Airbnb Statistics: Usage, Demographics, and Revenue Growth
Since it began in 2008, Airbnb has skyrocketed in popularity as an alternative to hotels. The online hospitality service is a marketplace for authentic places to stay that connects travelers to local hosts. But how many people use it, and in what ways?
Take a deep dive into these Airbnb statistics and information to find out more about the company’s growth and impact.
- Co-founder Joe Gebbia’s apartment in San Francisco was the first Airbnb listing. (1)
- The iPhone app launched in the year 2010 with an instant book feature.
- A year later, in 2011, Airbnb expanded internationally.
- Airbnb hosted over 100,000 guests during the Rio World Cup.
- On May 25, 2015, the White House appointed Brian Chesky as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. (2)
What Is Airbnb and How Does It Work?
Airbnb stands for Air Bed and Breakfast. In 2007, roommates Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky needed some cash, and they took advantage of a San Francisco design conference. Because people had booked all of the local hotels, they decided to buy three air mattresses and rent them out. (3)
They started a website called AirBedandBreakfast.com and charged guests $80 per night to sleep on the air mattresses. They then took their idea to a bigger scale, eventually becoming the company we know today.
The Airbnb website operates as an online marketplace for people who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb connects travelers with Airbnb hosts who want to rent out their homes or other property. For guests, Airbnb gives affordable temporary housing options and sometimes fun activities. For hosts, Airbnb is a way to earn extra money.
After the 2008 launch, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia added Brian’s former roommate, Nathan Blecharczyk, to the operation. They shortened the name to Airbnb and, expanded their offerings to private rooms, houses, apartments, and more. (4)
To fund this venture, the three of them created special presidential-themed breakfast cereals. They sold 800 of these boxes at $40 each in two months. Afterward, they used their $30,000 in profits to start Airbnb. (5)
When Did Airbnb Become Popular?
Airbnb quickly attracted the attention of other companies as well as investors. Just one year after the operation began, it had over 2,500 listings and 10,000 Airbnb users. In 2011, Airbnb reached 1 million nights booked by users. Just one year later, they reached 5 million nights booked in January 2012 and 10 million nights booked in June 2012. In 2019, Airbnb acquired HotelTonight for $400 million. (6)
Airbnb became especially popular when it expanded into Germany in 2011, which was the beginning of their world Airbnb expansion. In 2015, Airbnb was the official supplier for alternative accommodation services for the Rio Olympic Games.
Airbnb Growth Statistics and Facts
- Airbnb’s first funding was $20,000 in 2009 from Y Combinator. (7)
- TPG Capital invested $450 million in 2014.
- In 2016, Google Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures invested a total of $555.5 million.
- In 2018, Airbnb’s growth rate was 40%. (8)
- From 2009 to 2019, Airbnb’s compound growth rate was 153%.
What Is Airbnb’s Current Valuation?
As of April 2019, Airbnb was worth $38 billion. (9) That same year, Airbnb announced that they plan to go public in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic delayed this move, but Brian Chesky still hopes that everything will bounce back. (10)
In 2017, Airbnb bought Luxury Retreats. This move created the Airbnb Luxe brand, which allows Airbnb to dominate the luxury home rental space.
How Profitable Is Airbnb?
In 2017, Airbnb generated approximately $93 million in profit out of $2.6 billion in revenue. (11) The company will net around $3.5 billion by the end of 2020. Airbnb offers rentals with on 7 million properties around the world, as listed on their website. As of 2019, the number of Airbnb hosts was 2.9 million.
Airbnb makes money by being the middleman between renters and Airbnb guests. Every time an Airbnb guest books the host’s property, the Airbnb host pays Airbnb a fee. Airbnb also adds service fees depending on the total cost of the guest’s stay. (12)
Four factors that affect Airbnb’s value number include:
- The average number of guests per listing each year
- The number of listings
- The average rent per guest
- Airbnb’s share of the profit
How Many Employees Does Airbnb Have?
As of 2020, Airbnb had 14,384 employees, including data scientists, software engineers, and developers. In 2018, Airbnb’s workforce was 47.6% female and 52.5% male. The majority of Airbnb’s staff in the United States are not from underrepresented populations.
