokyo (Japan)4.82
2Medellín (Colombia)4.80
3Buenos Aires (Argentina)4.76
4Vienna (Austria)4.74 
5Split (Croatia)4.74 
6Austin, TX (US)4.69 
7Chiang Mai (Thailand)4.69 
8Madrid (Spain)4.68
9Taipei (Taiwan)4.67 
10Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)4.67 

Nomad women, on the other hand, had a completely different set of cities and destinations in mind for the highest rating (with the exception of Chiang Mai (Thailand), which received high ratings with both male and female digital nomads). 

Let’s take a look at the top 10 cities nomad women like the most:

#City Rating 
1Lisbon (Portugal) 4.62 
2Chiang Mai (Thailand)4.44
3London (UK)4.44
4Canggu (Bali, Indonesia) 4.38
5Oaxaca (Mexico) 4.29
6Budapest (Hungary) 4.29
7Sofia (Bulgaria) 4.29
8Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) 4.17
9Barcelona (Spain)4.17
10Bangkok (Thailand)4.17

Here are the countries more men nomads go to

#Country Share of male vs female nomads that stay there 
1Ukraine+119%
2Romania+83%
3Russia+79%
4Poland+74%
5Georgia+51%
6New Zealand +43%
7United Arab Emirates +34%
8Hong Kong+29%
9Czechia +24%
10Serbia +23%

And, these are countries that more women nomads go to

#Country Share of female vs male nomads that stay there 
1South Africa+61%
2Costa Rica +48%
3Mexico+46%
4United Kingdom+25%
5Chile +21%
6France +17%
7Croatia+17%
8Greece +16%
9Peru +15%
10Italy +15%

Fastest growing digital nomad spots 

Nomad List brings a breakdown of the up-and-coming remote work hubs and digital nomad spots competing for remote workers’ attention in 2023. 

Their study on the Fastest Growing Remote Work Hubs of 2023 shows the real-time rating of the most popular spots digital nomads and remote workers are flocking to, as well as the trends over the last 5 years.

Let’s see the analysis made by using live data from 268,335 check-ins made by tens of thousands of Nomad List members.

Here’s a list of the 10 fastest-growing digital nomad hubs in 2023:

#Digital nomad hub2023 growth 
1Tokyo (Japan) +354%
2Penang (Malaysia) +208%
3Montevideo (Uruguay) +168%
4Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) +163%
5Da Nang (Vietnam) +157%
6Seoul (South Korea)+144%
7Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) +114%
8Santiago (Chile) +99% 
9Manila (Philippines) +93%
10Florianopolis (Brazil) +92% 

These are the remote work hubs that have been on the upward trajectory over the last 5 years — from 2018 to 2023 (except for 2020, when all growth and travel was paused due to COVID-19): 

#Digital nomad hub 5-year growth 
1Bansko (Bulgaria)+286%
2Florianopolis (Brazil) +180% 
3Medellín (Colombia)+157%
4Mexico City (Mexico) +155%
5Warsaw (Poland) +155%
6Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) +148%
7Madrid (Spain) +139%
8Denver, CO (United States) +115% 
9Tallinn (Estonia) +110%
10São Paulo (Brazil) +103% 

These were the up-and-coming digital nomad hubs. 

When it comes to the already established digital nomad destinations experiencing steady growth over the last 5 years, we can highlight the following cities: 

  1. Tbilisi (Georgia),
  2. Tulum (Mexico), 
  3. Belgrade (Serbia), 
  4. Sofia (Bulgaria), 
  5. Playa del Carmen (Mexico), 
  6. Lima (Peru), 
  7. Lisbon (Portugal), 
  8. Valencia (Spain), 
  9. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain), and 
  10. Toronto (Canada).   
Best digital nomad destinations

Digital nomad destinations with the fastest internet speed

One of the features that can make or break a destination’s success among digital nomads is the internet speed. Naturally, digital nomads flock to countries and cities that allow them to have an uninterrupted work experience, and a fast and reliable internet connection is the most surefire way to provide this. 

Nomad List shows the list of internet speeds in countries and cities popular among their 4.562,499 members. 

Here are the fastest internet speeds in popular digital nomad destinations around the world, according to the Nomad List data.  

