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35+ Freelance Statistics, Facts & Trends

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Freelance work has emerged as a popular career choice in recent years, offering professionals the flexibility to work on their terms. Statistics show that the number of freelancers is increasing rapidly, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

We will explore some of the most interesting statistics, facts, and trends related to freelance work, giving you a better understanding of this growing and dynamic field.

7 Key Freelance Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • Around 3 in 5 Upwork website audiences in February 2023 were male.
  • Over 3 in 10 Fiverr’s website audience in February 2023 were female.
  • In 2023, there will be 73.3 million freelancers in the United States.
  • Around 4 in every 10 American workers freelanced in 2022.
  • 51% of millennials in 2022 freelanced for enterprise companies.
  • Upwork generated over $0.5 billion in revenue globally in 2021.
  • In 2022, freelancers generated $1.35 trillion in income for the U.S. economy.

Infographic

7 key freelance statistics
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Freelance Demographics Statistic

1. 51% of millennials in 2022 freelanced for enterprise companies.

Gen X accounted for over 3 in 10 freelancers working for enterprise companies, 8% were Gen Z, and 5% were Boomers.

2. 7 in 10 United States freelancers in 2021 were White.

Furthermore, 10.6% of freelancers were Hispanic or Latino. They were followed by Asians (10.4%), Black or African Americans (3.4%), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (0.4%). The rest (5%) were of unknown ethnicity.

3. 22% of US freelancers in 2022 stayed in their jobs for less than a year.

21% of freelancers worked for 5 to 7 years, and around 1 in every 5 worked for 1 to 2 years. The table below shows the average number of years freelancers stayed in a job as of 2021.

Period (Years) Percentage (%)
Less than 1 22
1 to 2 20
3 to 4 10
5 to 7 21
8 to 10 10
11+ 17

4. 42% of US-based freelancers in 2021 were over 40 years.

35% clocked in between 30 and 40, while the remaining 24% were between 20 and 30.

5. In 2021, 69% of United States freelancers had a bachelor's degree.

Furthermore, 12% had an associate degree, followed closely by those with a master’s degree (11%). Freelancers with high school diplomas and Other degrees came fourth with 4% each.

Freelance Platforms Statistics

6. In 2021, Upwork reported $74.89 million in income from US freelancers.

India was second ($42.28 million), followed by the Philippines with $32.92 million. Combined, the rest of the world generated $146.84 million.

7. Upwork generated over $0.5 billion in revenue globally in 2021.

Upwork attracted a revenue of $502.8 million globally, an increase of $129.17 million compared to the previous year.

8. Around 3 in 5 of the Upwork website audience is male.

As of February 2023, 60.72% of the Upwork audience was male, while 39.38% was female.

upwork website audience
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9. Users aged 25 and 34 visited the Upwork website the most in February 2023.

37.79% of Upwork visits came from people aged 25 to 34, followed by 24.70% from people aged 18 to 24. The table below shows Upwork visitors by age distribution as of February 2023.

Age Group (years) Visits (%)
25 to 34 37.79
18 to 24 24.70
35 to 44 18.82
45 to 54 9.95
55 to 65 5.60
More than 65 3.13

10. The United States had the highest number of Upwork visitors in February 2023.

The United States generated 12.6 million visits to Upwork on all devices, followed by India (6.7 million), and the Philippines took the third spot (3.6 million).

11. Upwork attracted over 56 million website visits in February 2023.

This freelancing platform generated over 38 million visits on desktops and over 17 million from mobile devices. In January 2023, the site had over 55 million visits (>38 million from desktops and around 17 million from mobile devices).

12. Upwork for Freelancers mobile app had over 5 million downloads in Google Play Store.

This app had a 4.5-star rating with over 134k reviews as of the last week in March 2023.

13. Over 3 in 10 Fiverr’s website audience in February 2023 were female.

35.30% of Fiverr’s website audience was female, while males took the bigger 64.70% share.

14. 35.67% of Fiverr visitors were aged between 25 and 34 as of February 2023.

26.53% of Fiverr visitors were between 18 to 24 years. 18.64% were aged 35 to 44, 10.08% were aged 45 to 54, and 5.77% were aged 55 to 64. Rounding up were those aged 65+ (3.32%).

15. Fiverr amassed 25 million US visits in February 2023.

Pakistan generated the second-most visits to Fiverr, with 7.8 million on all devices, followed by India (7.3 million) and the United Kingdom (5.1 million).

fiverr website visits by region
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16. Fiverr got over 93 million website visits across all devices in February 2023.

PCs accounted for over 68 million visits, while mobile devices generated over 25.4 million visitors.

17. The Fiverr mobile app hit over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store.

As of March 2023, this app had 4.7-star ratings with 300k+ reviews.

18. Freelance.com had more male website audience than females.

Its audience comprised 36.79% females and 63.21% males as of February 2023.

19. 36.18% of Freelance.com visitors were aged between 25 and 34.

In February 2023, around 3 in 10 Freelance.com website visitors were between 18 to 24 years. This was followed by 25 to 44-year-olds (17.01%), 45 to 54-year-olds (9.10%), 55 to 64-year-olds (5.41%), and over 65-year-olds (3.14%).

20. 18.58% of Freelance.com website visits in February 2023 came from Indonesia.

This percentage translates to 1.6 million visits, the majority, followed by India, generating 1 million visits (12.14%). The United States came third with 898.8k visits (10.59%).

21. In February 2023, Freelance.com had over 8.4 million visits from all devices.

Likewise, mobile visits (over 4.282 million) were slightly higher than desktops’ (4.206 million).