Airbnb Statistics by Region
- The most popular cities on Airbnb in the world are Tokyo, New York City, and Paris.
- Airbnb has listings in more than 220 countries and regions.
- As of 2020, Airbnb has homes in over 100,000 cities. (13)
- The cities with the highest number of commercial Airbnb listings include Honolulu, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New Orleans. (14)
- People stay an average of 2.4 times longer in Airbnbs than at hotel stays.
- The United States alone has 660,000 listings, the highest number of any country in the world.
- Spain has about 245,000 Airbnb listings.
- People traveling abroad can enjoy handcrafted experiences with Airbnb hosts.
- Around the world, 1,000 cities feature Airbnb Experiences, making for over 50,000 Experiences total.
What Are The Most Popular Destinations On Airbnb?
In the United States (according to statistics from June 2019), the most popular cities for Airbnb were:
- Kissimmee, Florida
- New York City, New York
- Los Angeles, California
- Davenport, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Miami, Florida
- Panama Beach, Florida
- Austin, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada (15)
In October 2019, Airbnb released a forecast of trending destinations worldwide for 2020 (16). Based on Airbnb data and statistics for booking, the 20 trending destinations with the highest number of interested guests for the upcoming year were:
- Milwaukee, WI, U.S.
- Bilbao, Spain
- Buriram, Thailand
- Sunbury, Victoria, Australia
- Xi’an, China
- Eugene, OR, U.S.
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Cali, Colombia
- Cape Canaveral, FL, U.S.
- Aberdeen, Scotland
- Courtenay, B.C., Canada
- Ubatuba, Brazil
- Les Contamines-Montjoie, France
- Tokyo, Japan
- Kerala, India
- Malindi, Kenya
- Maastricht, Netherlands
What Is Airbnb’s Economic Impact By Country?
Airbnb can be a major force in the economy of some locales. These 10 countries have seen the greatest economic impact from Airbnb, as the following statistics show:
- United States – $33.8 billion
- France – $10.8 billion
- Spain – $6.9 billion
- Italy – $6.4 billion
- United Kingdom – $5.6 billion
- Australia – $4.4 billion
- Canada – $4.3 billion
- Japan – $3.5 billion
- Mexico – $2.7 billion
- Portugal – $2.3 billion (17)
What Cities Have Banned Airbnb?
With Airbnb’s boom in popularity, some city and state governments foresee issues with tenant-landlord relations. They also fear the effect of travelers on residential neighborhoods. After some research on the impacts of Airbnb and analyzing information, some regions have created laws and regulations about short-term rentals. Some of the cities with strict policies regarding Airbnb due to Airbnb statistics are:
- Paris. Paris official Ian Brossat criticized services like Airbnb for displacing city natives. In 2015, the government cracked down on people setting up second apartments as short-term rental units. In 2017, they required landlords to register their home before displaying an ad on Airbnb.
- Barcelona. Barcelona requires hosts to have a license to list a home on Airbnb. They have fined Airbnb in both 2015 and 2016 for listing apartments without a license.
- Berlin. German officials have banned short-term rentals unless they have permission from the senate. They place some blame on Airbnb for housing shortages and increased rents in Berlin. However, the law was overturned in 2018. Now, owners can rent out their primary homes after getting a permit from city officials.
- Santa Monica. Santa Monica has some of the toughest regulations in the United States. As of 2015, Airbnb users must register for a business license and collect an occupancy tax for the city.
- New York. In New York City, Airbnb users may only list one home at a time. They also cannot rent out an entire apartment for less than 30 days. (18)
Airbnb Statistics by City
- The most popular international city on Airbnb as of 2016 was Vancouver. (19)
- The most popular U.S. city on Airbnb as of 2016 was San Francisco.
- In Ireland, about 500 cities, villages, and towns have an Airbnb property.
- In New York, 72% of Airbnb hosts use their revenue to remain in their homes. (20)
- As of 2016, 11% of lodging units in San Francisco were Airbnb listings.
- In 2016, 55% of Airbnb listings in New York were illegal.
- 26 U.S. states have taxing agreements for Airbnb.
- In 2018, there were 25,700 active Airbnb listings in Rome.
- In 2019, there were 77,000 active Airbnb listings in London.
