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State of Data Journalism 2023 results



As in 2021 and 2022, the primary occupation in data journalism in 2023 is full-time employment at news companies or organisations (36%). Another consistency with the results from 2022 is that of a wide gap between full-time and part-time in employment contracts (a difference of 30 percentage-points), where the same difference is not found among freelancers (difference of 3 percentage-point). The 2023 sample includes less educators (9%) compared to 2022 (14%) and 2021 (15%), and more full-time freelancers (from 10% in 2021 up to 13% in 2023). 

As we break down occupation by gender, we find the previously noted gap in Editor /Team Leading positions between men and women (4% in 2022) disappearing, with both cohorts at 8%.

Students are by far the youngest in the industry (77% are under 34 years of age). On the opposite end, relatively few educators are under 45 years of age (44%). Full-time freelancers tend to be older than full-time employees, whereas editors are normally distributed around the mode of 35-44 years of age (47%).

In terms of within-country trends, France tops the overrepresentation of full-time freelancers (35%), while Italy of students (16%).

Looking at the geographical distribution of different occupations instead, 17% of employed data journalists work in the United States. The United States also has the most educators (12%). 16% of students are in Italy, as are one in five freelancers.

Years of Experience

The largest group (30%) of respondents has between 3-5 years of experience in data journalism. Similarly to 2022 and 2022, in 2023 there are more respondents who have been in the industry for less than three years (35%) than for more than five years (30%).

Editors have the longest experience in data journalism, with 51% having been in the industry for more than six years, followed by educators (46%). Part-timers, regardless of whether they are freelancers or contracted reporters, tend to have less experience than their full-time counterparts. Overall, freelancers tend to have been in the field longer than contracted reporters.

By gender, women tend to have been in the field for less time, with 42% having less than three years of experience, against 28% of men.

Learning data journalism

When it comes to learning the profession, the most common means is self-learning through online resources (53%). Only just under one in four has been taught data journalism through higher education. Overall, the percentages are pretty stable over time, with the exception of self-taught, which both in the online and offline typology sees a decrease of around 10 percentage-points between 2022 and 2023.

Independent learning is highly common across all professions. On the other hand, workplace training is more common among editors and employees, but even among these groups only one in three has received workplace training in data journalism. Comparatively, these professions are more likely to have learned data journalism through formal educational paths, such as online certifications and training events outside the organisation (around half of individuals in these groups). Formal education is similarly the second most common formation type after self-learning for freelancers, with around half of freelancers having attented bootcamps, training events, or obtained professional certifications.

In 2023, 23% of respondents are solely self-taught in data journalism, against 35% in 2022. Despite the drop, this means that nearly a quarter of people in the industry are self-taught in data journalism. These individuals are more likely to be freelancers or students, the share of which who is solely self-taught is much higher than the observed 24% across all respondents. Self-learners tend to have less years of experience in data journalism, compared to those who have undertaken workplace training or higher education in data journalism.


95% of respondents in 2023 provided information about their income. Of those, over half earn less than $25K per year, regardless of occupation. The share of respondents in this group has steadily increased over time, starting off at 44% in 2021, up to 47% in 2022, and 52% in 2023. Similarily, while 12% of respondents to this question earned more than $75K in 2021 and 2022, in 2023 the equivalent figure is 8%.

In terms of gender, women’s salaries are often clustered in the mid-low range, while men’s salaries are more spread out, meaning there are more men that earn 1 and $9K, but there are more men that earn over $75K (12%, against 7% of women). These patterns are consistent with the results from the 2022 survey.

Full-time employment, education roles, and leading roles offer the highest compensation in the industry in 2023 as they did in 2022.

By company size, the highest salaries are found within the largest organisations. Nearly one in four in organisations of 500+ employees earn over 50K.

Income distributions by country vary significantly. Workers in the United States earn more, followed by the UK and Germany. However, these figures are not adjusted by cost of living.

Top earners are found in few countries. Alongside the US, those who earn over 100K work in Qatar, Switzerland, Denmark, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Austria, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Slovenia, and New Zealand.


Nearly half of respondents work for one organisation. However, compared to 2022, the number of individuals who work for two organisations or more is on the rise (35% against 28%).

56% of full-time freelancers work for more than two organisations. Only just over one in ten full-time freelancers works for one organisation only. On the other hand, one in four full-time employees also works for more than one organisation. This goes even further up for editors and team leaders (29%).

There is no clear distribution when it comes to the size of the company respondents operate in. Overall, just over one in five works in companies of 500+ individuals, and the remainder of respondents are quite evenly spread out. These figures are stable with results from previous survey editions.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are the three countries where the largest share of the workforce operates at companies of 500+ employees, and else the second largest share is of individuals working alone. In comparison, small to medium sized enterprises are more common in Italy, Spain, and France.

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