Freelance Industry Statistics

22. In 2021, 77% of United States employees in the arts and design industry were freelancers.

Furthermore, 58% of United States employees in the marketing industry were freelancers.

The table below shows the United States’ share of freelance workers in the top five industries in 2021.

Industry Share of Freelancers (%)
Arts and Design 77
Marketing 58
Computers / Mathematics 53
Construction 52
Personal Care / Wellness Service 48

23. Marketing and communication freelance consultants earned €51 hourly in the Netherlands.

The average hourly wage for freelancers working on websites and applications in 2021 was €50, while freelancers in the financial and administrative field earned €47.

24. The media industry employed 26% of freelancers in 2021.

The retail industry came second, employing 13% of freelancers, followed by the professionals (11%) and technology (10%) industries.

Freelance Forecast Statistics

25. In 2023, there will be 73.3 million freelancers in the United States.

The number is projected to total 76.4 million in 2024 before rising to 79.6 million in 2025. By 2026, freelancers in the United States will hit 83 million, growing to 86.5 million in 2027 and 90.1 million in 2028.

freelancers in the united states
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Freelance Impact Statistics

26. In 2022, freelancers generated $1.35 trillion in income for the U.S. economy.

This figure saw a $50 billion increment compared to 2021.

27. Around 4 in 10 American workers freelanced in 2022.

This number showed a 10% increase compared to the previous year

Likewise, 1 in 3 freelancing Americans were full-time freelancers.

Freelance Benefits Statistics

28. Over 7 in 10 women said freelancing improved their mental health.

In a 2021 survey of freelancers, 72% of women and 64% of men reported improved overall mental health since they began freelancing.

29. 65% of freelancers choose to freelance because it allows them to set their schedules.

In the same 2021 survey, 37% of respondents freelanced to follow their passions, while  48% cited the freedom to make decisions independently rather than at the whim of an employer.

Freelance Statistics by Country

30. In January 2021, there were 114,857 self-employed freelancing doctors in Germany.

There were also 48,853 self-employed German freelance dentists, 121,668 lawyers, and 12,001 vets.

31. In 2021, 51% of United States freelancers had a post-graduate degree.

35% had some college or associate’s degree, and the same share had Bachelor’s degree. Only about 3 in 10 freelancers had high school diplomas or less.

32. More than half of United States freelancers in 2021 were female.

52.3% of all freelancers in the United States in 2022 were female, while 47.7% were male.

Other Freelance Statistics

33. 2 in 5 freelancers in 2021 used dedicated invoicing software.

In the same survey, 38% of respondents used Google Docs or Microsoft Word to build their invoices from scratch, while 21% used a downloaded fillable template.

34. Over 7 in 10 freelancers in 2021 were not paid on invoices submitted to clients.

Around 3 out of 5 respondents claimed that clients owed them $50,000 or more for previously submitted work.

35. In a 2021 survey, 74% of freelancers were paid late.

1 in 5 respondents received payment within one day, and 16% waited two months or longer. In fact, those who added a “Remit by” date did not receive payment by the specified deadline.

36. In 2021, 20.7% of freelancers had over $100,000 in outstanding client balances.

20.9% of respondents were owed between $75,000 and $99,999, followed by 17.5% ($50,000 to $74,999), 14.7% ($25,000 to $49,999), and 26.2% (under $24,999) in order of amounts owed by clients.

outstanding client balances
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Work Remotely

Freelance work has become a significant trend in today’s job market, with more professionals opting for this career path. The statistics and facts surrounding the freelance industry indicate a growing demand for flexible work arrangements and the increasing popularity of remote work.

If you are extra interested in the freelance and gig economy, go through our guide on remote work to get the latest numbers, trends, and facts to keep you updated.

Interesting Reads:
References:
  1. https://www.upwork.com/resources/enterprise-companies-need-to-know-freelancers
  2. https://www.zippia.com/freelancer-jobs/demographics/
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/531002/freelance-workers-by-gender-us/
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/531018/education-of-freelancers-us/
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/531027/freelancers-by-ethnicity-us/
  6. https://totalent.eu/the-true-state-of-freelancers-in-europe-less-self-employed-workers-but-critical-for-the-future/
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/941869/upwork-revenue-generated-from-freelancers-by-region/
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/941807/upwork-revenue-worldwide/
  9. https://www.similarweb.com/website/upwork.com/#traffic
  10. https://www.similarweb.com/website/upwork.com/#demographics
  11. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.upwork.android.apps.main
  12. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1128117/share-people-freelancing-industry-us/
  13. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2021/10/20/2317476/0/en/Greater-Flexibility-Improved-Mental-Wellbeing-Top-Drivers-Behind-Great-Resignation-Trend-According-to-First-Annual-GrowTal-The-State-of-Freelancing-Report.html
  14. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1044999/average-hourly-rates-of-freelancers-in-the-netherlands-per-branch/
  15. https://www.similarweb.com/website/fiverr.com/#demographics
  16. https://www.upwork.com/research/freelance-forward-2022
  17. https://www.similarweb.com/website/freelancer.com/#traffic
  18. https://www.similarweb.com/website/freelancer.com/#demographics
  19.  https://www.semrush.com/website/fiverr.com/overview/
  20. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fiverr.fiverr
  21. https://www.statista.com/statistics/946340/number-self-employed-freelance-professions-germany/
  22. https://www.semrush.com/website/freelancer.com/overview/
  23. https://www.zippia.com/freelancer-jobs/demographics/
  24. https://www.statista.com/statistics/921593/gig-economy-number-of-freelancers-us/
  25. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/02/17/2387268/0/en/New-Report-Finds-59-of-Freelancers-Are-Owed-50-000-or-More-by-Late-Paying-Clients.html