What Cities Have the Highest Occupancy Rates in the U.S.?
Higher occupancy rates don’t always equal the most revenue. However, the statistics show that the top 20 cities for Airbnb based on occupancy data are:
- San Francisco, CA
- Denver, CO
- Honolulu, HI
- Kihei, HI
- Los Angeles, CA
- Portland, OR
- San Jose, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Lahaina, HI
- Washington, VA
- New York City, NY
- Boston, MA
- Davenport, IA
- San Diego, CA
- Jersey City, NJ
- Kissimmee, FL
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Panama City Beach, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Dallas, TX (21)
While San Francisco has the highest occupancy rates, the place with the most profit per year is Santa Rosa Beach. In terms of the highest price for properties, Park City, UT, takes the cake with an average of $458 per rental. Statistics also show that the top U.S. travel destinations for traditional vacation rentals charge the most for Airbnb users.
User FAQS and Airbnb Statistics
- Airbnb stays often cost less than hotel stays. (22)
- Airbnb hosts face a number of risks, particularly guests damaging their property.
- Airbnb guests face the risk that the property may not live up to expectations.
- According to Airbnb help center data, scams make up 15.4% of complaints from guests. (23)
- The average nightly price for a reservation is $80.
- In Miami, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Chicago, renting a room from a two-bedroom apartment could cover 90% of the total rent.
- In 2016, Airbnb had slightly more female Airbnb users than male.
What Percentage Does Airbnb Take?
In 2019, Airbnb divided its fee model into two parts: a host-only fee and a shared Airbnb host and Airbnb guest fee. The shared host and guest fee is the standard model for hosts renting out their own homes. Airbnb takes a host service fee of 3% from the host’s payout after a booking. As for the guests, Airbnb adds up to 20% of the booking subtotal. (24)
The host-only fee is for hotels or other hospitality businesses, not individual homeowners. The fee ranges from 14 to 20%. You can make changes to your pricing to find a sweet spot for making money with Airbnb.
How Many Users Does Airbnb Have?
In 2018, statistics showed that Airbnb had 150 million users. (25) Data on Airbnb’s website states that about 2 million people stay in an Airbnb every night.
What Types of Accommodation Are Listed on Airbnb?
Airbnb has a number of different options for hosting you on your stay. You can use classic Airbnb, Airbnb for Work, Airbnb Plus, and Airbnb Luxe. On the classic platform, guests can choose from a number of living options: (26)
- Entire place. If you select this option, you do not have to share your living space, common areas, or bathroom with other guests. Guests who book this type of stay expect privacy, though you may still have a shared outdoor space.
- Private room. A private room means that you may live in a house with others but have your own bedroom. An Airbnb host renting out one room of their home should provide information about the house rules, the shared spaces, and the number of other home occupants.
- Share room. Travelers on a budget can choose to share a room. This means that you may sleep in one room with two or three beds open to other travelers. (26)
While booking, you will see an instant book feature. This means that as a guest, you can book a host’s property without going through an approval process. Airbnb also offers unique stays, which means you can stay in a non-traditional space such as a yurt or boat. (27)
Airbnb for Work is available to companies looking to plan trips for employees. Hosts with good reviews, quality WiFi, workstations, and other facilities are likely to show up on Airbnb for Work. You can access these properties by toggling to the “work trip” section of the Airbnb website. It also helps for these properties to be located near public transportation or city centers.
Airbnb Luxe status applies to homes that offer amazing experiences to guests. Hosts have to not only provide a number of high-quality accommodations, but the vacation rental has to have activities and amenities. These homes go through a rigorous verification process, and there are 2,000 Airbnb Luxe homes around the world.
Is Airbnb Cheaper Than Hotels?
Statistics show that, on average, an Airbnb is not always cheaper than a hotel. (28) The exact number depends on where you stay and when. According to 2016 Airbnb data, it is cheaper to get an Airbnb as opposed to a hotel room in seven of 12 major United States cities. Some cities where it may be less expensive to get a hotel include:
- Austin, TX
- Nashville, TN
- New Orleans, LA
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
Naturally, prices depend on the type of hotel or Airbnb accommodation that you seek. In some places, the average daily rate of a hotel room was only slightly different than an Airbnb. In others, the hotel room price is drastically different.
