Freelance Statistics 2024 – Number Of Freelancers & Insights

3.1 million people in the United States are anticipated to join the freelance workforce in 2024; as a result, the number will reach 76.4 million freelancers in the country by the end of the year.

Most of the workforce prefers to ditch the traditional desk jobs and choose flexibility and control. 

Let’s explore further details about the state of freelancing in 2024 and further information related to freelancers worldwide.

Freelance Statistics 2024: Top Picks

  • There are 1.57 billion freelancers worldwide.
  • This means 47% of the global workers are freelancers.
  • The number of freelancers in the United States is 73.3 million and is predicted to reach 76.4 million by the end of the year.
  • The share of the self-employed workforce decreased from 55.5% in 2000 to 46.6% in 2024.
  • Freelancers earn an average of $47.71 per hour in the United States. 
  • On average, a full-time freelancer works for 43 hours per week. 
  • 54% of the freelancers work for five days a week.
  • The Freelance Platform market size is predicted to reach $9570.3 million by the end of 2030.

Number of Freelancers 

Currently, there are more than 1.5 billion freelancers worldwide. 

The share of the self-employed workforce decreased from 55.5% in 2000 to 46.6% in 2024. One of the major reasons for this decrease is the search for stability and increased job opportunities worldwide. 

Let us take a look at the latest numbers of freelancers worldwide. 

1.57 billion people worldwide are Freelancers

Out of a global workforce of 3.38 billion, 1.57 billion people are self-employed. This equals to nearly 46.7% of the workers worldwide. 

1.57 Billion People Worldwide Are Freelancers

The following table displays the percentage of employees who freelance over the years:

YearPercentage of employees that freelance

Source: World Bank

The number of freelancers in the United States is expected to reach 76.4 million in 2024 

73.3 million people in the United States worked as freelancers in 2023. This number is expected to increase by 3 million in 2024.

The Number Of Freelancers In The United States Is Expected To Reach 76.4 Million In 2024

Further, by 2027, there will be 90.1 million people working as freelancers in the United States.

This rapid increase in number is due to the flexibility and other benefits workers get while working remotely. 

The following table displays the number of freelance workers recorded in the United States over the years. 

YearNumber of freelance workers in the United States.Change over the previous year
2028*90.1 million3.6 million
2027*86.5 million3.5 million
2026*83 million3.4 million
2025*79.6 million3.2 million
2024*76.4 million3.1 million
202373.3 million2.9 million
202270.4 million2.8 million
202167.6 million2.8 million
202064.8 million2.6 million
201962.2 million2.5 million

Source: Statista

Freelance Statistics By Country

Over 42% of the workforce in the United Kingdom work as freelancers or part-time workers. Meanwhile, more than 36% of the workforce in the United States are self-employed.

Let us explore further details about freelancers in countries worldwide.

The freelance industry in the United States has grown by 78%

At the same time, freelance work in the United States and Brazil is growing by 59% and 48%, respectively. 

Here are further details about the country with the highest YoY earning growth rates for freelancers.

  1. United States: 78%
  2. United Kingdom: 59%
  3. Brazil: 48%
  4. Pakistan: 47%
  5. Ukrain:36%
  6. Philippines: 35%
  7. India: 29%
  8. Bangladesh: 27%
  9. Russia: 20%
  10. Serbia: 19%

Source: Payoneer. 

95% of Niger’s workforce is self-employed

Central African Republic and Chad follow Niger, with 93.2% and 92.6% respectively. 

Some of the major reasons for high freelancing rates in this country are unemployment, limited job opportunities, and other economic difficulties. 

On the other hand, Qatar has the lowest share of the workforce working as freelancers. Only 0.4% of the people in the country work as freelancers. Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Belarus are other countries with countable freelancers. 

These low rates of freelancers are because independent freelancing without a visa sponsor is illegal in Qatar. The category of “independent contractor” does not exist in the country, and in the same way, it is not permissible in many countries.

The following table displays the countries with the highest and lowest share of the workforce working as freelancers. 

RankCountrySelf-Employment Percentage
2Central African Republic93.2%

Source: World Bank. 

Number of Working Hours of Freelancers

Freelancers work for at least 6 hours a day. However, this may vary according to the project they are working on. Some projects require just 2 to 3 hours of work in a week, while some tasks require dedicated work of 8 or more hours in a day.

36.1% of the freelancers spend 10 to 20 hours a week freelancing

On average, a full-time freelancer works for 43 hours per week. 

That is similar to a regular nine-to-five job. However, freelancers have flexible working days and schedules. 

36.1% Of The Freelancers Spend 10 To 20 Hours A Week Freelancing

This time also varies according to the industry a freelancer is working in and the workload they have.

