Technology has made it simpler for people to increase their income with profitable side hustles.
While freelancers of all ages in the United States receive the biggest benefits, young freelancers in Asia are swiftly following suit.
According to the Global Gig-Economy Index issued Tuesday, America’s gig economy grew the most in 2019, with freelancer earnings rising 78 percent yearly.
The report is based on data from Payoneer’s network of over 300,000 freelancers.
The United Kingdom and Brazil, which both experienced a 59 percent and 48 percent increase in gig worker wages over the last year, came in second and third, respectively.
On the other hand, Asia saw the biggest regional gain, with incomes rising by 138 percent across four countries.
In the previous year, Pakistan experienced the highest growth rate of 47% in the revenue earned by freelancers.
The Philippines, India, and Bangladesh reached the top 10.
Based on the year-over-year revenue increase, below is the list of the top ten countries with the highest number of freelancers in 2023.
Countries With Highest Number of Freelancers in 2023
- United States – 78%
- United Kingdom – 59%
- Brazil – 48%
- Pakistan – 47%
- Ukraine – 36%
- Philippines – 35%
- India – 29%
- Bangladesh – 27%
- Russia – 20%
- Serbia – 19%
1. US – United States (78%)
In the last year, freelancers in the US earned a lot more money, going up from 10% in 2018 to a big 78% in 2022. This made the US the best in the world for freelancers.
People of all ages work in the gig economy in the US, but it’s especially good for younger folks who know technology well or have experience with non-traditional jobs.
Even with the COVID-19 problem, freelancers still added $1.2 trillion to the economy every year. This is a big increase of 22% since 2019, based on a study of over 6,000 American workers who are 18 years old or more.
2. UK – United Kingdom (59%)
In 2022, the United Kingdom stood out as the top country for freelancers, making a huge 59% more money compared to the year before.
The number of freelancers in the United Kingdom went up by 31% in the last year.
While jobs like consulting and tech are still getting bigger, lots of new freelancers in the UK are doing things related to lifestyle and creativity. For example, freelance photographers went up by 24%, and freelance beauticians grew a huge 159%.
3. BR – Brazil (48%)
In 2019, Brazil hopped into the top 10 list of freelancing countries because freelancers there earned 48% more money, a big jump.
After the United States and the United Kingdom, Brazil has the world’s third-largest side-gig economy.
Many Brazilian freelancers work for companies based in other countries because local businesses haven’t fully adopted remote work.
Because of their lower costs compared to the US and Europe, Brazilian freelancers are in demand and sought after by other nations.
4. PK – Pakistan (47%)
Asia surprised many with its remarkable growth rate in the freelance sector.
Four countries in Asia saw a massive 138% increase in earnings. Pakistan led the way in Asia with a substantial 47% surge in freelancer earnings from the previous year.
The number of freelancers in Pakistan grew rapidly, from 4% in 2018 to an impressive 42% in 2019, eventually reaching 48% in 2021-2022. This achievement positioned Pakistan as the fourth most popular freelancing country in 2022.
The younger generation in Pakistan is actively seeking new opportunities, contributing to this growth.
A survey found that 12,000 young graduates earned around 14 crores PKR (about $687,324.12) through Pakistan’s e-employment freelancing program. This has helped the economy and lowered unemployment.
5. UA – Ukraine (36%)
In the past year, Ukraine saw a 36% rise in earnings for freelancers, mainly because the country has many graduates from I.T. universities.
Young freelancers in Ukraine are highly skilled in I.T. services, which helps them earn more money.
The government in Ukraine made a special system for taxing I.T. businesses. They don’t have to pay certain taxes, and they can hire freelancers without extra costs. They also benefit from relaxed currency laws.
Ukrainians have good experience with foreign markets, and their time zone aligns with Europe, making it convenient for European companies to work with Ukrainian freelancers.
6. PH – Philippines (35%)
The Philippines has consistently ranked among the top ten freelancing countries for years, mainly because freelance services here are cost-effective.
The Philippine government supports a program called the Rural Impact Sourcing Technical Training Project. It teaches native communities ICT skills so they can succeed as digital workers and entrepreneurs.
7. IN – India (29%)
In the 2019 list of top freelancing countries, India has slipped from its previous position. It was once a leading nation for freelancers, but now stands at seventh place despite a 29% increase in earnings this year.
A significant part of India’s freelance workforce is made up of freelancers under the age of 25, comprising 21% of the total.
The Indian government is providing freelancing opportunities to local talent through initiatives like the Digitize India Platform.
To support and empower young women and marginalized groups, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship offers digital skills training through the India Skills Online project.
8. BD – Bangladesh (27%)
In the 2023 list of top freelancing countries, Bangladesh, which has been a prominent player in the freelance sector for a while, has moved down a few positions.
Freelancing is a valuable option in Bangladesh as it offers financial stability and flexibility to individuals who might not have access to similar earning chances otherwise.
Considering that the usual monthly pay in Bangladesh is approximately $60, freelancing presents the opportunity to earn significantly higher income.
9. RU – Russia (20%)
In Russia, freelancing revenue increased by 20% last year, with freelancers making more money.
In 2020, a considerable 14 million Russians were working as self-employed individuals. The number of freelancers in Russia has nearly tripled over the past three years.
The freelancer industry was valued at $41 billion in 2020 and is expected to see significant growth in the future.
According to a local poll, the average freelance salary is now more than the local average monthly wage of 38,800 rubles ($597).
Most freelancers in Russia work in marketing communications, which makes up 25% of all opportunities, followed by information technology services.
10. SRB – Serbia (19%)
Serbia is a surprising entry to the top ten list of freelancing countries, with freelancer earnings predicted to rise 19% by 2023.
Notably, Serbia, along with Romania, stands out in Europe for having a significant share of its population engaged in the digital workforce compared to overall employment.
In the past, freelance work was often outsourced from countries like the US and the UK.
However, Asia is now among the fastest-growing freelancing markets globally.
As nations worldwide expand their independent workforces, the freelance market will only get more prosperous for domestic freelancers.