The Rise of Side Hustles: Exploring Key Statistics and Trends

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Are you thinking about starting a side hustle? We’ve created a list of 25 side hustle statistics to prepare you for this journey, including why building a website can help you market your side hustle, how much you can earn from a side hustle, and why people start side hustles in the first place.

Whether you’re excited to turn your passion into a business, or simply want to earn a little extra on the side to help manage the rising living costs, there are plenty of opportunities to be found with side hustles.

Before we start exploring the key statistics and trends, let’s take a look at a few side hustle facts:

Key Side Hustle Statistics

  • 39% of Americans have a side hustle
  • 50% of millennials in the US have a side hustle
  • 70% of Gen Zs are looking to start a side hustle
  • The average side hustle brings in $1,122 per month if 12 hours are dedicated each week
  • 33% of Americans start a side hustle to diversify their income
  • The average side hustle will bring in around $473 per month or $5,700 per year

Infographic showing six key side hustle statistics
A handful of important side hustle statistics.
Like the look of the graphics in this article? Feel free to use them! We’ve put them all in a Google Drive folder, accessible to everyone. All we ask is you credit us with a link back to this page if you do use them.

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle encompasses any extra work you do to earn money outside of your primary job and it complements your main source of income. For some, it’ll remain on the side forever, while others will grow their side hustle into a full-time career – at which point it will cease to be a side hustle.

There’s a lot to consider when starting a side hustle. What are you passionate about? Can you monetize your skills or hobbies? Of course, you’ll also need to think practically about costs, time, and what you can take on in addition to your day-to-day schedule. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin and burn out since this could impact your 9-5 job.

The scale and quality of a side hustle will depend on the individual – you could be writing blog posts, providing lifts with a car service, investing in properties, or creating videos for YouTube.

Many use side hustles to pay the bills, but plenty of people use the extra income for fun as well! If you’re thinking about starting your own business, a side hustle is a smart way to test the waters before committing to the job full-time.

General Side Hustle Statistics

Before we dive into the most popular side hustles and how much money you can make, let’s take a broader look at the market:

39% of Americans have a side hustle

Almost two out of every five US adults are creating side hustles to complement their primary income. This equates to roughly 80 million people bringing home extra money! Following the pandemic and the rise in living costs, it’s understandable that people are looking to generate more cash flow and increase the flexibility of their jobs.

The US side hustle market value is over $2 trillion

The US side hustle market value is huge, pushing over $2 trillion in 2018. It’s not too surprising if you consider that plenty of people manage multiple side hustles at once, but we’ll get into how much the average side hustle makes shortly.

Side hustles with a website outperform those without a website

Among side hustlers who earned over $1500 per month, 79% of them had a website. Here at Website Builder Expert, we recognize the value and importance of building a website to grow online. Side hustles can use a website to promote and market their products and services to potential customers – it’s a great tool to build brand awareness and recognition, too.

55% of people would like to transform their hobby into a side hustle

Thinking of earning money from your hobby? You’re not alone! It can be hard to take the leap, but we’re sharing these side hustle statistics to prove that success isn’t impossible. Whether you love knitting, baking, or puzzle-making, you can easily join the millions of other like-minded entrepreneurs who turned their hobby into a business.

Around 60% of people devote between five and 20 hours per week to their side hustle

Your side hustle shouldn’t take up all of your time – that would make it a full-time job! However, we know it can be difficult to dedicate time to your side hustle, especially on top of work, family responsibilities, and socializing. Still, you need to put in some time to ensure you see results. That being said, if you can find a side hustle that generates passive income, even better! You won’t need to monitor it 24/7, and your earnings won’t be limited to the hours you can spend on your side hustle.

The most popular US cities for side hustles are Atlanta, GA, Washington, DC, and Salt Lake City, UT

We’ve already mentioned that almost 40% of US adults have a side hustle on the go, but where are they all based? While you can set up a side hustle from any location, some cities have shown themselves to be more popular than others! Geographical knowledge like this can be particularly useful if your side hustle is service-based.