Some freelancers may work part-time, around 20 to 25 hours per week, while others may work for more than 40 hours.

The following table displays the time freelancers spend working in a week.

Number of hoursPercentage of freelancers 
More than 30 hours28.6%
21 to 30 hours19.5%
10 to 20 hours36.1%
Less than 10 hours15.9%

Source: Calendar, Credit Donkey

Number of Working Days of Freelancers

On average, freelancers work for 5 to 6 days in a week. Some freelancers work for four days or less in a week, depending on their needs and the nature of work. 

54% of the freelancers work for five days a week

Besides, 3 in 10 freelancers said they work more than five days a week.

54% Of The Freelancers Work For Five Days A Week

The following table displays the number of hours freelancers prefer to work:

Number of Working Days Share of Freelancers 
5 Days54%
4 Days12%
More than 5 Days27%
Less than 4 Days8%

Source: FreelancerMap

Global Freelance Market Size

The global freelance market has grown rapidly over the past years. However, a major spike was recorded during the pandemic.

Let’s take a look at the current state of the market.

The Freelance Platforms Market size is forecasted to be valued at $9570.3 million by the end of 2030 

The freelance market was valued at $3912.8 million in 2023. The market is predicted to grow at a rate of 15% between the forecast period of 2024 and 2030. 

Source: Verified Market Reports.

Freelancers Earnings

On average, freelancers earn $99,230 annually. However, the top earners have an annual earning of $200,000. Meanwhile, 25% of freelancers earn $50,500 annually.

The average hourly pay for a freelancer in the United States is $47.71

The hourly wage for freelancers in the United States can be as high as $132.21 or as low as $14.90. 

The Avergae Hourly Pay For A Freelancer In The United States Is $47.71

Besides, most freelancers earn between $24.28 (25th percentile) and $61.78 (75th percentile) in the United States. These hourly wages may vary according to your work and industry. 

The following table displays the annual salary and monthly salary of the freelancers.

Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$200,000$16,666
75th Percentile$128,500$10,708
25th Percentile$50,500$4,208

Source: Zip Recruiter. 

The average freelance programmer makes $60-70/hr, with an annual salary of around $120,000

Programmers earn the highest as freelancers compared to other professions. 

At the same time, a freelance writer has a rate between $30-40/hr, with an annual salary of around $42,000.

The money made by a freelancer differs according to the profession. Generally, the more technical a profession is, the more freelancers in that field can earn.

The following table displays the average hourly rates and annual salary the most popular freelancing job titles provide. 

Freelancer Job TitleHourly WageAnnual Salary
General developers$50-60/hr$100,000
Mobile developers$55-65/hr$100,000
Web developers$50-60/hr$90,000
Graphic designers$40-45/hr$90,000
Online marketers$50/hr$100,000
CRM managers$50-60/hr$120,000
Data analysts$55-65/hr$100,000

Source: Upwork

Freelancers Demographics

The share of female freelancers is more than that of male freelancers by approximately 5% in the United States. However, there is still a gender pay gap in the industry. 

Besides, 7 in 10 freelancers are white, but the highest earnings are recorded by Asian freelancers. 

Here are further details about the demographics of freelancers in the United States. 

52.3% of the freelancers in the United States are female, and 47.7% are male

The share of female freelancers overtook that of male freelancers in 2016. Earlier, the number of female freelancers was less than that of males. 

However, for every $1 earned by men, women earn 95¢. 

The following table displays the gender ratio of freelancers recorded over the years. 

YearPercentage of male freelancersPercentage of female freelancers

Source: Zippia

70.2% of all freelancers in the United States are White

The most common ethnicity among freelancers is White. However, white freelancers have the lowest annual salary.

10.4% of the freelancers in the United States are Asian, and they have the highest annual freelancing salary. 

The following table displays the race and ethnicity of the freelancers in the United States, along with their annual salary. 

Race or EthnicityShare of freelancersAnnual salary of freelancers
Hispanic or Latino10.6%$58,512
Black or African American3.4%$57,708
American Indian and Alaska Native0.4%Data unavailable

Source: Zippia. 

The average age of freelancers is over 40 years, and the age group represents 42% of the freelancer population

At the same time, 35% of the freelancers belong to the age group of 30 to 40 years, while 24% belong to the age group of 20 to 30 years. 

Source: Zippia. 

Freelancers Education Levels

Over half of the freelancers in the United States are post-graduate. Meanwhile, one in three freelancers has a bachelor’s degree. 

Let’s explore more about the education level of freelancers in the United States. 

