The Digital Nomad Rich List: Sri Lanka Takes the Crown!

David Hehenberger's avatar David Hehenberger September 11, 2023

Have you ever dreamt of trading the dull concrete skyscrapers of the city for a serene beach or a picturesque mountain view? Well, thanks to the rise of remote work, now you can, and it could make you wealthier too!

With digital nomad visas rapidly being introduced worldwide, a staggering 50-plus countries are now rolling out the red carpet to welcome remote workers, freelancers, and digital entrepreneurs. Digital nomad visas allow remote workers to live and work in that country for a specified period, whilst being employed and earning an income from a business based outside of that country. 

With so many countries currently offering the digital nomad visa across the world, and over 5 million Brits, and a whopping 16 million Americans working remotely, these visas present an invaluable opportunity to work from anywhere. As more people travel overseas to work remotely, we wanted to discover what countries are the best places to call home and find out where you’ll get the best value for your hard-earned money.

Releasing our first Digital Nomad Rich List, we have discovered the best places to live for remote workers looking to grow their wealth or make the most of their earnings.

Analyzing the average cost of living (rent, food, transport and utility bills) in these digital nomad-friendly countries against the average full-time salary in the UK and US, we can reveal that Sri Lanka is the number one destination for remote workers to live a wealthy life

If you’re curious to see where your dream destination lies, check out the full Digital Nomad Rich List below!

The Digital Nomad Rich List – Cheapest Countries for Digital Nomads

CountryTotal Disposable Income for Remote Working Brits (After rent, food, transport and utility bills)
Based on average UK salary of £2,773 per month 
Total Disposable Income for Remote Working Americans (After rent, food, transport and utility bills)
Based on average US salary of $5,158 per month 
1Sri Lanka£2,282$4,534
2Argentina £2,200$4,430
3Colombia & North Macedonia£2,195$4,424
8South Africa£2,035$4,221
9Cabo/Cape Verde£2,027$4,210
25El Salvador£1,745$3,853
27Saint Lucia£1,708$3,806
28Costa Rica£1,688$3,780
35Czech Republic£1,536$3,587
45Antigua & Barbuda£1,093$3,025
46United Arab Emirates£1,090$3,020
48The Bahamas£909$2,790
50Cayman Islands-£709$736

With neither the UK or the USA currently offering digital nomad visas to the rest of the world, both countries do not qualify for the rich list. If both the countries were to feature, the UK would be the eighth, and the US would be the third, most expensive country to live in.

With cost of living totaling an average of £1,674 in the UK, and $2,966 in the US, the average Brit or American living and working in their home country would retrospectively pocket half the disposable income they would have if they were to live in any of the top five countries on the rich list (£1,100 for the average British employee and $2,192 for the average American employee). 

The findings of our Digital Nomad Rich List are eye-opening, highlighting that the average remote worker in both the UK and US could increase their disposable income by choosing to work remotely from over 40 countries, freeing up financial and mental space to explore and enjoy life. 

If you can work from anywhere, why not pick a place that enhances your life? Whether it’s the warm beaches of Indonesia, the cultural hubs of Argentina, or the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. Remote work doesn’t have to be confined to our familiar surroundings; it can be the gateway to global experiences, cultural immersion, and financial empowerment. 

The world is your office!

Related: Check out the annual leave requirements, sick leave requirements, maternity/paternity, public holidays and more in countries and states around the world in our new hub for national/state leave laws.

If you’re running a distributed team of digital nomads, try out Flamingo’s leave tracker for a way to track and manage any time your team members take time off.

Flamingo saves you time and headspace that you can funnel back into growing your business. Try it for free today.

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David Hehenberger's avatar

David Hehenberger

David is the CEO and founder of Flamingo. He is a serial entrepreneur, and has built and exited multiple successful SaaS companies, and started Flamingo in 2021 to make it easier to track and manage leave in his own companies.

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