In Europe, you can save money by using Airbnb in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Sydney, Vienna, and Venice. Wherever you go, take a look at rates for all of your options to make sure you get the best deal. Keep in mind that an Airbnb with amenities may be better than a hotel room without them, and vice versa.
There are trade-offs to both options. For example, an Airbnb may come with a full kitchen for your use, while a hotel room may not. Or, you may get to be with your entire travel group in one area instead of in separate rooms. On the other hand, hotels have a number of people dedicated to improving your experience while an Airbnb may just have one person.
Can You Get Scammed on Airbnb?
As Airbnb has grown, so has the number of scammers around the world taking advantage of people looking for affordable lodging. In October of 2019, a VICE writer named Allie Conti discovered a nationwide scam, where a company used make-up profiles and reviews to trick guests out of their money. After this story, Brian Chesky said that Airbnb would take more responsibility for what happens on the platform.
The statistics for the most common types of Airbnb scams, from 2020 data collected by a VICE writer, include:
• Bait and switch. Some scammers will promise one location using deceptive photos that look nothing like the real location. Or, they will persuade guests to change places at the last minute due to some type of unforeseen circumstance. Then, the Airbnb guest will end up in a dirty, unfurnished, or non-equivalent area.
• Money scamming. Airbnb hosts may ask guests to pay them a deposit or other fee on a third-party app. When they do, Airbnb can no longer control the payment process or issue a refund for the money spent.
• Claims of damages. If a guest damages an Airbnb, the Airbnb host can charge them for damages. However, some hosts will make false claims or try to extort guests out of outrageous amounts of money for minor incidents. (29)
How Does Airbnb Compare to Hotels?
- Experts do not have enough information to determine if Airbnb affects the hotel industry. (30)
- Both hotels and Airbnbs are more expensive on the weekends and in popular areas.
- Airbnb avoids a number of short-term rental and hotel tax laws.
- The number of people booking Airbnb stays instead of hotels for business trips is rising.
How Safe Are Airbnb Guests?
It is difficult to gauge the safety of an Airbnb stay before you use it. According to the company website, Airbnb takes the following safety precautions:
- Risk scoring of every reservation to flag any suspicious activity
- Background checks for hosts and guests in the United States
- Safety workshops with hosts as well as free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Secure payment platform (31)
However, users have reported unsafe conditions during their Airbnb stays. According to survey data and statistics from 2016 and 2017, 3-7% of all Airbnb stays turned into severe issues. The statistics included:
- The Airbnb Host canceled the stay within 24 hours of the reservation or never showed up (20.5%).
- The Airbnb host faked damages, emails, or websites (15.4%).
- There were unsafe conditions such as bug infestations, hidden cameras, a hostile host, or unsafe amenities (13.4%).
- There was racial, disability, LGBTQ, or other discrimination (1.1%). (32)
A number of other dangers include kidnapping, sexual assault (33), and the possibility of a pedophile or convicted felon listing a room for rent. While Airbnb has reported banning harmful individuals permanently, some Airbnb users say that it is easy for hosts who have misused Airbnb to make a new account with a different name.
Airbnb recommends you use the following precautions for staying safe as an Airbnb user:
- Communicate with the host or guest before your stay.
- Check reviews of that Airbnb host or guest to find information.
- Only pay using the Airbnb platform.
- Use caution when sharing personal information, such as your address or phone number.
- Keep a clear mind.
- Report users who violate the Airbnb Terms of Service.
- Inform a friend or family member about your travel plans and contact information. (34)
What Should a Host Consider When Purchasing a Property to Use as an Airbnb?
When buying a property for uses on Airbnb, hosts should consider the following factors: (35)
- Property type. Decide whether you want a house, apartment, or condo, as well as how large it should be. Bigger spaces can bring in more money, but they may require more upkeep and get less frequent bookings.
- Potential for profit. Airbnb offers a pricing tool that will help you find a pricing strategy for your place. You can change your rates based on demand and surges.
- Location. Think about location factors that would make someone want to come to your property. You want it to be in a safe community, accessible, and ideally have nearby events or hotspots. You should also make sure that short-term rentals are allowed in the area.
