Airbnb’s impacts have been felt around the world. Since the company’s launch in 2007, they’ve gone from one rental to 5.6 million active listings and 4 million hosts. User growth has also skyrocketed to 150 million users and counting. This list of Airbnb statistics looks at everything from initial launch to IPO, and what it all means for hosts and home stayers.
Short term rentals have changed the way people travel, and trends continue to evolve despite major curveballs like dwelling regulation and travel restrictions. Below, we walk through the history of Airbnb and its impact on the world, as well as insights for how hosts can create memorable listings (while staying financially protected).
Airbnb fast facts and user demographics
Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace connecting users with rental listings and unique experiences. Today, it has over 150 million users and hosts more than half a billion guests per year. Here’s a look at its user base and Airbnb demographics.
Airbnb has 5.6 million active listings worldwide.
There are at least 100,000 cities with active Airbnb listings.
150 million people use Airbnb to book vacation stays or experiences.
Over 1 billion guests have stayed at Airbnbs.
Airbnb has listings in over 220 countries and regions.
Roughly 60% of Airbnb’s user base are millennials.
Airbnb growth and IPO
Originally dubbed Airbed & Breakfast, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia founded the company as a cash grab — the two needed money so they bought air mattresses and rented out part of their San Francisco apartment to three visitors attending a design conference.
After a successful weekend, Chesky and Gebbia added third founder Nate Blecharczyk and started raising capital in 2008. Things would start moving quickly from there, with an official launch at SXSW that same spring. Twelve years later in 2020, Airbnb had a valuation of $86.5 billion at the time of its IPO, selling at $146 per share on opening day.
Here’s a brief company timeline from creation to COVID-19.
From air mattresses to IPO: Airbnb’s air mattress to Wall Street story
Airbed & Breakfast hosts its first guests.
Airbed & Breakfast officially launches at SXSW and garners 80 bookings during the Democratic National Convention.
Airbed & Breakfast becomes Airbnb & expands beyond room bookings to apartments, vacation rentals and entire homes.
Airbnb also gets its first round of funding for $20,000.
The Airbnb app launches, featuring its instant book feature.
Airbnb expands internationally.
Airbnb becomes the official alternative accommodations partner for the Olympics.
Experiences launches on Airbnb, expanding beyond stays to offer unique activities from local experts.
Airbnb acquires Hotel Tonight for $4 billion.
Airbnb experiences a 30% loss in revenue year-over-year due to COVID-19 impacts.
Airbnb goes public on December 10.
Airbnb’s economic impacts
Home stays allow guests more authentic experiences than hotel districts, opening up the tourism industry to local neighborhoods and businesses. Data released by Airbnb tells a story of localized economic stimulus in nearly every corner of the globe.
Airbnb guests spent upwards of $35 billion at local cafes and restaurants in 2018.
Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over $117 billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries in 2019 alone.*
Here’s a look at Airbnb’s direct economic impact in 20 countries in 2018, based on host income and estimated guest spending.
USA: $33.8 billion
France: $10.8 billion
Spain: $6.9 billion
Italy: $6.4 billion
UK: $5.6 billion
Australia: $4.4 billion
Canada: $4.3 billion
Japan: $3.5 billion
Mexico: $2.7 billion
Portugal: $2.3 billion
Germany: $2.3 billion
China: $2.3 billion
Brazil $2.1 billion
Greece: $1.4 billion
Netherlands: $1.3 billion
Korea: $1.2 billion
Thailand: $1.1 billion
New Zealand: $912 million
Croatia: $910 million
Ireland: $832 million
Even small countries can see huge economic growth from Airbnb stays. Guest arrivals from three of the least traveled countries in the world increased substantially from 2016–2018:
190% increase in Moldova
187% increase in Vanuata
175% increase in New Caledonia
Cities with strict short term rental policies
Airbnb and other rivals aren’t welcome with open arms everywhere. Debates around whether short term rentals are good or bad for neighborhoods continue as hotspots see skyrocketing home prices, an influx of tourists, and landlords deprioritizing long-term renters in favor of shorter bookers.
These U.S. cities have passed laws banning or severely restricting Airbnb listings — including San Francisco, where the idea and first listing originated. Despite the regulation, many remain top listing locations. Take New York City: Here, it’s illegal to rent for less than 30 days in Class A dwellings, yet they have the most Airbnb listings in the country.
Coronavirus impacts on Airbnb + the travel industry
In March 2020, the world came to a screeching halt as lockdowns rolled out and borders closed their doors to travelers. Here are some trends that emerged in the months that followed as users and hosts got creative with their travel arrangements.
Airbnb hosts earned $1 billion during the pandemic.
Airbnb experienced a 30% loss year-on-year due to COVID-19, generating $3.4 billion in revenue in 2020.
Unique stays such as cabins and tiny homes began to overtake traditional searches.
Nearby stays (within 300 miles) were the most popular bookings in 2020.
Most popular Airbnb destinations in 2021
While 2020 was a devastating year for the travel industry as a whole, new data shows that people are planning for an increase in travel in 2021 — even if it means shorter, driveable trips or extended stays.
Here are the most popular U.S. destinations for spring and summer 2021.
Cape May, NJ
Round Top, TX
Lake Powell, AZ
Cape San Blas, FL
Mammoth Cave, KY
Kitty Hawk, NC
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Types of listings
You can rent entire places on Airbnb, such as homes and mansions, or private rooms, shared rooms and even hotel rooms. Both traditional properties and quirky listings perform well on the site, as social media and Airbnb’s wanderlust factor have inspired many to book outside-of-the-box travel experiences.
Here are some alternative stays and the frequency of each:
24,000 tiny homes
1,600 private islands
Airbnb host stats
Interested in learning more about hosting? Whether you have extra properties or want to rent out your current digs, here are some financial stats about becoming an Airbnb host.
There are more than 4 million Airbnb hosts.
On average, an Airbnb host earns $9,600 annually.
Hosts have earned $110 billion as of October 2020.
A majority of hosts pay a 3% service fee, but others, such as Airbnb Plus hosts, hosts with listings in Italy and hosts with stricter cancellation policies may pay more.
As of December 2019, there are approximately 399k superhosts in the U.S.
There are over 250,000 family-friendly homes listed on Airbnb.
Below, our infographic features creative insights to stand out in a marketplace that features over 5.6 billion properties. If you do plan to open your home to strangers, you’ll want to have the right insurance to protect from risks such as vandalism, theft, property damage and more.
Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebra a year. She currently specializes in producing research-focused content for The Zebra's Resource Center on topics related to auto and home insurance, personal finance and smarter living in the 21st century.