Side Hustle Statistics: Success and Impact

The costs involved with starting a side hustle and how much you earn can vary depending on what you’re selling and the amount of time you dedicate to the gig. Unlocking these additional streams of income is a way for many to pay bills and debts, add to their savings, or splurge on something they’ve had their eye on.

Let’s take a closer look at the financial impact of launching a side hustle:

Dedicating 12 hours to your side hustle each week can result in an average of $1,122 per month

Not every side hustle will achieve a monthly income of over $1,000, especially during the early stages of setting up this additional revenue stream. In fact, most side hustles will only make a couple of hundred dollars per month. Still, any business needs time to settle and develop, and we recommend you dedicate time each week to market your side hustle online and locally.

The average side hustle brings in $473 per month or $5,700 per year

Day-to-day living costs continue to increase, so it’s understandable that many use side hustles as a way to support themselves. While the average side hustle brings in less than $500 per month, that’s not to say your side hustle can’t make more! There have been plenty of successful side hustles – think of people’s properties listed on Airbnb or freelancers promoting themselves on platforms like Fiverr.

33% of Americans start a side hustle to diversify their income

Having a side hustle is a great way to provide security and stability when it comes to your money. To put it simply, you’re not relying on one income stream – this helps minimize risk.   Diversifying your income with side hustles is a smart move, especially given the ongoing economic crisis.

41% of side hustlers use the extra money for living expenses

While some people with side hustles focus on diversifying their income, nearly half of all side hustlers use the extra money to support their living expenses. From paying bills and clearing debt to supporting family members, side hustles are a useful way to boost your base income.

81% of six-figure businesses started as a side hustle

Plenty of large-scale businesses found their start as a side hustle. While this won’t be the outcome for every side hustle, it’s reassuring to know it’s possible! For example, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter all started as projects on the side. And Steve Jobs worked on his vision for Apple while working at Atari.

On average, it costs $16,000 in the first year to launch a side hustle

We already flagged the importance of considering costs when starting a side hustle. For many, a side hustle is a means to gain additional money for bills and expenses, so the average cost of launching a side hustle can appear daunting. Your side hustle budget is entirely up to you, but it should be a main factor of consideration when setting things up.

The Popularity of Side Hustles

Who’s starting a side hustle? Well, anyone can take the plunge. Running a side hustle is a particularly popular choice with younger demographics, especially Gen Zs and millennials. In this section, we’ll examine the side hustlers themselves – who are they?

50% of millennials in the US have a side hustle

That’s right – half of all millennials, which includes adults between the ages of 27 and 42, have a side hustle. Out of every generation, millennials are the biggest fans of side hustles. This demographic typically has a full-time job and is looking to support their main income with extra cash on the side.

70% of Gen Zs in the US are looking to start a side hustle

Gen Z – adults between the ages of 18 and 26 – is a generation increasingly interested in starting a side hustle. They’re usually looking for a way to earn money alongside their studies or low-paying job, and almost half of all Gen Zers (46%) already earn extra income through a side hustle.

40% of Gen X in the US have a side hustle

Following the younger demographics, a good proportion of Gen X – adults between the ages of 43 and 58 – have a side hustle to complement their full-time job. While it’s not as significant a figure as millennials, it’s only just behind Gen Z.

24% of baby boomers in the US have a side hustle

This generation, which is made up of adults between the ages of 59 and 77, has the smallest percentage of any age group. Baby boomers are the least likely to set up a side hustle – it’s likely that the large majority of the demographic already has money saved from years of work and has little need to set up additional streams of income.

Millennials make more with side hustles than other generations

Millennials earn an average of $1,022 per month through side hustles. Not only do millennials make up the largest percentage of side hustlers, but roughly 40% use their side hustle to make up at least half of their monthly income.

Men are 19% more likely to have a side hustle

Side hustles are more popular with men – but not by a huge percentage. Though they’re 20% more likely to be started by men, the difference between existing side hustles isn’t staggering. Around 44% of men in the US have a side hustle on the go, while 37% of women run side hustles.

