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The number of self-employed people over 50 has increased by an incredible 58.5% over the last 10 years, bringing the figure to 1,907,000.

The findings from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) also revealed the motivations and challenges of those working in the sector, showing why so many older people are choosing this route.

The key factors included:

  • Being able to work more flexibly (89% agreed this was a factor)
  • Having more control over work (89%)
  • Having more control over hours (84%)
  • The freedom to choose where to work (83%).

Of those surveyed, 81% of older freelancers said they were happy with freelancing – compared with three out of five 16-29-year-olds.

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IPSE’s Head of Research, Chloé Jepps, commented on the latest findings, “This research clearly shows that over-fifties have played a crucial part in the growth of self-employment in the last ten years. And what’s remarkable – aside from the sheer number of older people turning to freelancing – is how happy they seem to be with it.

“Over-fifties are looking to freelancing for greater flexibility and control over how and when they work. For some, it is a way to move away from the confines of the 9-5; for others, it’s a way to launch or develop a passion project.

“It is clear that freelancing is not just an economic good for this country: it is also a great social good and a liberating force for millions of older workers. It is vital the government gets behind this remarkable shift in our workforce.”

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