51% of the freelancers in the United States are post-graduates

This is 16% higher than freelancers with other education levels. Further, the share of freelancers with a post-graduate degree has increased by 6% compared to the figures recorded in 2019. 

51% Of The Freelancers In The United States Are Post-graduates

Conversely, 31% of the freelancers are just high school graduates or less. 

Here are further details about the share of freelancers with different levels of education. 

  • High school graduate or less: 31%
  • Some college or associate degrees: 35%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 35%
  • Post-graduate degree: 51%

Source: Upwork.

Detailed Freelancing Stats

This section covers the current state of the freelance industry and other significant statistics. 

21% of employees in the United States and the United Kingdom plan to do freelance work in 2024

Another 28% of them will become freelancers in the next five years. This means nearly three in ten employees will be freelancers in the upcoming years. 

Younger workers are already the most active in the freelance market. 40% of the employees aged 25-34 are aiming to go freelance, while 52% say they would consider it on a part-time basis.

Source: Remote

Nearly 80% of the freelancers are successful

However, it requires months or years to have a successful career as a freelancer and acquire a study income. 

 Besides, according to a survey conducted by Upwork, 75% of freelancers earn as much, or more, than they did when working full-time.

Source: Waveapps. 

Over 83% of freelance leaders are highly or moderately positive about the rise in freelancing in 2024

At the same time, 21% were neutral about it. In contrast, 6% of freelance leaders are doubtful about their freelance performance in 2024. 

Further, the freelance leader reported that the freelance platforms are prepared for the possibility of a recession in 2024. 

Over 50% of businesses reported being prepared, while 41% said they were neutral about it. However, 9% of businesses said that they may experience a difficult time. 

Source: Forbes

66% of the employees said that finding enough work is the biggest challenge as a freelancer

Most employees prefer a job over freelancing as it provides them with a stable income, and they find it difficult to find enough work. 

66% of the employees said that finding enough work is the biggest challenge as a freelancer

Other major concerns of the employees were managing an irregular income, managing irregular work, managing expectations with clients, and more. 

Here are the top challenges of working freelance according to employees. 

  • Finding enough work: 66%
  • Managing an irregular income: 62%
  • Managing irregular work: 60%
  • Managing expectations with clients: 60%
  • Clients not paying: 59%
  • Self-motivation: 59%
  • Time management: 58%
  • Additional costs to work for yourself: 57%
  • Filing taxes: 57%
  • Being your own boss:56%

Source: Remote. 

83% of the people said they work as freelancers for financial gains

Financial gains, control, and flexibility are among the top reasons for freelancing.

The following table displays the top motivators for freelancers.

Top motivators for freelancersShare of freelancers
To earn extra money83%
To have flexibility73%
To be in control of my own financial future72%
To be my own boss70%
To work from the location of my choosing69%
To pursue work that I am passionate about or find meaningful. 67%

Source: Upwork.

Freelancing Trends For 2024

2024 is here, and after observing the freelance trends in 2023, it is quite evident that the market will further expand in 2024.

At least one-fourth of employees are looking forward to taking up freelance work, either part-time or full-time. Let us take a look at the freelance trends for 2024.

New freelance opportunities will rise due to AI

With the increase in the use of AI, AI experts like prompt or machine learning engineers and data scientists are increasingly in demand. 

The key skills that tech freelancers consider will gain importance in 2024 are data analysis, data science, and machine learning, with 14.2%, 11.2%, and 10.3% of respondents, respectively.  

Plus, having proficiency in skills like Python, Java, and SQL is essential. 

20% of the freelancers said they look forward to working only four days a week or less

Working four days a week will be the new reality in 2024.  While discussing a four-day workweek with the freelancers, almost 1 in five freelancers said they are looking forward to taking off three days a week in 2024. 

Some freelancers added that this will help them work efficiently and achieve revenue goals even after investing less time. 

Additionally, 96.5% of the freelancers said they desire more time. While 88.9% said they wished to spend more time with their family. 

73% of freelancers consider communication skills the most important skill a freelancer must possess 

LinkedIn USA confirms that employers are lowering the emphasis on hard skills and shifting their attention towards soft skills like communication and teamwork.

The following table includes further details about the most essential soft skills for freelancers. 

Soft skills for freelancersShare of freelancers that consider them most important. 
Willingness to learn55%
Emotional intelligence31%

Freelancers in their 30s and over will start to take their savings and retirement seriously

Freelancers in the United States are underprepared for their retirement and savings. 

Hence, the government stepped in and is helping them with laws like Secure 2.0, offering savings match initiatives. But this will start after 2027. 

Hence, freelancers in their 30s will be saving a sum of 15% each month. 

Source: FreelancerMap, Fiverr

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