Country Internet speed Tests done 
Portugal 60 Mbps 4,445x 
Norway 55 Mbps 1,054x
Switzerland 54 Mbps 1,943x
Lithuania 52 Mbps 559x 
Denmark 51 Mbps 1,013x 
Bulgaria 51 Mbps 1,002x 
Spain 50 Mbps 7,182x 
Singapore 49 Mbps 1,074x 
United States 49 Mbps 50,654x 
Uruguai 48 Mbps 329x
Countries with the fastest internet connection 
City Internet speed Tests done 
Šumperk (Czechia) 630 Mbps4x 
Antwerp (Belgium) 255 Mbps4x
Lagos (Nigeria) 244 Mbps4x
Campos dos Goytacazes (Brazil) 241 Mbps5x
St. Gallen (Switzerland) 167 Mbps 4x
Stamford (US)162 Mbps5x
Nantes (France)141 Mbps 8x
Houston, TX (US) 130 Mbps4x
Nanaimo (Canada) 130 Mbps 5x
Tulsa, OK (US) 130 Mbps 5x
Cities with the fastest internet connection 

Statistics on the digital nomad lifestyle

Let’s take a look at some common lifestyle traits and preferences shared by digital nomads.

Digital nomads enjoy outside sports activities  

The majority of digital nomads said hiking is their favorite workout activity. Almost half of male digital nomad respondents (49%) and 52% of nomad women reported that they hike. Other popular activities among digital nomads include: 

  • Fitness, 
  • Running, 
  • Yoga, 
  • Swimming, and 
  • Cycling.  

Interestingly, according to the data from the Nomad List research, nomad men and women enjoy pretty much the same types of sports activities and the difference in shares between genders is almost negligible for all types of activities. 

Here’s a breakdown of sports activities of digital nomads by gender: 

Sport% of nomad women % of nomad men 
Hiking 52% 49%
Yoga 45%21%
Fitness 40%47%
Swimming24%24%
Running 21%29%
Cycling 18%26%
Diving 15%16%
Surfing 15%18%
Climbing 13%16%
Skiing11%16%
Tennis 10%14%
Snowboarding 9%16%
Motorcycling6%14%
Crossfit 6%9%
Fight sports 5%11% 

Digital nomads eat meat

The Nomad List members identify as omnivores with a larger share of nomad men (74%) vs female digital nomads who eat meat (55%).

Moreover, out of 26% of men who don’t eat meat:

  • 11% are vegan, 
  • 10% identify as vegetarian, and 
  • 4% say they are pescetarians. 

At the same time, 45% of nomad women don’t eat meat, with: 

  • 19% of them being vegetarian, 
  • 16% vegan, while 
  • 10% of female digital nomad respondents identify as pescetarians. 

Digital nomads like coffee

When asked to describe themselves by their likes and lifestyle interests, most respondents in the Nomad List study said they love coffee, dogs, hiking, and the outdoors. 

As always, there are some differences in how female digital nomads described themselves versus what the nomad men respondents said about their likes and interests. 

Let’s see these in more detail. 

Nomad women described themselves as%vs male share 
Coffee aficionados32%-19%
Outdoors enthusiasts26%-6%
Dog fans25%-6%
Wine lovers 24%+2%
Optimists 24%-21%
Hiking enthusiasts 24%-11%
English speakers23%-11%
Reading fans 22%-9%
Tea aficionados 22%+3%
Early birds 21%-18%
Yogis 20%+74%
Open-minded people 20%-12%
Beach life lovers 19%+6%
Cocktail enthusiasts18%-4%

Digital nomads are environmentally friendly 

Digital nomads produce less CO2 traveling than the average American, the Nomad List finds out.

The research uses data from 268,988 trips by 11,429 members with emissions of CO2 of 115g per kilometer. 

Namely, an average American generates around 5,000kg of CO2 per year on travel and commuting. By comparison, on average, digital nomads produce 1,100kg of CO2 per year — a whopping 78% less than the average American. 

This is especially interesting given that digital nomads are generally considered to travel more and larger distances than the average traditional workers. However, as the study suggests, digital nomads mostly work from their accommodations or coworking spaces nearby, while the traditional workers still spend plenty of time (and CO2) commuting to and from work, which, seemingly, makes all the difference. 

