Study: Nearly 10 Percent of US Airbnb Hosts Are Teachers

09 October, 2018

People across the world use Airbnb to offer their homes to travelers usually for a nightly fee. The home-sharing service provides some people a way to make extra money while they work other jobs.

The company announced recently that one of its most popular professions among American Airbnb hosts is teaching.

The information came from an Airbnb study to find out what industries its American hosts work in.

The study found that almost 10 percent of U.S. Airbnb hosts in 2017 identified themselves as teachers or in the field of education. The home-sharing service estimated it has about 45,000 active teacher hosts in America. In addition, the study says there are an estimated 75,000 other hosts living in households with a teacher.

American teacher hosts earned more than $160 million dollars from Airbnb in 2017, the company said. That includes about $54 million earned during the summer alone. The average amount earned by teacher hosts individually was $6,500 in 2017.

The study did not provide data from hosts about why they choose to become part of Airbnb. But the company noted that many teachers in America face difficult economic situations. Airbnb says additional earnings from hosting can help.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an event Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The U.S. Department of Education reported this year that 94 percent of public school teachers said they had spent their own money on some classroom supplies in the 2015-2016 school year.

It also reported that average pay for public school teachers in 2015–2016 was lower than in the 1990-1991 school year when the inflation rate is considered.

Some states had even higher rates of teacher hosts than Airbnb's estimated national average.

The Midwestern state of Wisconsin had the highest estimated number of Airbnb teacher hosts at 26 percent. Utah was next highest at 25 percent, followed by Ohio with 20 percent. Several other states had teacher hosts of between 14 to 17 percent.

The top city for teacher Airbnb hosts was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the company said. An estimated 17 percent of Airbnb hosts there were teachers. Combined, they earned about $1.6 million in 2017 - $470,000 of it during the summer. The yearly average of nights hosted by teachers in the city was 69.

San Diego, California, was the next most popular city for Airbnb teacher hosts at 15 percent. The hosts earned an estimated total of $2.7 million in 2017.

Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty told The Atlantic magazine that the home-sharing industry is not a total solution for the current problems facing many teachers. But he said he thinks Airbnb can be an "important tool" to help teachers make extra money and give them "the respect and dignity" they have earned.

The report on the number of teacher hosts comes as Airbnb continues to face opposition by activists and officials in some areas. U.S. critics of the company say the service is driving up rental market prices in several cities. Elected officials in some areas have proposed or approved rules to limit the influence of the service. Hotel companies have also protested that the business presents unfair competition.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on an Airbnb survey and the National Education Association. Caty Weaver was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Have you had experiences with Airbnb while traveling? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

host n. person who receives other people as guests

afford v. have enough money to buy something or enough time to do something

respect n. feeling deep admiration for someone because of their knowledge, skill, or achievements

dignity n. the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect

rental – an arrangement to rent something as opposed to buying it