- Upkeep. Consider the cost of maintenance, taxes, mortgage, and insurance. Remember that Airbnb also charges a booking fee.
How Does Airbnb Affect Property Values and Rent?
According to Airbnb data from the Economic Policy Institute, the “Airbnb effect” increases the value of an area and pushes out the indigenous residents. (36) In major cities, Airbnb has negative impacts on communities, real estate, and house properties. According to information from the Harvard Business Review, the presence of Airbnb encourages landlords to decrease long-term rentals and enter the vacation rentals market. Additionally, increases in Airbnb listings cause an increase in rents and house prices per year.
What Should I Research When Choosing an Airbnb?
Choosing an Airbnb can be challenging. In some cities, there are hundreds or thousands of places to choose from, and they all offer different amenities and locations. You can sort listings on your Airbnb dashboard by the following factors after you enter a location:
- Dates of availability
- Number of guests
- Type of home
- Price range
- Type of trip
- Other filters such as amenities, number of beds, or number of rooms. (37)
You can look at the Airbnb map to determine the location of the listing and the nearby city attractions. However, for safety reasons, you cannot get the exact address until you book. When you are planning a trip, it helps to make a list of everything you need in your living arrangement. For example, make sure they are pet-friendly if you plan to bring pets.
Look carefully at the sleeping arrangements. While the listing may say it “sleep five,” that doesn’t mean there are five rooms. They may have an air mattress, pull out couch, or sofa. Lastly, carefully read the rules and interactions section so that you understand how to check in and out and where the host will be.
Many listings include host recommendations for food, entertainment, and attractions. You can use those to narrow down your options based on the reason for your trip. If you want to cook your own food, you can ask your host about the kitchen area to see if they provide dishware, pots, and pans.
What Is Airbnb Plus?
Airbnb Plus homes offer guests everything they need for a comfortable stay. Locations that get an Airbnb Plus badge typically have:
- Exceptional hosts
- Stocked kitchens and bathrooms
- Quality maintenance
- Positive reviews
- Working appliances
- Immaculate upkeep
Airbnb must inspect Airbnb plus homes, and a host can only apply after receiving exceptional reviews from guests. Hosts hoping to reach this status should expect to put a bit more effort into their offering than just a bed and blanket. These homes have to pass a detailed review process before getting a badge. (38)
What Is the Telephone Number for Airbnb Customer Service?
The customer service number Airbnb is 1 (855) 424-7262. If you need to contact Airbnb, you can use the Airbnb number, send an email, or message @airbnbhelp on Twitter.
The customer service team responds quickly to all inquiries, whether you have a problem with your account, booking, or onsite concerns. You can also navigate the FAQ section on the Airbnb website to find answers to common questions.
Airbnb User Demographic Information and Statistics
- The average Airbnb user spent 11 minutes and 31 seconds in the app as of 2017.
- In 2016, 93% of Airbnb users reported being satisfied with the service. (39)
- The majority of reservations are for two to four people.
- Statistics show that millennials make up about 60% of all guests who have ever booked Airbnbs. (40)
- As of 2016, 20 million users had used Airbnb’s wishlist feature.
- The median income for Airbnb hosts in New York City in 2016 was $5,474.
- In 2015, a quarter of a million Americans stayed in Airbnb listings.
- Approximately one million users in 2015 were over the age of 60.
- 22% of hosts chose to host after being an Airbnb guest. (41)
- Airbnb has over 400,000 senior hosts, with senior women rated as the platform’s best hosts.
- 64% of Airbnb users feel like home-sharing is better for the environment.
- 95% of users choose Airbnb for ease and payment security.
How Many Guests Have Stayed With Airbnb?
The number of guests around the world that have used Airbnb since its creation is 500 million.
Who Uses Airbnb the Most?
As of 2017, the world statistics data for the age groups that used Airbnb the most were:
- 36% between ages 25 and 24
- 23% between ages 35 and 44
- 15% between 18 and 24
- 14% between 45 and 54
- 7% between 55 and 64
- 5% age 65 and older
Although it may seem as though the platform gears towards Millennial and Gen Z users, Airbnb has celebrated the growth of its senior citizen population as both guests and hosts. (42)