Digital nomads prefer slow travel 

In recent years, most digital nomads prefer to slow down and immerse themselves in the local culture instead of rushing and moving around frequently just to be able to see as much as possible for the shortest amount of time. 

More digital nomads are opting for a slower type of travel characterized by spending more time in each location and usually visiting fewer destinations. 

Almost half of the respondents interviewed by the MBO Partners (48%) said that they prefer this type of arrangement, as it allows them to take in the local culture and communities more fully while also allowing for better work productivity. 

According to the Nomad List research, digital nomads change country every 8 months on average, and they spend around 2 months in one city on average. This arrangement allows them to make the most out of their stays.   

Although slow travel has been presented as a recent trend among digital nomads, a 2016 survey shows a similar trend back then. Namely, a large percentage of digital nomads (44%) spent between 1 and 4 months in each destination on average

Aside from that:

  • 32% of digital nomads stayed in one destination for 2 to 4 weeks, and 
  • 25% spent only 1-2 weeks in one location. 

Here’s what the numbers looked like translated into countries per year: 

  • 32% of digital nomads visited 5–10 countries per year, 
  • 29% had been to 3–5 countries a year, and 
  • 9% visited over 10 countries per year. 
Digital nomad lifestyle

Pros and cons of being a digital nomad in 2023 

Digital nomadism has transformed the way we think about the modern workplace, travel, and our work-life balance all at the same time. 

There are now more opportunities to blend our work and life than we could ever imagine, and an endless pool of destinations and adventures to experience in between. 

Still, it would be magical thinking to say that the digital nomad lifestyle is without its share of downsides. 

So, in order to provide a complete picture of living a digital nomad lifestyle, let’s get a closer look at the statistics on the most common pros and cons of being a digital nomad. 

Pros of being a digital nomad

According to MBO’s respondents, the most commonly reported benefits of the nomadic lifestyle (in the order of importance — from the most important) include: 

  • The ability to travel when and where you want, 
  • Great work-life balance, 
  • Experiencing new cultures, and
  • Meeting new people.  

Cons of being a digital nomad

Although super exciting and dynamic, nomadic life is not without its challenges. 

The 2022 MBO report shows that digital nomads are currently most concerned with: 

  • Personal safety — 34%, 
  • Being away from family and friends — 32%,
  • Challenges of working across different time zones — 30%, 
  • Loneliness — 26%, 
  • Travel logistics — 25%, and 
  • Managing work and travel — 25%.          

What is the digital nomad trend in 2023?

In addition to choosing to slow down and enjoy more long-term stays in destinations, digital nomads are also looking to include more international travel and even give VanLife a try. 

Trend #1: International travel

More digital nomads expressed the intention to travel more internationally in 2023. 

In 2022, 58% of US digital nomads shared with MBO that, while they also plan to travel across the country, they plan on traveling abroad more than in previous years. This is a significant increase from 48% of nomads who traveled internationally in 2021.

Trend #2: The VanLife Movement 

VanLifers are digital nomads who travel, live, and work out of vans, RVs, or similar vehicles specially adjusted to serve as a house on wheels. According to MBO Partners, the VanLife Movement is the fastest-growing digital nomad trend currently.  

Namely, there were 1.9 million VanLifers in 2020, which increased by 19% until 2022 when it reached 3.1 million (up from 2.6 million in 2021).  

Even though it started before the pandemic, The VanLife Movement really took off during COVID-19. When all traditional travel and accommodation arrangements got canceled, VanLifers were probably one of the few people able to travel relatively safely. 

What is the future of digital nomadism? 

The dramatic growth digital nomadism experienced in 2020 had brought mixed reviews and some opposing views on the trend. However, 3 years later, we can see a subtle increase in the number of digital nomads taking on the adventure and a far more supportive environment.   

The future of digital nomadism is bright

More digital nomads plan to continue on the same path 

More digital nomads plan to continue the same nomadic lifestyle at least in the next few years (69%), MBO Partners find out. 

This is an upward trend as the same source shows 54% in 2021, and 49% digital nomads in 2020 revealing their plans to continue their nomadic lifestyle in the next 2–3 years. 

