Half-Year Freelancer Report – EU Edition

Filed by Shaun on August 10, 2016


Germany has the highest number of freelancers all over Europe

  • German cities scored highest in Europe city ranking
  • Germany, Spain and Italy has the most freelancers
  • Strong increase in London, UK – Leipzig, Milan and Barcelona drop in rankings

Berlin, 10. August 2016 – twago, the leading online marketplace for freelancers in Europe has published a new report about the freelancer market within the European Union. The report relates to figures compiled in the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015. The results show that Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich are ranked in the top 10 of most populated cities in Europe for freelancers. Overall, Germany has the highest number of freelancers, leading Italy, Spain and France respectively.

German cities score highest in EU city rankings

Compared to cities all over Europe, Berlin is ranked at the top of the list, both nationally and internationally. Hamburg ranks 3rd behind runners-up Madrid, Munich is ranked 7th, and Cologne is ranked 9th. That makes four German cities represented overall in the top ten, therefore showing the highest number of freelancers in Europe are living in Germany.

“Freelancers have become an important part in the German economy. It is getting more popular and is welcomed by different industries“, Thomas Jajeh, founder and CEO of twago comments on the study results.

Top 20 of EU freelancer cities

1. Berlin, Germany (–)
2. Madrid, Spain (–)
3. Hamburg, Germany (+4)
4. Rome, Italy (–)
5. Barcelona, Spain (-2)
6. Paris, France (+1)
7. Munich, Germany (+1)
8. Milan, Italy (-3)
9. Cologne, Germany (–)
10. Valencia, Spain (–)
11. Turin, Italy (–)
12. Dusseldorf, Germany (–)
13. Sevilla, Spain (+1)
14. Vienna, Austria (+5)
15. Nuremberg, Germany (+8)
16. Malaga, Spain (+2)
17. Stuttgart, Germany (–)
18. London, United Kingdom (+11)
19. Naples, Italy (-3)
20. Leipzig, Germany (-5)

London shows an increase in the number of freelancers – a great forecast despite the recent Brexit. Right behind Germany, Italy, Spain and France also rank prominently in the standings. The study matches the numbers of last year for the most part; only the increase of freelancers in London is something new. It will be quite interesting to see if this result will be constant over the next few years, after the UK has fully exited the European Union.

Thomas Jajeh does not think Brexit will stop the increase of freelancer numbers in the UK.
“We are expecting the UK numbers to increase. We live in a world of constant change and companies appreciate the advantages freelancers are offering – flexibility for example“

Shaun Kemp, Head of Communications at twago, is a Brit and had this to say about Brexit. “I would encourage more people in the UK to become freelancers going forward. When one door closes, another one opens, and it’s a great way for Brits to work for international clients, gain international experience and expand their clientele. I don’t see Brexit bring a negative for freelancers at all”

Nuremberg also shows an immense increase (ranked 15) and also Vienna (ranked 14), compared to last year. Hamburg (ranked 3rd) has improved as well.


Germany ranks ahead of Spain and Italy

Most of the freelancers in this study are working and living in Germany. For this reason, it is no surprise that the country with the largest population is ranked number one in the study. France, the country with the second highest population is ranked in 4th place. Besides Germany, Italy and Spain are also represented on the podium.

Surprisingly, Austria and the Netherlands are ranked 5th and 6th although they are smaller countries compared to the others. twago expects the Netherlands to become a big player in 2017. Poland also shows a remarkable increase in the number of freelancers.

The following chart shows the top twenty…

Top 20 of European freelancer countries

  1. Germany (–)
  2. Italy (–)
  3. Spain (–)
  4. France (–)
  5. Austria (–)
  6. Netherlands (+1)
  7. United Kingdom (-1)
  8. Poland (+2)
  9. Belgium (–)
  10. Portugal (+1)
  11. Romania (–3)
  12. Bulgaria (+2)
  13. Czech Republic (-1)
  14. Slovenia (-1)
  15. Hungary (-)
  16. Sweden (+1)
  17.  Ireland (-1)
  18. Denmark (+5)
  19. Slovakia (+1)
  20. Greece (-2)

Web design – Top expertise for freelancers

Web and graphic design is dominating the expertise rankings in most of the countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Sweden and three other countries ranked highest with freelancers working in the field of web and graphic design.

Belgium, Bulgaria and Poland are more dominated by the expertise of translations. In the Czech Republic skills in SQL are in demand, in Ireland it is PHP, and in Spain logo design.

About the twago freelancer report
twago evaluates the projects on its marketplace and publishes the results on the following website www.twago.com/blog (since 2009). The study evaluates the IT and web skills, which are demanded in the bidding, but also skills on working with content management systems and developer skills.

Another focus is set on the evaluation of German and European cities, in which freelancers are living.

About twago

twago is the largest European freelance marketplace and provides online work to freelancers and agencies in the areas of programming, (web) design and business services – plus any services that can be performed remotely from anywhere in the world online. twago customers have access to nearly 500,000 experts from more than 200 countries. twago was founded in 2009 and aims with its multilingual approach (English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Flemish) primarily to European customers. For more information, visit twago.com.

Press contact

Andreas Krönke
Tel.: +49 30 25 76 205-21
E-Mail: twago@piabo.net

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