7 Facts and Stats About Digital Nomads You Didn’t Know
I recently investigated the state of the nomadism trend by collecting data on digital nomads all over the world. A number of data sources are not sufficiently representative. But they’re all curious! Some of the more interesting ones are linked below:
And I’ll share my summary thoughts below after reading the reports.
The average frequency of moving (city) is once every few months, but more accurately, once every 1-3 months. This is a simple way to tell the difference between a nomad and an emigrant. The nomad’s movements are more likely to be spontaneous, rather than forced.
The age range is mostly between 30 and 40 years old, which is to be expected: they have sufficient qualifications for a stable income but have not yet had time to have schoolchildren. According to various sources, approximately one-quarter of nomads are parents. That is not a small amount!
Almost all graphs show an increase in the number of global nomads; this appears to be an obvious trend, visible to the naked eye. However, as a nomad with 12+ years of experience and a remote worker with 20+ years of experience, I believe that growth will be minimal in the coming years. Or, conversely, negative: Employers can see a decrease in labour efficiency in one of two ways. And nomads experience a romantic phase of nomadism.
By the way, I’d look into the statistics on nomadism’s duration! I’m almost certain that the rise in nomads is due to the emergence of new ones rather than the long lives of the old ones under this regime.
It’s worth noting that the percentage of full-time employees varies between 35 and 50%! The rest are freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and other hipsters. I’ve long suspected a link between nomadism and freelancing: sedentary people are uneasy with a high level of uncertainty. On the contrary, the monotony of daily life oppresses freelance nomads.
You can evaluate yourself here: if you don’t like active nomadism, the autonomous mode of operation will most likely be annoying as well; it’s better to look for traditional full-time work.
According to various reports, the median annual income is $70-90k. However, the statistics are primarily for American nomads! I’d say the median salary for RU-nomads is $2.5k per month. And they prefer less difficult locations.
The profession of nomads is, of course, IT. Even the popular female nomad profession of psychologist can be considered IT in this context because it likely involves working with anxious and burned-out IT specialists.
Popular destinations with an American flair include Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and others. Such statistics should not be relied upon! The American nomad is distinct: it is far from the Asian vibe and does not capture the fun of, say, the south of France or all of Italy. In such cases, I would look for like-minded people’s opinions rather than average values.
After delving into any statistics, I find myself involuntarily wondering, “What are the opportunities for a startup?” It is obvious that remote work and nomadism will grow, though not as quickly as the COVID optimists predicted. For starters, there are unlikely to be any growing startups in the field of immigration (obtaining a residence permit, for example). Second, there will undoubtedly be a great deal in the area of payroll and cross-border payments. Behind them are taxes, compliance, holdings, and so on. That is, processes at the intersection of government regulation in various countries. Third, I don’t see many opportunities for “everyday” startups for nomads—things like housing, rentals, delivery, and so on. The second Airbnb will, of course, appear, but it will be driven by a seed round of $10 million, among other things.
Wrap It Up
In other words, I see great prospects, not because of an increase in the number of people constantly moving from country to country. And due to the fact that more people are no longer full-time employees, they are going offline. And there are all the delights of tax returns, accounting, invoices and transfers, contracts, and everything else that an employer protects an employee’s tender soul from!
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