9 Gap Year Statistics You Wish You Knew Before


Taking time to experience a bit more of the world has often been seen as something of a jolly. But that’s an opinion of the past. Taking a break from academic studies to embark can be an awesome life experience, helping with personal and professional growth. 

And it’s not all funded by mum and dad, either. We’ve taken a look at some of the numbers that reveal how gap years are funded, how many people are taking them and their overall positive impact on young people.

Thousands of 18-24 year olds take gap years

That’s right. According to teachingabroaddirect.co.uk, a 2012 study by the UK’s Department for Education of Skills found that 200,000 and 250,000 young people decide to take a gap year every year. In 2022, so far it has been estimated that between 181,500 and 185,200 18 to 24-year-olds took a gap year. 

The number of young people taking time out for a gap year has increased

Taking a look at data from UCAS, it looks as though the number of young people in the UK who are deferring their course to take a gap year is on the rise. From 2012 to the academic year 2021/22, the number of students opting to take a gap year rose by 52.1% from 24,195 to 36,790 (with an average yearly number of 29,920). 

Of course, the recent pandemic has impacted course deferrals, with many more students deciding to take a year out from studying.

The cost of travelling during a gap year varies

The cost of taking a year off to travel around the world varies greatly. This mainly depends on where in the world you’re going. It’s believed, however, that the average cost of travelling during a gap year is £2,258 a month. This amounts to £27,097 if you decide to travel for all 12 months of the year. Lucky for you, all our programs are paid. That’s right, you will find the right balance between working, saving money and travelling.

Many young people choose to work abroad during their gap year

It’s estimated that in 2022, 83% of people on a gap year decide to work instead of play. Many thousands of students also decide to work or volunteer abroad during a gap year. One of the most popular routes is TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), but there are other ways that students and gap-year-goers fund their world travels. More than half of those who opt for a gap year choose to travel.

Most people fund their own gap year (but Mum and Dad do help out sometimes too)

Contrary to popular belief, many people who do embark on a gap year actually fund themselves. They work, volunteer or use savings to pay their way on their globetrotting adventures. In fact, 4 out of 5 students decide to take on a job to fund their gap year; only 20% get substantial help from their parents.

Most people decided to take gap years to become more independent

Statistics show that the main reason that students decide to take a gap year is to become more independent. After years of going to school every day, you can kind of understand why you might want to drop everything and travel, or even get a taste of working life in a far-flung destination.

Lots of students think that taking a gap year helped them take their studies more seriously 

Induction in New Zealand

You might think that someone jetting off halfway round the world means that they aren’t taking their studies seriously. But that’s not the case. It’s been found that 66% of people who took gap years also took their studies more seriously after spending a year away. Gaining a different perspective, or simply taking a break, can be really useful sometimes.

A gap year helps people to learn new skills that may help them to be successful in their future careers

The positives don’t stop at merely taking one’s studies more seriously. Not at all. In fact, 80% of those who took a gap year say that the skills they acquired during their year out of education will help them to become more successful in their future careers. 

There’s a lot of opportunity to try out different jobs while abroad, and get to know about working life in a professional environment that you wouldn’t get if you spent 100% of your time at uni.

Most people believe taking a gap year helped improve their self-confidence

Possibly one of the most overwhelming positives of taking a gap year is self-esteem. A whopping 96% of people believe that taking a gap year helped to improve their self-confidence – something that helps not only in a professional environment, but in terms of mental health and overall wellbeing, too.

If you have any questions about a gap year, we are here for you! Check our Paid Gap Year programs, contact us here or send us a message on Instagram if you need more information about future adventures!

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