Flightsimmers to private pilots ratio worldwide

Does anybody have an idea what the number of flight simmers vs ppl pilots are worldwide?

No clue… but apart from that question, i’d be interested to know how many of the ppl pilots are flightsimmers or and how many flightsimmers have become ppl license holders or the other way around, since they no longer have their ppl (i know a few that now enjoy the skies and relive their ppl times.

But, that would be private information, information possible to crunch if each and everyone of them gives out that information themselves… so for now, you’ll probably not find out, as not every ppl flightsimmer is actually logged into the forum here… people usually come here when they have issues, not just to hang out.

Interesting question nonetheless.

Flight Simulator Market was valued at USD 5.99 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 8.92 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.1 % from 2021 to 2028.

We are definitely growing in numbers. There are 170000 PPL in the US, roughly 3 Millions worldwide wide maybe. Plus 500000 Commercial pilots. Considering the number of msfs copies sold I estimate that the ratio is roughly about 2:1.

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The US is by far the most active country for GA. I would estimate there are maybe another 100-200k active private pilots in the world beyond the US numbers. No way it’s close to 3 million.

found this:

In conclusion:

  • There are anywhere between 1 and 1.5 million pilots in the world.
  • Close to half of all pilots in the world are from the U.S. alone.
  • Over 90% of pilots are male.
  • The average age of pilots range from 40 to 50.
  • Becoming a pilot is difficult due to the high cost of flight training, rigorous training, and the time it takes to qualify.
  • Additionally, recent events have led to many airlines opening new routes and flights, which has further led to a pilot shortage.

so maybe the ratio is more like 1/10

Here is a quote from the Flightsim Community Survey Result 2022, conducted by Navigraph:

How many flightsimmers are real pilots?

During the past five years conducting the survey, we have found that on average 27.1% of the respondents hold some sort of pilot license. On average, 9.6% of these hold a Private Pilot License or a PPL. So, 1 in 4 have some sort of license, and 1 in 10 have a PPL. How about the rest? Well, 8.5% of the respondents are enrolled in flight school. Among the ones that were not flight students, 25%, or one in four, were still considering taking real-world lessons within the next year.

But even if some are aspiring to become pilots, the purpose of using the simulator seems to be more about having fun. Only 6% state that they use the flight simulator for training toward a pilot license. The majority, 49%, or nearly half, say that they use the simulator out of curiosity or just a general interest in aviation.

If you are interested in participating, the current survey is currently open:

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Ahum, that is professional flight simulation. So Boeing, Thales etc. Not MSFS and XPlane.-

As much as I love the survey, it’s very subject to sample bias as most, well since there’s no other way to put it, “casual” simmers haven’t heard of it and don’t take it. My guess is that RW pilots are a proportionately smaller part of that group than the group that knows about and is willing to participate in the survey.

For sure, but as far as I know it’s the only thing that offers any kind of a way to compare the two.

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