Do you dream about becoming a freelancer?
The journey to becoming a freelancer and breaking free from the 9 to 5 life is not an easy task.
However, freelance life can be as exciting as it can be challenging.
As a freelancer, you will be able to manage your own time, work from the comfort of your own home, or even adopt a digital nomad lifestyle and work from anywhere in the world.
However, you will also encounter many unexpected challenges.
You will have to learn how to solve problems that arise, deal with failure, and manage your time efficiently.
Before taking the leap into freelance life and starting your own freelance business, it is beneficial to know the facts.
Whether you plan to promote and sell your freelancing services on social media or the popular freelancing platforms, learning the key statistics can help you understand the freelancing world much better.
If you plan on becoming a freelancer in 2022, the following list of 104 freelance stats, trends, and facts will shed light on what you can expect.
Key Freelance Stats, Trends, and Facts
- There are over 1 billion freelancers in the world
- Only 38% of independent workers identify themselves as freelancers
- 86% of freelancers work from home
- Over 60% of freelance workers are pursuing a digital nomad lifestyle
- 67% of interviewed freelancers became independent within the last three years
- A whopping 94% of freelancers do this type of work full time
- Over 60% of freelancers specialize in two or three areas
- 70% of freelancers claim to juggle between 2 and 4 projects at the same time
- Over 40% of freelancers chose freelance work due to flexibility and personal growth, and only 7% due to financial reasons
- Over 60% of freelancers believe that there is a general lack of respect for the freelance type of work and community
- 33% of freelancers work within a creative industry
- 55% of freelancers still work a full-time job
- Over 35% of global freelancers are located in Europe and only 4.1% in North America
- It is estimated that the freelancing industry contributes between $23.16 to $42.9 trillion dollars to the world economy annually
- Over 60% of freelancers started freelancing by choice
Freelancer Demographics Statistics
Let’s take a look at some important freelancer demographics statistics by gender, race, age, income, and college degree.
Gender Freelance Statistics
- 65% of freelancers are male, and only 35% of freelancers are female
- Almost 50% of freelancing females make less than $25,000 USD per year
- On average, male freelancers make up to 4 times more money than female freelancers
- Male freelancers are over four times more likely to make $150,000 USD per year than female freelancers
Race Freelance Statistics
- In 2019, 62% of freelancers in the US were White
- In 2019, 16% of freelancers in the US were Hispanic or Latino
- In 2019, 12% of freelancers in the US were African or of African descent
- In 2019, Only 5% of freelancers in the US were Asian-American or Asian
Age Freelance Statistics
- 26% of workers above 55 years old have freelanced at some point in their lives
- 30% of workers aged between 39 and 54 years old have freelanced at some point in their lives
- 44% of workers aged between 23 and 38 years old have freelanced at some point in their lives
- 50% of workers aged between 18 and 22 years old have freelanced at some point in their lives
- Over half of Generation Z workers are freelancers
Degree Freelance Statistics
- 40% among over 6,000 interviewed freelancers in the US have a college degree or higher
- 70% of full-time freelancers regularly participate in skills training
- Around 45% of freelancers in the United States have a postgraduate degree
Income Freelance Statistics
- Over 30% of freelancers earn more than $75,000 USD per year
- Over 40% of freelancers have said that they make less money as freelancers
- An average freelancer earns approximately $39,000 USD per year (pre-tax)
- An average freelancer earns approximately $21 USD per hour and works around 36 hours per week
Freelance Jobs Statistics
- 91% of freelancers find work through word of mouth or referrals, mostly from past clients
- 48% of freelancers find work through their own website or portfolio
- Over 48% of the Fortune 500 companies use freelance platforms to hire freelancers
- Over 75% of workers in the design industry are freelancers
- The most popular freelancing jobs include copywriting, graphic design, and software development
- Web design, computer programming, and graphic designer are the best paying freelance jobs
Freelancing Platforms Statistics
- It is estimated that 33% of freelancers find work through freelancing platforms
- There are over 170 freelancing platforms
- Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are the most popular freelancing platforms
- There are over 17 million users registered on UpWork
- In 2020, UpWork generated over 373 million dollars in revenue
- UpWork’s revenue has grown over 209 million dollars since 2016
- There are over 145 thousand active clients on UpWork who spent at least $5,000 per year on the platform
- UpWork has experienced a 90% growth of its core client base since 2016
- Freelancers contribute approximately 67.86% of UpWork’s total revenue
People Per Hour Statistics
- As of 2021, there are over 1 million jobs posted on People Per Hour
- People Per Hour currently has over 1.5 million registered users across 89 countries
- So far, People Per Hour’s freelancers have generated over $100 million dollars in revenue
- Fiverr generated $189.51 million dollars in revenue in 2021
- There are over 7 million registered users on Fiverr
- In 2020, there were around 3.42 million active buyers on Fiverr from more than 160 countries
- Fiverr’s active buyers base has grown approximately 45% between 2019 and 2020
- Fiverr generated around $699.3 million dollars of GMV (gross merchandise value) in 2020
- In 2019, Freelancer.com had approximately 37.7 million users
- In 2019, there were around 13 million jobs posted on Freelancer.com
- The estimated value of all projects posted on Freelancer.com in 2014 was $1.8 billion dollars
- Freelancer.com’s gross payment volume in 2020 was about $618.5 million dollars
Freelance Statistics by Country
Let’s take a look at the freelance statistics in different countries around the world.
