As the coworking industry rapidly grows, it's important to keep track of the latest statistics. This will help you find opportunities you may not have considered before or set more accurate and achievable goals for your business. This is why, in this post, we'll cover 11 of the most important statistics coworking businesses can use to improve their marketing efforts, operations, and bottom line in 2022.
Based on historical datafrom 2018 through 2022, the total number of coworking spaces is set to reach between 42,000 and 50,000 worldwide by the end of 2024. This means that more and more coworking businesses will appear in the next year and a half, bringing in more competition for incumbents and new market players.
In most major economies, coworking spaces are somewhat evenly distributed, meaning that the number of coworking spaces in each country correlates well with that country's total population. The exception to this rule is the U.K., which amasses an unusually large number of coworking spaces (primarily in London, read below). Consequently, the APAC region is the largest single market for coworking spaces in 2022, with around 11,000 spaces.
However, the same cannot be said about the distribution of coworking spaces within each country.
According to recently released data by Statista, London is the world leader in the total number of Coworking spaces. In 2019, that number reached over 1,400 spaces, while the runner-up, the American city of New York, had less than half as much, with its 550 coworking spaces. Finally, the third spot goes to Hong Kong, which counted 320 spaces in 2019.
Considering that New York and London have roughly equal populations, this means that London has more than twice the number of coworking spaces per person than does the Big Apple, and they both have a higher proportion of spaces compared to Hong Kong.
Some associate this disproportionate number of coworking spaces with the fact that London is a bustling metropolis with a large number of tech companies that thrive in these coworking environments. It’s not for nothing that the city is also one of the financial capitals of the world, home of the London Stock Exchange and a hub for some of the U.K.’s biggest crypto exchange companies.
In 2017, there were nearly 4,000 coworking spaces in the U.S. alone. While that number pales in comparison to London's 1,400 spaces two years later, it is projected to increase to 6,200 by the end of 2022. This means an increase of 55% in a span of 5 years, which is quite significant, and it's not slowing down.
This means ample room to grow for coworking businesses in the U.S. in the coming months and years.
The total number of desks coworking spaces offer has been increasing steadily since 2014. That year, only 2% of all coworking spaces had 200 desks or more, while almost three-quarters had less than 50 desks (roughly half of those having less than 25).
However, those numbers have been changing throughout the years. By 2018, the number of coworking spaces with less than 50 desks each decreased from 73% to 52%, while the number of businesses that offered more than 200 reached a whopping 13% of all coworking businesses around the world. Combined with the spaces that offer between 100 and 200 desks, we can say that almost a quarter of all coworking businesses offered more than 100 desks in 2018.
While the overall distribution of coworking centers across the globe is fairly even, as stated above, growth is not. As we said earlier, the U.S. saw an increase of more than 50% in the number of coworking spaces in 5 years; however, the capital of India, New Delhi, saw that same growth in just one year.
The runner-up in terms of growth is Toronto, Canada, with a growth of 35% between 2018 and 2019
While this number varies significantly from region to region, it's important to note that the average coworking space had 190 paying members in 2019, almost 4x what it was in 2012. This is partly a consequence of coworking spaces getting bigger and offering more desks, but also because of greater adoption of flexible and remote work across various industries. This was already a trend back in 2019, but the pandemic gave this number a big boost.
The growth of big players like Regus and WeWork fueled an impressive increase in the total number of coworkers in the U.S. and other major economies. In 2017, there were less than 2 million coworkers worldwide, but that number could increase well beyond 5 million by the end of the present year.
It's important to know your target market in any business, and this rings true for coworking spaces as well. And when it comes to segmenting your market, age is one of the most important factors to consider.
Today, 65% of people who use coworking spaces are under 40. This means that most users are either millennials or gen-zs. However, the age distribution has been changing throughout the years. In part because earlier adopters have aged and partly because new adopters are older, the median age of coworkers has increased over the last decade. In 2012, the median age was 33 and a half, which increased to 35 five years later.
With the massive adoption of WFH and flex job schemes brought on by the pandemic, many older workers that used to work traditional jobs at the office transitioned to coworking spaces, which is a promising target market to keep in mind.
This number has been increasing throughout the years, although it's still below 50%. The good news is that the trend seems to be positive and more women join the coworking movement every year.
Freelancers are the main demographics that make up the coworking workforce, making up 41% of all coworkers. In terms of industry, the IT sector amasses the largest chunk of the workforce, which is about one-quarter of all coworkers (22%, to be exact). The other leading industries in terms of the number of coworkers are marketing and PR, with 14% and different consultancy businesses with about 6%.
Many of the freelancers who work at coworking spaces live a digital nomad lifestyle that involves moving from city to city after short periods of time. Moving around a lot requires adopting travel-friendly solutions for many aspects of daily life, from receiving physical mail in one place and having it forwarded to wherever they are using a virtual business address to seeking out the perfect coworking space in every city they visit.
Knowing this information can help you design new products and services that will help solve many of the pain points or downsides this lifestyle comes with.
Although the biggest market for coworking businesses is currently the APAC region, coworking spaces are most popular in the U.K., London in particular, and are becoming increasingly popular in regions like North America. As the industry grows, it's important to keep statistics like the ones above in mind so your business can continue to thrive. Knowing your target market is essential, as is understanding how demographics change over time. Keep an eye on these trends, and you'll stay ahead of the curve in the coworking world.