By age demographic, the largest single group of 1099 workers is Millennials (ages 21-37) at 38%, but the median age of these workers is 40.7. The average income demonstrated by this segment of the workforce is $65,300 but combining that figure with the median income of $20,000 presents a more accurate understanding of the income of this population. There are approximately 4.3 million married 1099 workers and 1.3 million never married, widowed, and divorced 1099 workers.
Below you will find our complete overview of the demographics of 1099 workers.
Prior to reading our research brief, we feel compelled to explain that most sources for the information you find are not affiliated with the government. As is stated on government websites, agencies have had trouble tabulating the data concerning 1099 workers. We instead utilized other reliable sources. These include a 2017 Independent Workers Industry Report, a 2017 Freelancers Study, an article by Forbes, and another by PBS.
It is worth noting 2 points in regards to the non-governmental sources mentioned aboive. First, the Forbes article was published in 2015, the last year the data within it, the median age of 1099 workers, was published. Second, the sources we found displayed a tendency to view the 1099 workforce interchangeably with freelancers, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.
The breakdown of the age demographics of 1099 workers:
- 38%, or 15.5 million, Millennials (ages 21-37)
- 35%, or 14.3 million, Baby Boomers (ages 53-72) and Matures (ages 72+)
- 27%, or 11 million, Gen Xers (ages 38-52)
The median age of 1099 workers is 40.7.
The average annual income of 1099 workers in 2017 was $65,300, but the median income was just $20,000. Such a disparity indicates the existence of extreme outlying data points.
We were forced to triangulate the marital status of 1099 workers. The Freelancing Study for 2017 conducted by the Freelancers Union and Upwork reports that 1099 workers make up 11% of the total population. The same government agency states there are 38,866,000 employed married individuals within the total population. We calculated 11% of the total to find the number of married 1099 workers (38,866,000 x .11 = 4,275,260). The source also states that the number of employed people who indicate their status as other (never married, divorced, widowed) is 11,374,000, which we then calculated 11% to find the total 1099 workers. (11,374,000 x .11 = 1,251,140). So, the number of married 1099 workers in the United States with the spouse still present in the home is 4,275,260. The number of 1099 workers who indicate other as their marital status, which includes never married, widowed, and divorced, is 1,251,140.
The median age of 1099 workers in 2017 was 40.7, with a population that was 38% Millennials, 35% Baby Boomers and Mature Workers, and 27% Gen Xers. The median income of these workers was $20,000 and nearly 4.3 million were married and approximately 1.3 million were divorced, never married, or widowed.