Men with side hustles earn three times as much as women

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap extends into the world of side hustles. Men earn almost $1,000 per month ($989, to be exact), while women earn an average of $361 per month.

Infographic showing four columns to represent different generations and how likely they are to create side hustles, from Gen Z to baby boomers
Younger generations are more likely to start a side hustle.

Types of Side Hustles and Trends

Now, there’s no way to guarantee the success of your side hustle – but some industries are more popular than others. Whether you’re turning your hobby into a business, or serving your community in some shape or form, there are plenty of ways to build a side hustle from scratch.

Here are just a few side hustle statistics to show what’s popular:

32% of side hustles involve selling a service

A side hustle doesn’t have to be about selling products or monetizing your favorite pastime. Almost a third of all side hustles revolve around providing a service to others. This could include photography sessions, cleaning a house, fitness classes, or providing lifts to destinations.

Real estate is one of the most popular and lucrative side hustles

If you’re looking for a profitable side hustle, consider real estate! While this will be more time-consuming than others, real estate side hustles earn approximately $90 per hour, so it’s a great industry to earn money with. If money is your primary aim, real estate is a good alternative to becoming an influencer or creating content, for example.

Other high-paying side hustles include online business, freelancing/consulting, and investing

Side Hustle Nation surveyed side hustle owners to analyze the types of businesses being built. The most popular include online business (such as blogging and online courses), freelancing/consulting, ecommerce (selling products via online stores or marketplaces), and investing (such as real estate, crypto, and stocks). These are some of the highest-paying side hustles, earning people over $1,000 per month on average.

Finding success as a YouTuber or influencer can result in earnings of over $10,000 per month

Making it big as a YouTuber or influencer is incredibly difficult, and there’s no way to predict success. If you’re one of the lucky ones, this side hustle can be incredibly rewarding – when it comes to both money and building a business. If you build a large and loyal following, it’s likely your YouTube career won’t be a side hustle for long.

Instagram is the most popular social media platform to promote side hustles

Marketing is an important part of any business, but this is especially true with side hustles. If you want to make money by selling products or services, people will need to find you first. Instagram is the most popular online marketing tool that side hustlers can use for free – it’s a great way for you to communicate with existing and potential customers.

The most popular freelancing jobs on Upwork include writer, web developer, data analyst, graphic designer, and programmer

If you already possess certain skills, such as graphic design or coding, why not channel that energy into a side hustle and get paid for your work? Freelancing platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, list jobs that you can apply for in your free time. Tapping into the job roles above could earn you around $20,000 per year if you dedicate roughly 15 hours to the work each week.

Find Out More

Side Hustle Survey: Popular Types and Motivations

Website Builder Expert conducted a survey of 120 individuals with side hustles to identify the most popular type, and here are the results:

  • The most popular type of side hustle among the respondents was E-commerce, with 46% indicating they were involved in this type of venture.
  • Freelancing was the second most popular choice, with 35% pursuing freelance work as their side hustle.
  • Social media-related side hustles ranked third in popularity, with 14% engaging in such activities.
  • Investing was chosen as a side hustle by 13% of respondents.
  • Marketing activities were adopted as side hustles by 10% of individuals.
  • 14% of respondents reported having multiple side hustles, indicating that some individuals engage in more than one type of side hustle simultaneously.

The survey also investigated the motivations behind starting a side hustle. The results showed that:

  • 68% of individuals started a side hustle with the primary goal of generating extra income.
  • 42% pursued a side hustle to follow their passion or interests.
  • 7% engaged in a side hustle with the intention of making a career change.

Side Hustle Statistics: Summary

Side hustles help you make money in addition to your primary income, and they’re a great way to improve your skills, find time for a hobby you’re passionate about, and build your portfolio and work experience. Now that we’ve highlighted these 25 side hustle statistics to you, we hope you feel more prepared to start your own side hustle.

If you’ve already managed to strike a balance between your day-to-day work and a side hustle, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Written by:
emma ryan author bio
Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.

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