Over 55% of the 1.5 million people in the Netherlands officially classed as self-employed have another source of income, such as a job, social security benefits or a pension, according to research by national statistics office CBS.
At the same time, 60% of the self-employed earn most of their income from their freelance work, the CBS said.
Some 650,000 people only have income from their freelance jobs, earning an average €28,000 a year. The average freelance income of people who also have a regular job or other source of income is €20,000. Their jobs, pensions or benefits add a further €6,700 to their income.
There is a wide difference in how reliant the self-employed are on their freelance income, depending on their area of work. In the construction industry, nine in 10 people earn most of their income from freelancing.
However, 50% of people who work as one-man companies in the education, healthcare and government sectors see their freelance earnings as an extra on top of their regular job.