Global Internet Freelance Market Overview for 2018

Global Internet Freelance Market Overview 2018

Ever wondered how many freelancers are in the world? What they do or from which countries are they from? We did, and created this cool set of visualization in Tableau. And since we are not greedy and always try to give the most to our clients, we decided to share it with them and with our readers (you) via this blog post.

Note: The data from these visualizations is based on publicly available data from World Bank and freelancing sites. When analyzing it please keep in mind that the data includes only digital freelancers who work via online marketplaces. Offline or independent freelancers are not included in this analysis.

P.S. For a better experience it is recommended to view the visualization in full screen.

In the first map below, we can see the total number of registered and active freelancers classified by country, along the percentage of active freelancers from the total of registered freelancers.

As you can see, United States has the highest number of freelancers – 558K, of which 13.90% or 77K have been active in the past 3 months. It is followed by India with 145K freelancers (of which 14% were active in the past 3 months) and Philippines with 162K freelancers.

Number of freelancers by country (ranking)
Rank Country Freelancers Active Freelancers % Active
Freelancers
1 United States 558,965 77,677 13.90%
2 India 245,342 36,733 14.97%
3 Philippines 162,233 25,750 15.87%
4 Pakistan 62,442 11,651 18.66%
5 Bangladesh 55,449 8,761 15.80%
6 United Kingdom 53,889 6,202 11.51%
7 Ukraine 53,529 13,798 25.78%
8 Russian Federation 44,534 8,850 19.87%
9 Canada 41,170 4,778 11.61%
10 Egypt, Arab Rep. 33,610 5,490 16.33%
11 Serbia 24,605 5,534 22.49%
12 Brazil 21,028 2,842 13.52%
13 Australia 21,018 1,874 8.92%
14 Indonesia 19,032 1,809 9.51%
15 Kenya 18,042 2,540 14.08%
16 Romania 16,731 2,792 16.69%
17 Italy 14,027 2,152 15.34%
18 Malaysia 13,335 776 5.82%
19 Germany 13,018 2,130 16.36%
20 South Africa 12,354 1,442 11.67%
21 France 12,333 1,719 13.94%
22 Sri Lanka 12,176 909 7.47%
23 Mexico 11,413 1,787 15.66%
24 Spain 11,071 1,908 17.23%
25 Argentina 10,612 1,972 18.58%
26 Venezuela, RB 10,044 2,140 21.31%
27 United Arab Emirates 9,592 751 7.83%
28 Poland 8,864 1,740 19.63%
29 Turkey 8,790 1,949 22.17%
30 China 8,699 904 10.39%
31 Nigeria 7,897 1,317 16.68%
32 Colombia 7,752 1,348 17.39%
33 Morocco 7,553 735 9.73%
34 Vietnam 7,463 1,039 13.92%
35 Bulgaria 7,303 1,384 18.95%
36 Netherlands 7,226 976 13.51%
37 Portugal 7,198 1,036 14.39%
38 Macedonia, FYR 7,155 1,583 22.12%
39 Jamaica 7,057 660 9.35%
40 Armenia 6,325 1,698 26.85%
41 Belarus 6,187 1,280 20.69%
42 Greece 5,970 926 15.51%
43 Tunisia 5,884 449 7.63%
44 Singapore 5,747 455 7.92%
45 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5,414 927 17.12%
46 Croatia 5,281 739 13.99%
47 Nepal 5,094 530 10.40%
48 Ireland 4,588 517 11.27%
49 New Zealand 4,412 464 10.52%
50 Saudi Arabia 4,247 330 7.77%
51 Hungary 4,214 713 16.92%
52 Thailand 3,899 632 16.21%
53 Albania 3,769 665 17.64%
54 Algeria 3,629 328 9.04%
55 Israel 3,577 478 13.36%
56 Sweden 3,550 478 13.46%
57 Belgium 3,372 346 10.26%
58 Czech Republic 2,954 464 15.71%
59 Lithuania 2,852 464 16.27%
60 Japan 2,800 542 19.36%
