58+ Freelance Statistics 2023 (Infographics and Trends)

Freelance Statistics - DemandSage

Freelancing has become an increasingly popular career choice in recent years, with many professionals opting to work independently. Moreover, as the world is hit by the recession, many people are considering freelancing

According to a recent study by Fiverr, 71% of U.S. workers are planning to freelance in 2023. Considering 31% of freelancers make $75,000 every year, it is not a bad choice to side hustle!

In this article, we will explore the latest freelancing statistics, examining the demographics of freelancers, the most popular freelance industries, the benefits and challenges of freelancing, and the impact of freelancing on the economy as a whole.

By understanding the trends and patterns in the freelancing industry, you can gain valuable insights into this rapidly evolving sector and the opportunities it presents for workers and employers. So without further due, let’s get into it, shall we?

Freelance Statistics (2023 Top Picks)

Take a look at the highlights of the most recent freelance statistics in this section.

Freelance Statistics Infographics 2023
  • There are over 1.57 billion freelancers in the world as of 2023.
  • There are currently 73.3 million freelancers in the U.S.A.
  • According to industry studies, the worldwide freelance market is estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion and increasing at a CAGR of 15%.
  • Social Media Marketing is the most in-demand skill for freelance marketers.
  • 71% of the employees in the United States are planning to freelance in 2023.
  • The number of freelancers in the USA is forecasted to reach 90.1 million by 2028.
  • Google has more freelancers (54%) than Permanent workers (46%).
  • Generation Z chooses freelancing in 53% of cases.
  • There are over 12 million registered freelancers on Upwork. Making it the biggest platform for freelancers as of 2023.
  • Web design is the most in-demand freelance tech skill.
  • Social media marketing is the most in-demand freelance marketing skill.
  • Most independent contractors rely on networking and personal relationships to find new clients.
  • Freelance Writers make around $42,000 annually.

Freelance Statistics In-Depth

We will have a detailed look at what the freelancing community looks like globally in this section.

How many Freelancers are there in the USA?

  1. There are around 73.3 million freelancers in the U.S. as of 2023.
  1. The number of freelancers in the USA is estimated to reach 79.6 million by 2025 and 90.1 million by 2028.

Here is a table showing the number of freelancers in the United States over the years:

YearNumber Of Freelancers
201757.3 million
201859.7 million
201962.2 million
202064.8 million
202167.4 million
202270.4 million
202373.3 million
2024*76.4 million
2025*79.6 million
2026*83 million
2027*86.5 million
2028*90.1 million

Source: Statista 

Freelancers In The United States By Generation

Statista revealed a growing trend of younger generations embracing freelancing as a viable career path. The availability of technology and the desire for flexibility, autonomy, and purpose in work may be contributing factors to this trend.

Here are findings from the study

  1. 50% of Gen Z respondents (ages 18-22) engaged in freelance work.
  2. 44% of Millennials (ages 23-38) participated in freelance work.

The number of freelancers is expected to continue to increase in the coming year

How much are freelancers earning in 2023?

Many freelancers across various segments are making good earnings. Let’s take a look at their revenue:

  1. A freelance writer often earns between $30 and $40 per hour or $42,000 per year.
  2. A freelance data analyst makes, on average, $55–65 per hour and $100,000 per year.
  3. Freelance editors often make between $25 and $35 per hour and around $40,000 per year.
  4. A typical freelance programmer makes $60–70 per hour and around $120,000 per year.
  5. A typical freelance photographer makes between $35 and $45 per hour or around $42,000 per year.
  6. An average freelance developer makes between $50 and $60 per hour and around $1 million per year.
  7. Digital marketers that work for themselves often make $50 per hour and $1 million per year.
  8. Mobile app developers often earn between $55 and $65/hour or $1 million per year as freelancers.
  9. Freelance transcriptionists often make between $20 and $25 per hour or $32k per year.
  10. An independent graphic designer often charges $40–45 per hour, with annual pay of roughly $90k.

Sources: Upwork.

How do Freelancers get paid?

Freelancers are paid for the work they perform. It is critical to realize that freelancing brings uneven payment schedules. If a freelancer doesn’t work, they won’t receive payment. Here are the methods by which freelancers get paid:

  • Hourly Basis: An agreed-upon fee is given to a freelancer per hour for their job.
  • Monthly Basis: It is a regular payment a freelancer gets based on how much work they are expected to do in a month.
  • Project Basis: For completing a job with a certain scope and deadline, a freelancer gets paid a predetermined fee.

Now, there are other methods as well. E.g., if you are a freelance content writer, you may have an option to get paid by the number of words you can deliver. Another example can be that if you are a graphic designer, you may have the option to get paid whenever you deliver a particle design.

Freelancer Earning Statistics

  1. Typically, male freelancers make more money than females. On average, a female freelancer would make 84% of a male freelancer’s income.
  2. 30% of freelancers receive hourly pay.
  3. 65% of freelancers make more money than they would in regular employment.
  4. Northeastern states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey are where freelancers make the most money annually.
  5. Nearly 10% of Americans reported utilizing a digital platform to conduct freelance work to make money in the previous year.
  6. Instead of committing to one organization, freelancers typically make their money by executing projects or assignments for several different businesses.
  7. In 2018, freelancers in the USA made close to $1 trillion, or 5% of the country’s GDP. Now, the number is even high after the pandemic.
  8. Globally, freelancers make an average of $19 per hour.
  9. Freelance content writers on Upwork often make between $10 and $80 USD each hour.
  10. The typical hourly wage for freelance graphic designers on Upwork is $45.

Sources: Upwork, DDIY, Pew Research, Forbes, Skill Scouter.