Organizations plan to better support digital nomads

After the initial skepticism towards the digital nomad lifestyle and how it will affect employee productivity and engagement, companies are now becoming more supportive of digital nomads. Organizations are becoming remote-first and digital nomad friendly. New programs, models, and policies are adopted to better suit the lifestyle and needs of the remote and nomadic workforce.   

The flexible working hours policy along with remote and hybrid work models are some of the most notable ways companies are supporting digital nomadism lately. According to WorkTango’s report, almost half of the companies (45%) reported implementing flexible working hours and remote work options. By ditching the traditional 9-5 in-office models, organizations are making it easier for their employees to explore the nomadic lifestyle while enjoying the safety of their careers. 

Another major way organizations have started to support their workforce (nomadic or regular) is by implementing a 4-day workweek policy. Companies that have dabbled into the 4-week experiment have seen great benefits to both their bottom lines and employee satisfaction: 

  • 32% of people report feeling less stressed, 
  • 35% to 37% revenue increase compared to the same period last year, 
  • 48% of employees reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs than when they first started, 
  • 57% retention increase, 
  • 65% absenteeism decrease, 
  • 70% of employees reported feeling less burned out, and
  • Overall, employees noted an increased work-life balance. 

All of these benefits also positively affect the life quality and work-life balance of digital nomads.

More countries are issuing digital nomad visas and payment reliefs 

As the digital nomad trend continues upward, more countries around the world are beginning to recognize the importance of digital nomadism for their economy and the overall positive international reputation. 

This results in more countries working on improving their digital nomad visa programs, as well as creating these programs from scratch to accommodate a large number of digital nomads from all around the world. 

There are now over 43 countries with digital nomad visas or similar programs aimed at digital nomads and remote workers.

In addition to creating these programs in the first place, governments are offering favorable tax and social security regimes for digital nomads, as well as several other reliefs and benefits to create a more inclusive experience that caters to the largest sample of the digital nomad community. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

If you want to explore digital nomad visa options in different countries globally, be sure to check out our digital nomad hub that offers complete guides on digital nomad visas for various countries: 

Remote work technology development supports the nomadic lifestyle 

Remote work technology experienced a sudden shift during the pandemic, and the upward trend continued beyond 2020. 

New and improved remote work technology made it possible for digital nomads to do uninterrupted work anywhere in the world. 

Faster internet speeds and better and more streamlined communication and collaboration software made it more convenient for digital nomads to effortlessly embrace the new lifestyle without falling behind on work. 

According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2023 report, 78% of remote workers said their companies have proper systems for remote communication and collaboration.

Moreover, Pumble’s Remote work statistics 2023 show a breakdown of the most commonly used remote tools by type: 

  • 80% of remote workers use instant messaging applications, 
  • 79% use collaboration tools, 
  • 74% use storage and document-sharing tools, and 
  • 47% of remote workers report using training and personal development tools. 

New industries and fields sprung up to support digital nomads in 2023 and beyond

As the digital nomad movement grows in popularity, businesses are taking notice and starting to create more products and services designed with the digital nomads in mind. 

Portals to help digital nomads get informed, find work, and get legal advice have become common popular spots for digital nomad communities. 

International health insurance and financial services aimed at helping digital nomads navigate these segments more easily are developing to better support digital nomads. 

We can also expect to see more digital nomad communities and digital nomad villages offering entire work and living infrastructures in addition to opportunities to socialize with like-minded communities.    

Finally, one of the industries that boomed with the digital nomad expansion is the coworking space market. 

According to the Coworking Space Global Market Report 2023 by The Business Research Company, the global coworking space market size will reach $19.05 billion in 2023 — up from $16.17 billion in 2022.  

In line with this, Coworking Insights analyzed the prices of desks from over 19,500 coworking spaces around the world and noted a 9% increase in average monthly desk prices globally.  

Wrapping up: The future of digital nomadism is bright 

Digital nomadism has taken the world of remote work by storm and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. 

In addition to providing flexibility, a great work balance, and a chance to travel and meet new people and cultures, the digital nomad appeal also lies in promising an overall better life quality and more financial stability to a growing number of nomads. 

Digital nomad statistics show an increase in the number of people embarking on a digital nomadic experience, on top of a growing number of digital nomads who plan to stay on the same path. 

With the help of different government and visa programs and reliefs and organizations’ continual support, digital nomadism faces a bright future. 

References

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