61 Georgia 2,684 503 18.74%
62 Switzerland 2,585 312 12.07%
63 Dominican Republic 2,579 378 14.66%
64 Denmark 2,504 279 11.14%
65 Moldova 2,308 555 24.05%
66 Peru 2,263 297 13.12%
67 Chile 2,176 331 15.21%
68 Azerbaijan 2,156 327 15.17%
69 Costa Rica 2,086 269 12.90%
70 Austria 2,067 314 15.19%
71 Kazakhstan 1,965 361 18.37%
72 Norway 1,918 315 16.42%
73 Jordan 1,908 209 10.95%
74 Finland 1,760 271 15.40%
75 Slovenia 1,720 255 14.83%
76 Slovak Republic 1,644 267 16.24%
77 Ghana 1,625 136 8.37%
78 Uruguay 1,598 292 18.27%
79 Korea, Rep. 1,569 306 19.50%
80 Qatar 1,565 100 6.39%
81 Latvia 1,500 283 18.87%
82 Estonia 1,496 275 18.38%
83 Lebanon 1,473 160 10.86%
84 El Salvador 1,452 245 16.87%
85 Ecuador 1,450 215 14.83%
86 Taiwan 1,298 215 16.56%
87 Nicaragua 1,292 296 22.91%
88 Uganda 1,175 83 7.06%
89 Guatemala 1,144 166 14.51%
90 Bolivia 1,048 209 19.94%
91 Panama 1,019 146 14.33%
92 Montenegro 949 179 18.86%
93 Trinidad and Tobago 942 97 10.30%
94 Madagascar 911 197 21.62%
95 Uzbekistan 889 151 16.99%
96 Cyprus 849 115 13.55%
97 Honduras 836 144 17.22%
98 Cameroon 770 108 14.03%
99 Malta 755 103 13.64%
100 Kuwait 704 63 8.95%
101 Cambodia 694 112 16.14%
102 Mauritius 676 54 7.99%
103 Oman 576 50 8.68%
104 Ethiopia 569 45 7.91%
105 Tanzania 550 56 10.18%
106 Bahrain 547 51 9.32%
107 Kyrgyz Republic 499 127 25.45%
108 Barbados 420 39 9.29%
109 Belize 400 71 17.75%
110 Guyana 327 35 10.70%
111 Iceland 312 28 8.97%
112 Zambia 310 37 11.94%
113 Myanmar 283 59 20.85%
114 Luxembourg 274 47 17.15%
115 Paraguay 268 43 16.04%
116 Mongolia 249 27 10.84%
117 Yemen, Rep. 244 16 6.56%
118 Botswana 232 24 10.34%
119 Bahamas, The 218 12 5.50%
120 Haiti 198 39 19.70%
121 Namibia 197 21 10.66%
122 Benin 183 42 22.95%
123 Rwanda 169 12 7.10%
124 Suriname 137 30 21.90%
125 Bhutan 135 5 3.70%
126 Brunei Darussalam 134 6 4.48%
127 Maldives 132 6 4.55%
128 Somalia 123 42 34.15%
129 Samoa 122 6 4.92%
130 Mozambique 119 19 15.97%
131 Senegal 110 26 23.64%
132 Andorra 108 10 9.26%
133 Grenada 107 7 6.54%
134 Antigua and Barbuda 105 9 8.57%
135 Dominica 102 5 4.90%
136 Malawi 100 15 15.00%
137 Tajikistan 98 21 21.43%
138 Fiji 92 6 6.52%
139 Turkmenistan 72 25 34.72%
140 Guinea 70 8 11.43%
141 Angola 65 6 9.23%
142 Lao PDR 51 16 31.37%
143 Papua New Guinea 50 5 10.00%
144 Monaco 45 3 6.67%
145 Lesotho 42 9 21.43%
146 Togo 35 6 17.14%
147 Mauritania 33 3 9.09%
148 Swaziland 33 5 15.15%
149 Seychelles 29 3 10.34%
150 Cabo Verde 27 10 37.04%
151 Burkina Faso 26 3 11.54%
152 Gambia, The 26 2 7.69%
153 Congo, Rep. 25 6 24.00%
154 Burundi 18 3 16.67%
155 Congo, Dem. Rep. 18 5 27.78%
156 Mali 18 6 33.33%
157 Niger 14 3 21.43%
158 Vanuatu 14 1 7.14%
159 Sierra Leone 13 2 15.38%
160 Liechtenstein 12 3 25.00%
161 Eritrea 11 0 0.00%
162 Timor-Leste 10 0 0.00%
163 Gabon 10 0 0.00%
164 Micronesia, Fed. Sts. 9 1 11.11%
165 Palau 9 0 0.00%
166 San Marino 9 2 22.22%
167 Comoros 7 1 14.29%
168 Tonga 6 0 0.00%
169 Djibouti 5 1 20.00%
170 Equatorial Guinea 5 0 0.00%
171 Central African Republic 4 0 0.00%
172 Guinea-Bissau 4 0 0.00%
173 Marshall Islands 4 0 0.00%
174 Chad 3 2 66.67%
175 Kiribati 2 1 50.00%


In terms of how popular is internet freelancing per 1000 people, we can see that Freelancing as a career is the most spread in Serbia where there are 3.52 freelancers per 1000 people living there.

