Digital Nomading in 2020: A Survey of 3,400+ People

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Emergent Research and Rockbridge Associates (on behalf of MBO Partners) surveyed 3,457 U.S. citizens in August of 2020 about digital nomading. These are my favorite takeaways!

P.S. if you’re looking for more great digital nomad content, check out our guide to digital nomading.

1. The Number of Digital Nomads Has Grown By 49% Since 2019

Per the report, “Digital nomads are defined as people who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the Internet-connected world. Unlike regular remote workers, who tend to stay in one geographic area, digital nomads travel and explore while working.”

2. Remote workers as a percentage of digital nomads has grown considerably

With COVID-19 forcing people to work from home and stay inside, it’s no surprise that many people decided to test out a life of nomading!

3. The Majority of Nomads Are Gen Z or Millenials

Per the report, “The share of Baby Boomers fell from 27 percent of digital nomads in 2019 to just 17 percent in 2020, and Gen X’s share fell from 25 percent to 22 percent. This was likely due to older workers being more concerned about COVID-19 and their greater risk of serious illness, making them temporarily less interested in a nomadic lifestyle and more comfortable staying at home.”

4. The Rise of VanLife

Because most Americans have been confined to traveling domestically and many cities have been on COVID restrictions, it makes sense that many people have decided to hit the road and test out this lifestyle.

5. The Number Of People Interested In Nomading Has Grown Exponentially

I strongly believe that working online and wandering is a significantly better life than living in a single location and working out of an office. With the whole world testing out remote work and many of those remote workers testing out nomading, it makes sense that a portion of the population has realized that this is the life they want to live.

Final Thoughts:

That’s all for this report! If you’re interested in digital nomading, make sure to check out our guide or read other articles on our site!

I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.