Did you know? Female workers are paid less in most industries. Check out Gender pay gap statistics to know more about it. 

What are the Top Skills required for Freelancers in 2023?

If you are taking the freelance route, you must know the top skills employers are looking for. This way, you can be prepared and ace your chances of getting hired:

  1. One interesting statistic is that 61% of freelancers have two to three areas of expertise.

What Are The Top Ten Freelancing Technical Skills?

  1. Java Script is the most essential technical skill required to be a technical freelancer.

Below are the top 10 freelancing skills required in the technical field:

  1. Java Script
  2. Web design.
  3. WordPress.
  4. Web programming.
  5. JavaScript.
  6. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
  7. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
  8. Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP).
  9. Website Development.
  10. Application Programme Interface (API).

What Are The Top freelancing Customer Service Competencies?

  1. Customer support is the most essential skill required for a freelancer who wishes to work in the customer service sector.

Below is the list of the top 09 freelancing customer service competencies:

  1. Customer support.
  2. Email communication.
  3. Email support.
  4. Phone support.
  5. Communication etiquette.
  6. Online chat support.
  7. Answering product questions.
  8. Data entry.
  9. Administrative support.

The Ten Most in-Demand Skills for Freelance Marketers

  1. Social Media Marketing is the most essential skill for freelancers looking to freelance in the marketing field.

Below is the list of the top Ten Most in-Demand Skills for Freelance Marketers:

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Lead generation
  3. Facebook
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  5. Business-2-Busniess marketing
  6. Instagram marketing
  7. Marketing strategy
  8. SMM – Social media management
  9. Email marketing
  10. Marketing research

Source: TechRepublic.

What is the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Freelancing?

  1. 8.2 million freelancers joined the force in the USA since the pandemic began.
  1. The number of young freelancers has been rising since the pandemic.

Here is a table showing the distribution of freelancers based on their generation:

GenerationThe portion of Freelance Workers
Gen Z50%
Gen X30%
Baby Boomers26%
  1. 96% of recent freelancers say they plan to increase their independent work in the future.
  2. After the epidemic started, 28% of freelancers discontinued their jobs.
  3. 82% of freelancers work from home.
  4. 48% of recent freelancers see their profession as a long-term endeavour.
  5. The coronavirus pandemic has cost 52% of freelancers their jobs globally.
  6. Due to COVID-19, almost 33% of independent contractors had their working hours cut back.

Sources: SHRM, Upwork, Forbes.

Miscellaneous Freelancing Statistics

  1. 70% of Small and medium businesses in the US have at least occasionally used freelancers.
  2. 61% of freelancers claim to do so voluntarily.
  3. About 50% of freelancers have advanced degrees.
  4. Working from home has increased productivity for 51% of workers.
  5. Singapore, New Zealand, Spain, Australia Denmark are the top 5 countries to stay in if you are a freelancer.
  6. Most freelancers put in between 30 and 50 hours each week.

Upwork Statistics

  1. Upwork’s total revenue for 2022 is $618 million. The platform’s revenue grew by 23% in the Q4 of 2022.
  2. Upwork’s Annual Revenue in 2021 was $503 million.

Here is a table showing Upwork’s Annual revenue since 2016:

2016$164 Million
2017$203 Million
2018$253 Million
2019$301 Million
2020$374 Million
2021$503 Million
2022$618 Million
  1. The Gross Services Volume (GSV) of Upwork was over $1027 million in the third quarter of 2022; this is a 14% yoy increase.
  2. 47% of customers who purchased a project from the Project Catalog later made a similar purchase on Upwork
  3. Upwork has over 818,000 Active Clients in the third quarter of 2022.

Sources: Macrotrends, Upwork Quarterly Report.

Coworking Statistics

Coworking is a common working space shared by freelancers and remote employees. This can include facilities like separate desks and cabins, conference rooms, open casual office space, and other features. The purpose of coworking is to provide those who may otherwise work from home or a coffee shop access to a professional and collaborative workplace. It may also provide chances for networking and fostering a sense of community among those who share similar views.

As we are talking about freelancing, we must talk about coworking spaces as well.

Here are some of the interesting facts associated with coworking in 2023:

  1. 42% of people working at coworking spaces in the world are freelancers.
  2. There are over 6200 coworking spaces in the united states.
  3. Over 900,000 people make use of coworking spaces in the united states.
  4. Over 20,000 coworking spaces are available in the world.
  5. WeWork is the biggest provider of coworking spaces in the world. They have their presence in 320+ locations globally.
  6. It is predicted that 3.94 million people globally will be making use of coworking spaces in 2023.
  7. 35% of people who work at coworking spaces are from the I.T sector.

Future of Freelancing (2023 and Beyond)

We are already in 2023, and the freelancing figures are changing dramatically. Let us look at what the future holds for the freelancing industry.

  1. Permanent remote employment will represent 34.4% of company workforces on average. As a result, remote work will increase from 16.4% to more than twice as much as before the outbreak.
  2. The coronavirus pandemic caused a 41% increase in freelance job posts. Even if the lockdown has long gone, the gig economy if continuing to survive.
  3. By 2025, there will probably be 350 million gig workers in India. By 2024, the gig economy in India is projected to grow to US$455 billion at a CAGR of 17%.
  4. It is projected that during the next five years, the number of Americans who have worked independently will increase to 54% from the current 48%.

Related Read:

Conclusion: Freelance Statistics (2023)

Millions of workers are choosing to work independently from home as freelancers, and this trend is expanding quickly. People are given the freedom they desire, and more excellent work is possible. Freelancers can work outside of the traditional 9 to 5 schedule and be extra productive.

As more and more individuals choose to work from home, businesses must adapt if they want to maintain a stable position in the workforce.

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