20+ Freelance Statistics Including All Facts & Data (2022)

Freelance Statistics - DemandSage

Freelancing means pursuing a profession without committing to one employer. More and more people are joining the freelance culture due to its flexible nature and the ability to do things as per your freedom.

If you are fed up with a 9 to 5 job or simply want to pursue what you love, then freelancing is a great choice. Statistics show that 31% of freelance workers make $75,000 every year. That’s great, considering the freedom that comes with freelancing.

This post is for everyone who wants to know everything related to freelancing. We have added the most updated facts and figures associated with freelancing to help you make the right move:

Freelance Statistics (Top Picks)

Take a look at Freelance statistics in a more detailed manner here.

 Freelance Statistics - Freelance
  1. According to industry studies, the worldwide freelance market is estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion and increasing at a CAGR of 15%.
  2. There are currently 70.4 million freelancers in the USA.
  3. The number of freelancers in the USA is forecasted to reach 90.1 million by 2028.
  4. Google has more freelancers (54%) than Permanent workers (46%).
  5. Generation Z (18 to 22 years old) opts for freelancing in 53% of cases.
  6. There are over 12 million registered freelancers on Upwork.
  7. Web design is the most in-demand freelance tech skill.
  8. Social media marketing is the most in-demand freelance marketing skill.
  9. Most independent contractors rely on networking and personal relationships to find new clients.
  10. Freelance Writers make around $42,000 annually.
  11. Upwork is the biggest platform for freelancers as of 2022.

12. How many Freelancers are there in the USA?

There are around 70.4 million freelancers in the US as of 2022.

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 USA 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
202476.4 million
202579.6 million
202683 million
202786.5 million
202890.1 million

Source: Statista 

13. How much are freelancers earning in 2022?

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

 According to Upwork,

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

Sources: Upwork.

14. 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.

15. Freelancer Earning Statistics

  • Typically, males make more money as freelancers than women.
  • 30% of freelancers receive hourly pay.
  • 65% of freelancers make more money than they would in regular employment.
  • Northeastern states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey are where freelancers make the most money annually.
  • Nearly 10% of Americans reported utilizing a digital platform to conduct freelance work to make money in the previous year.
  • Instead of committing to one organization, freelancers typically make their money by executing projects or assignments for several different businesses.
  • 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.
  • Globally, freelancers make an average of $19 per hour.
  • Freelance content writers on Upwork often make between $10 and $80 USD each hour.
  • The typical hourly wage for freelance graphic designers on Upwork is $45.

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

16.) What are the Top Skills required for Freelancers in 2022?

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:

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

The Top Ten Freelancing Technical Skills

  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).

The Top Ten freelancing Customer Service Competencies

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

The 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.

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

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

Here is a table showing the generation of people who freelanced in the past year:

GenerationThe portion of Freelance Workers
Gen Z50%
Millennials44%
Gen X30%
Baby Boomers26%
  • 96% of recent freelancers say they plan to increase their independent work in the future.
  • After the epidemic started, 28% of freelancers discontinued their jobs.
  • 82% of freelancers work from home.
  • 48% of recent freelancers see their profession as a long-term endeavor.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has cost 52% of freelancers their jobs globally.
  • Due to COVID-19, almost 33% of independent contractors had their working hours cut back.

Sources: SHRM, Upwork, Forbes.

18.) Miscellaneous Freelancing Statistics

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

19.) Upwork Statistics

  • Upwork has a year-on-year quarterly growth of 26.61% as of June 2022.
  • Upwork’s Annual Revenue in 2021 was $503 million.

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

YearRevenue
2016$164
2017$203
2018$253
2019$301
2020$374
2021$503
  • The Gross Services Volume (GSV) of Upwork reached over $1 billion, up 27% from the previous year. This is the first quarter that Upwork’s GSV has exceeded $1 billion.
  • 47% of customers who purchased a project from the Project Catalog in 2021 later made a similar purchase on Upwork
  • In the first quarter of 2022, Upwork has over 793,000 Active Clients.

Sources: Macrotrends, Upwork Quarterly Report.

20.) Future of Freelancing (2022 and Beyond)

We are already past half of 2022, and the freelancing figures are changing dramatically. Let us look at what the future holds for the freelancing industry.

  • 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.
  •  The coronavirus pandemic caused a 41% increase in freelance job posts in Q2 2020.
  • 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%.
  • 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 (2022)

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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