Drone Statistics and Facts (2021) | By the Numbers

Drone Statistics and Facts

Here are a few of the most interesting Drone statistics and facts I was able to dig up. As always, be sure to check back in the future as I will be updating this post as new and updated stats become available.

While unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have been around in various incarnations for over a century, they have gained significant commercial momentum over the past year or so. Relegated to military activities and intelligence gathering until fairly recently, drones have taken off as toy and a hobby and were one of the hottest gifts this past holiday season. They have grown commercially so much that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated registration of new drones.

So just how big has the drone market become? I decided to sit down and dig up a few Drone statistics and facts you may not have known. I hope you enjoy

Drone Statistics and Facts

On December 20, 2018, a number of flights at London's Gatwick Airport were delayed due to drone activity over the airfield.

Projected number of drones in the US by 2020:

7 million

Last updated 3/26/16

Percentage of drone crashes that are caused by technical errors:


Last updated 8/24/16

Number of drones Disney used for their 2016 Disney Springs Christmas light show:


Projected number of small, hobbyist drones in use by 2021:

3.5 million 

Last updated 3/27/17

Percentage of Americans that own a drone:


Last updated 12/19/17

Percentage of Americans that have seen a drone in action:


Last updated 12/19/17

Total number of drones registered for commercial use:


Last updated 8/29/16

Percentage of Americans that are interested in drone deliveries:


Last updated 1/2/17

Largest concern about drone deliveries among US internet users:

Theft Concerns (72%) and Damaged Packages (72%)

Last updated 1/27/17

Top industry using drones in the US:


Last updated 5/22/16

Second largest industry using drones in the US:

Real Estate

Last updated 5/22/16

Estimated number of drones shipped in 2015:

700,000 drones

Number of drones that have been registered with the FAA:

770,000 drones

Last updated 3/27/17

Estimated value of the drone industry:

$3.3 billion

Last updated 12/14/15

Projected size of the drone industry in 2020:

$13 billion

Last updated March 2017

Projected value of the drone industry by 2025:

$90 billion

Last updated 12/14/15

Size of the agricultural drone market:

$1.2 billion

Last updated 6/5/19

Projected size of the agricultural drone market b y 2024:

$4.8 billion

Last updated 6/5/19

Number of incidents between drones and manned aircraft in the U.S. that have resulted in the aircraft had to maneuver to avoid a collision:

28 incidents

Last updated 12/11/15

Number of times a pilot or air traffic controller in the U.S. has spotted a drone flying near the flight path of a manned aircraft:


Last updated 12/11/15

Number of close encounters between a manned aircraft and a drone that has involved a plane that could carry 50 passengers or more:

116 incidents

Last updated 12/11/15

Number of "close encounters" between drones and manned aircraft in the U.S.:

300 incidents

Last updated 12/11/15

Estimated number of Drones that will be shipped in 2017:

almost 3 million drones

Last updated 2/9/17

Estimated number of commercial drones in the air by 2018:


Last updated 8/29/16

Estimated number of drones that were purchased for Christmas 2015:

400,000 drones

Increase in drone sales form 2014-2015:


Please note that some of these drone stats are easier to find than others, so some of these are based on news reports and not official company tallies. All stats are linked to their source unless it was sent to me directly from the company. In other words: This is the best I can find, but I don't guarantee anything.