Digital Nomads: Leading the Trend for Remote Work

State of Independence: 2018 Research Brief

Technology is enabling a new, dynamic remote workforce called Digital Nomads

Definition: Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads are a population of independent workers who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world. Our research finds that 4.8 million independent workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads, and many more, 17 million, aspire to someday become nomadic.

Why are Digital Nomads Increasing?

Many factors contribute to independent workers' ability to become digital nomads, including the rise in co-living and coworking spaces, the growth of online talent marketplaces, digital nomad tour services, and the rise of helpful online information sites aimed both at nomads and at travelers in general.

Who are Digital Nomads?

Much like independents themselves, nomads are a diverse group, made up of no single generation, profession, or socio-economic class. While they skew young and male, one-third are female and 54 percent are over the age of 38. Creative professions dominate, but IT and marketing are also strong participants in the movement. One in six earn more than $75,000 annually,  although they are split relatively evenly between full- and part-time workers (54 to 46 percent).

As technology evolves and companies grow more comfortable with a distributed and remote workforce, we predict a rise in the interest in and joining of the digital nomad movement for various reasons, including work/life balance, Baby Boomers "unretiring" and more.

Read on for our deep dive into the world of digital nomadism, and stay tuned for more Research Briefs from our State of Independence in America series throughout the remainder of the year.


An expanding number of specialized services and products are making it easier to become and operate as a digital nomad, and corporations large and small are expected to hire more remote workers-both independent and traditional-in the coming years


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