Serbia is followed by Macedonia with 3.41 freelancers per 1000 people, Jamaica with 2.43 people and Armenia with 2.18 people out of 1000 being freelancers.

United States ranks 5th with 1.72 freelancers per 1000 people while Montenegro and “Bosnia and Herzegovina” rank 6th and 7th with 1.58 and 1.55 freelancers per 1000 people.

From this map we can also see that digital freelancing is most spread in the Balkan peninsula (Europe), Eastern Europe and among English speaking countries like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

Apart from these countries, freelancing is also widely spread (compared to country’s population) in Portugal, Iceland, Philippines, Armenia and Georgia (country).

Countries like India, Russia, Pakistan and Bangladesh although have a high number of freelancers, when compared against their population, the number of freelancers per 1000 people is relatively low so we may consider that freelancing is not that popular there.

In terms of most popular categories among freelancers, we can see that “Web, Mobile and Software development”, “Design & creative”, “Writing” and “Admin Support” are the most popular categories in which freelancers choose to specialize and work.

Analyzing the specific subcategories below, we can see that United States has the most freelancers in almost all subcategories with some exceptions like “Web & Mobile Design”, “Other – Software Development”, “Desktop Software Development” “Ecommerce Development”, “Product Management” and “Q&A Testing” where India has more freelancers.

In some categories like “Customer Services” and “Technical Support” United States is on par with Philippines.


If you are an Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager expert or want to become one, and want to work with us, please contact us for more details.


Do you question your Analytics tracking or wonder if you could enhance it? If so, then you can take our expert Google Analytics audit from us, in which you will see if your Google Analytics is installed and configured correctly. We will also list all errors or misconfigurations that we find.

Google Analytics Audit

11 Comments Leave a reply

  1. I am from Serbia (age 24) and I have many friends who work online (about 8), mainly doing freelancing. Personally I choose to be a freelancer because of the low salary offered by Serbian companies to young employees, as they always say that you do not have experience, etc.

    28

    1
  2. I own a web development company in San Francisco, California and I can say that freelancing is a big help for us as if I would hire local developers from San Francisco, our prices would not be competitive with those of similar companies from other states where labor cost is cheaper so currently 9 of 11 web developers that we have in our team are freelancers, mostly from United States (southeast) and Brazil.

    1

    1
    1. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the freelancing marketplace, the local US companies from the IT sector would have lost to international competitors long time ago.

      2

      0
  3. Sure that freelancing is a big help for big companies because they are cheaper, reduce cost and increase profits to companies.

    3

    0
  4. I work from Kenya way to go guys we are at number 15. (Serikali Saidia) government should increase ICT infrastructure penetration in Rural Areas the number will sure increase>>>>>>

    0

    0
  5. Outsourcing your software development has emerged as a global trend in today’s digital world … so how can you be sure you’ve found a partner you can trust in?
    Serbia, with its progressive nature and rich talent pool of highly educated individuals; together with a culture embedded in innovation, matched with the desire to deliver excellent service across a wide range of industries is fast flourishing as one of the prime European destinations for outsourcing.
    Visit https://itserbia.info/submit-listing/ and find out more, this is the biggest online listing of Serbian IT companies (almost 500 of them).

    5

    2
  6. It’s good to be a freelancer in Serbia nowadays: High education, super fun and vibrant life, 1.5hr away from any major city in Europe, and easy way to save extra and invest

    0

    0
  7. Hello, your website is very helpful. I saw your full blog and realize that its very essential blog for everyone. Everyone should follow this.

    1

    0
  8. Hi! I am unsure, as I noticed after some research that the number of freelancers in the US is around 55 million in 2018. So is there an error in this data? As it says its 558K, which seems too low of a number.

    0

    0
    1. In this analysis, we included only digital freelancers who work via online marketplaces (there is a note at the beginning of the article). The vast majority of those 55 million which are included in the statistics published by those sources do not work via online marketplaces or work offline jobs which allows them to be labeled as freelancers (pilots, people from creative occupations such as interpreters, writers, various artists, people working in some technical or scientific occupations such as engineers, etc).

      Although I do not know how they reached the 55 million number, I suspect that they included people working in the above professions + all the other people who are hired on a temporary basis eg: a company needs to shoot a video with a drone so they hire a drone pilot on a freelance basis. And most likely they do this not via an online marketplace.

      2

      1

Leave a Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.