Freelancers in the US Statistics
- In the United States, the freelancing industry has gained approximately $1 trillion US dollars
- In 2020, there were over 59 million freelancers in the US
- The number of freelancers in the United States has grown over 6 million since 2014
- The number of freelancers in the United States has increased over 3.5% since 2019
- The freelance industry constitutes almost 5% of the total US GDP
- It is estimated that about one-third of the entire workforce in the United States has done some freelance work
Freelancers in Canada Statistics
- Approximately 2.7 million workers in Canada are self-employed
- 15% of the total Canadian workers are freelancers or self-employed
- In 2021, Canada has noted a 71% increase in freelancers
Freelancers in the UK Statistics
- As of 2021, there are approximately 2.2 million freelancers in the UK
- Out of 2.2 million freelancers in the UK, 1.9 million do freelancing full-time
- 88% of freelancers in the UK identify as White
- 50% of UK freelancers are between 40 and 59 years old
- In 2020, 44% of UK freelancers were female, and 56% were female
Freelancers in Europe Statistics
- As of 2021, it is estimated that there are over 22 million self-employed or freelance workers in Europe
- In Europe, 65% of freelancers are male, and the remaining 35% of freelancers are female
- The average age of a European freelancer is 40 years old
- 77% of European freelancers have at least a Bachelor’s degree
- 54% of European freelancers have a Master’s degree
- Europe is the region with the most freelancers (35.5%)
Freelancers in India Statistics
- India is one of the fastest-growing freelance markets in the world, based on earnings
- There are over 15 million freelancers in India
- Freelancers from India account for approximately 25% of the total number of freelancers in the world
- About 80% of freelancers in India are men, and the remaining 20% of freelancers in India are women
- India is one of the fastest-growing freelancing countries in terms of YoY revenue growth (160%)
Freelancers in the Philippines Statistics
- The Philippines is the fastest-growing freelancing country in terms of YoY revenue growth in the world (208% growth in 2020)
- In 2015, there were around 1.5 million Filipino freelancers registered on UpWork
- In the Philippines, there are three times more female freelancers than male freelancers
- The average income for a Filipino freelancer is around $780 dollars per month
- Virtual assistance is the most common freelance job among Filipino freelancers
- The Philippines is one of the ten fastest-growing countries in terms of gig-economy
Freelance Health Statistics
- 64% of freelance workers have claimed that their mental health has improved since they became freelancers
- 68% of freelance workers have said that their quality of life has improved since they became freelancers
COVID-19 Freelance Statistics
- Between April and June 2020, freelance job openings on freelancing platforms increased by 25%
- Almost 32% of surveyed freelancers claim that demand for their services has decreased during the coronavirus pandemic
- Only 5% of freelancers said that the demand for their services has greatly increased during the coronavirus pandemic
- 23% of freelancers claim to have seen no change in the need for their services during the coronavirus pandemic
- The demand for freelancers in North America has decreased by 53.7% during the pandemic
Freelance Trends and Future Predictions
- It is estimated that there will be approximately 67.6 million freelancers in the US by the end of 2021
- It is estimated that by 2027 freelancers will constitute over 50% of the total US workforce
- 53.4% of freelancers think that demand for their services will grow post-pandemic
- The growth rate of full-time freelance work is estimated to be around 65% over the next five years
How many freelancers are there in the world in 2021?
Currently, there are approximately 1.1 billion freelancers in the world.
This means that around 31.4% of the total workforce in the world are freelancers.
This number is expected to grow significantly in 2022.
How many freelancers are there in the US in 2021?
Currently, there are around 59 million freelancers in the United States, which means a 2 million increase from 2020.
This number is estimated to grow to 86.5 million freelancers by 2027.
This means that by 2027, over 50% of the total US workforce will be freelancers.
How many freelancers are successful?
The definition of success is different for all of us.
According to the freelance statistics that we gathered in this article, over 40% of freelancers chose this type of work due to the benefits that it gives them, such as flexibility, time and location freedom, and personal growth.
Although 40% of freelancers claim that they earn less as freelancers than what they used to make in previous jobs, over 60% say that their quality of life and mental health have improved significantly since they decided to make freelancing their full-time occupation.
If you plan on becoming a freelancer in 2022, the statistics provided in this article will help you make the right choice.
However, if you are already freelancing, understanding these numbers can give you a new perspective and a sense of direction in your freelancing career.
Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that changed people’s perspectives on freelancing.
More and more people are now doing freelance work.
Also, more and more employers are deciding to hire freelancers.
The statistics, trends, and facts that we gathered in this article show how the future of freelancing is being shaped right in front of our eyes.
Use these stats to your advantage in your freelancing journey!
The freelance statistics in this article were gathered from the following sources: Workspace, Statista, Expanded Ramblings, Finances Online, and more.