Drone Facts and Statistics for 2024

Last Updated on: January 8th, 2024

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

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is controlled either autonomously or by a remote operator. Drones can be equipped with various sensors and cameras to capture images or collect data, and they have a wide range of applications, including aerial photography, surveying, search and rescue, military operations, and delivery services.

The origin of drones can be traced back to the early 20th century, when unmanned aerial vehicles were first developed for military purposes. The first drones were simple, radio-controlled aircraft used for reconnaissance and target practice during World War I.

However, it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that the development of modern drones began. Advances in technology, including the miniaturization of electronics and the development of GPS, allowed for the creation of small, lightweight drones that could be controlled remotely or autonomously.

Today, drones are used in a wide variety of industries, from agriculture to film production, and they continue to evolve and advance as technology improves.

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

Please note that some of these numbers are easier to find than others. Most of these fun facts come from internet reports and may not be official tallies. No information contained on DMR should be relied upon to make investment decisions. Basically, this is the best I can find and I don’t guarantee anything to be 100%.

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About Craig Smith

DMR Publisher. Director of Marketing by day and I run this little site at night. Other interests include Disney, Sports, 80's Nostalgia, LEGO, Star Wars and Tech Gadgets. Other sites include DisneyNews.us and VideoGamesStats.com.