How Many Freelancers Are There

How Many Freelancers Are There in 2024? (U.S. & World!)

Published on: January 31, 2023
Last Updated: January 31, 2023

How Many Freelancers Are There in 2024? (U.S. & World!)

Published on: January 31, 2023
Last Updated: January 31, 2023

Quick Answer 🔍

How many freelancers are there in 2024?

In 2023, it is estimated that there are approximately 73.3 million freelancers in the United States, and 1.57 billion freelancers in the world.

The gig economy is rising, and freelancing has become a popular career choice for millions worldwide.

With the flexibility to work from anywhere, at any time, and the ability to offer their skills and services to a global audience, it’s no wonder that freelancing has become a desirable option. 

But have you ever wondered just how many freelancers are there?

The numbers are truly staggering and continues to grow every day. 

Join us as we delve into the world of freelancing and discover the sheer magnitude of individuals who have taken the leap and embraced the freedom and independence that comes with freelancing.

Why Are People Freelancing?


For those looking to take control of their careers and embrace a life of freedom and flexibility, freelancing offers opportunities.

But why do people choose to freelance?

According to research by leading gig platform Upwork, there are several common motives behind why individuals choose to work as self-employed freelancers. 

Firstly, there is increased flexibility in work schedules, allowing freelancers to set their hours and work at their own pace.

Secondly, freelancers have access to a broader range of employment opportunities, which can lead to a more diverse range of clients and projects.

One of the biggest draws of freelancing is the ability to work from anywhere, including remote locations and while traveling. 

This allows freelancers to live and work in a way that suits their lifestyle, with the bonus of increasing productivity compared to doing the same job in a traditional office setting.

In terms of compensation, the average global pay for freelancers is $22, but the earning potential can increase significantly depending on the specific line of work and industry.

93% of full-time freelancers report that they can earn more money when they want to.

These motives, along with others, make freelancing an attractive option for those looking to take control of their careers and experience the many benefits of being self-employed.

How Many Freelancers Are There?

As the gig economy continues to grow and evolve, the number of freelancers in the United States has reached impressive heights.

In 2023, it is estimated that approximately 73.3 million individuals will have chosen to embrace the freedom and flexibility that comes with freelancing.

But this number is just the tip of the iceberg, as experts predict that the number of freelancers in the USA will continue to surge in the coming years.

By 2025, it is estimated that the number of freelancers will reach 79.6 million; by 2028, the number is expected to soar to an astonishing 90.1 million.

This surge in freelancing is a testament to the growing demand for flexible and remote work options and the many opportunities available to those who choose to enter the world of freelancing.

It’s an exciting time to be a freelancer, and the future is bright for this ever-growing community.

According to recent estimates, the number of independent professionals around the globe has surpassed 1.57 billion, constituting approximately 46.5% of the overall 3.38 billion international solid labor force. 

This trend towards freelance work is rapidly growing and transforming the conventional 9-to-5 employment model.

Freelance Statistics

  • 73.3 million individuals are freelancing in the USA
  • Social Media Marketing is the most sought-after skill among freelance marketers
  • 71% of employees in the US plan to freelance in 2023
  • The worldwide freelance market is worth an estimated $1.5 trillion and growing at a CAGR of 15%
  • Forecasted to reach 90.1 million freelancers in the USA by 2028
  • Google has a higher number of freelancers (54%) compared to permanent workers (46%)
  • 53% of Generation Z opts for freelancing as a career choice
  • Over 12 million freelancers are registered on Upwork, making it the largest freelancing platform in 2023
  • Web design is the most in-demand tech skill among freelancers
  • Social media marketing is the most in-demand marketing skill for freelancers
  • Most independent contractors depend on networking and personal relationships to secure new clients
  • Freelance writers earn an average of $42,000 per year

How Do Freelancers Get Paid?


Freelancers are paid for the services they provide, and it is crucial to acknowledge that the payment structure in freelancing can be irregular.

Unlike traditional employment, where a steady paycheck is guaranteed, freelancers only receive payment when they have work. 

This means they will only receive an income if they have projects lined up.

To understand how freelancers are compensated, here are the standard payment methods:

Hourly Basis

This is a straightforward method where the freelancer and the client agree on an hourly rate, and the freelancer receives payment for every hour they work. 

For example, if a freelancer and the client agree on a rate of $50 per hour, and the freelancer works 10 hours a week, they will receive $500.

This method is best suited for projects with a limited time frame and a well-defined scope of work.

Monthly Basis

In this method, the freelancer and the client agree on a monthly rate, and the freelancer receives payment regularly, typically at the end of each month. 

If the agreed-upon monthly rate is $3,000, the freelancer will receive $3,000 at the end of each month.

This method is best suited for projects requiring dedicated and consistent effort over an extended period.

Project Basis


This method allows the freelancer to pay a predetermined fee for completing a project with a defined scope and deadline. 

For example, if the agreed-upon project fee is $10,000, and the project is completed within the specified deadline, the freelancer will receive $10,000.

This method best suits projects with a defined end goal and well-defined requirements.

These are the three primary payment methods used in freelancing, and there may also be variations and combinations of these methods. 

A freelance content writer may have the option to get paid based on the number of words written, or a graphic designer may receive payment based on the completion of each design. 


The freelancing community is thriving, and its growth is only increasing with each passing day.

The estimated number of freelancers worldwide is a staggering 1.57 billion.

These individuals come from diverse industries and professions, each pursuing unique goals and aspirations.

One of the most compelling reasons for the growing popularity of freelancing is the unparalleled level of flexibility it offers.

Freelancers have the luxury of choosing their work schedules and environments, allowing them to prioritize their personal lives and well-being.

Additionally, freelancing offers better earning opportunities, allowing individuals to earn more than they would in a traditional 9-5 job.

This is especially true for creative industries like arts and design, marketing, and tech, where over half of the workforce comprises freelancers.

This impressive figure is a testament to the growing appeal of self-employment and the increasing demand for freelancers.


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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.