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How Many Uber Drivers Are There in 2024? In The World? In The United States?

How many Uber drivers are there? Read more here about Uber statistics and driver churn in the gig economy.

Key Takeaways

  • Global Count of Uber Drivers: There are approximately 3.9 million Uber drivers globally, including around one million in the United States.
  • High Driver Turnover: Uber experiences a high turnover rate, with only 3% of drivers remaining active after a year of signing up.
  • Driver Numbers in Key Markets: California has the highest number of Uber drivers in the US, with about 209,000 drivers. In cities like New York, the count reaches around 80,000 drivers.
  • State with Most Uber Drivers: California, with around 209,000 drivers per quarter, leads in the number of Uber drivers, followed by other major cities like New York City with 80,000 drivers.
  • Impact of COVID-19: The pandemic significantly reduced the number of active Uber drivers, with a 60% drop in April 2020 compared to January 2020.

How Many Uber Drivers Are There in the World?

While Uber is most commonly available in the United States, this platform is used all around the world and can be found in over 10,000 cities.

The number of Uber drivers surged as the company became more and more well-known on a global scale. Today, there are around 3.9 million total Uber drivers around the world.

How Many Uber Drivers Are There in the United States?

Today, there are approximately one million Uber drivers in the US providing rides and mobility to customers.

The number of Americans who use ridesharing apps has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. As of 2019, 36% of US adults stated that they’d used a ride-hailing app like Uber or Lyft.

While Uber has an extensive global presence, its services are most popular and widely available in the US. This prevalence creates a vast market for gig workers looking for supplemental income.

Which State Has the Most Uber Drivers?

California has the most Uber drivers among U.S. states, with a reported 209,000 drivers per quarter.

This high number is influenced by the state’s large population and several major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which have a significant reliance on public transportation and ride-sharing services.

In contrast, New York, another state with a high concentration of Uber drivers, has around 80,000 drivers in New York City alone, illustrating the importance of urban centers in the distribution of Uber drivers.

How Many Female Uber Drivers are There?

There are approximately 14% female Uber drivers. The growth of the gig economy has seen a significant contribution from women, who now constitute 46% of the independent contracting workforce.

However, in the context of Uber, the gender ratio is more skewed towards male drivers. Female drivers are being recruited at a slower rate compared to their male counterparts.

Comparing the Driver Count Between Uber and Lyft

Lyft currently has more than 1.4 million drivers in the United States and Toronto. Based on this count, Lyft likely has more drivers in the United States than Uber — which, again, has 750,000 U.S. drivers.

This is because it’s unlikely that Lyft has 650,000 drivers in one city (Toronto) alone. That said, Uber actually might be a better opportunity for you in most shared U.S. markets.

Combined with its significantly higher market share, Uber’s smaller driver base means more opportunities to get back-to-back requests and earn with surge, since demand is more likely to exceed supply by a greater amount.

Of course, the total amount of Lyft and Uber drivers, when combined, is likely much lower in the markets the rideshare companies share.

Many drivers drive for both Uber and Lyft to maximize their earnings, so there may not actually be more than 2 million rideshare drivers to compete with in the U.S. and Toronto.

Uber’s Problem with Driver Churn

The gig economy and rideshare services, including Uber, have consistently faced significant issues with driver turnover, a trend that predates the pandemic.

Every year, approximately 97% of new Uber drivers quit and move on to other jobs. Only 3% of drivers who start driving for Uber continue with the company after one year.

Dissatisfaction factors contributing to this turnover include limited pay and rewards, negative experiences with riders, high out-of-pocket expenses, and burnout.

This high turnover rate, a longstanding issue for Uber, has been exacerbated by the nature of gig work, where drivers are independent contractors. Many drivers switch to other side gigs or leave for more stable employment.

The turnover rate reached particularly high levels in 2019, just before the pandemic added further challenges.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Uber experienced a sharp decline in users as people reduced travel and social activities, leading to a 60% drop in drivers by April 2020 compared to January 2020.

Drivers’ concerns about virus transmission and fewer trip opportunities led many to stop driving.

The situation worsened after California’s Proposition 22 in November 2020, which confirmed drivers as independent contractors. Despite increased vaccinations and a return to normalcy, many drivers are reluctant to return, resulting in a driver shortage.

To address this, Uber launched a $250 million driver stimulus to encourage more drivers to return and offset the high turnover during the pandemic.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Dara Khosrowshahi, once in a live stream presentation, let a figure slip out that is significant because of who it came from. But insignificant because it didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know!

Khosrowshahi told drivers in the audience and online that Uber has “millions of people” driving every single week around the world!

Click this image to be taken to the livestream on YouTube.

At the 12:30 mark he said that Uber has, “Millions of people around the world drive with Uber every single week.”

Okay, so that doesn’t really tell us much!

We all assumed it was a few million. In fact, most of the guestimates you’ll find online estimate that there are 1-1.5 million drivers in the U.S. alone.

Many of these only apply to drive to unlock a sign up bonus, meet the requirements to get paid out, then stop driving. But that wasn’t the last word during the drivers’ live stream presentation!

There was another speaker, who got a little more specific. His name is Yuhki Yamashita and he’s the Group Product Manager at Uber.

Yamashita started his presentation with a look at the future of the driver experience. And to kick things off, he began with a number.  A very big number – 8.5 million.

This is, as he said, about the same number of hours that you have in a thousand years. And that’s true – although it’s actually 970 years.  But close enough for our purposes!

8.5 million is the total number of hours Uber drivers around the world spend on the road – each day!

Yamashita’s point was that it’s amazing to think that every single day, the equivalent of 1,000 years of time is spent by Uber drivers driving.

And that is amazing. But, it also gives us a clue as to how many Uber drivers there might be.

Academic studies, private surveys and other methods of extracting this information, have shown that Uber drivers average about 4 hours of driving a day on the days they drive.

So, if we have 8.5 million driving hours on the road each day, and drivers average around 4 hours a day, that would put us at a little over 2 million drivers.

In fact, Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, put the figure at exactly 2 million in the middle of 2017.  In a blog post, he said:

In a highly competitive market it is easy to become obsessed with growth, instead of taking the time to ensure you’re on the right path. Now is that time… to pause for a moment and think about what really matters here: providing 65 million riders transportation when they need it, giving 2 million drivers flexible work options, and creating a company culture we are proud of.

So, that looks like a pretty solid answer to how many drivers Uber has – at least at the halfway point of 2017.

Does Uber Have Too Many Drivers?

It would appear so. If you take Yamashita’s 8.5 million hours of driving a day and combine it with Camp’s statement that there are 2 million drivers, it would seem, based on known averages, that what Camp meant is that there are 2 million drivers on the road each day.

Camp also said this in that same blog post:

Uber has become a global service providing roughly 15 million rides per day across 500 cities, and international markets are growing as fast as ever.

So, if Uber is completing 15 million rides per day (worldwide) with 2 million drivers, that means there are 7.5 passengers per driver – on average. And that would explain why so many drivers sit idle for so many minutes in between trips.

Obviously, a lot of drivers, especially in large cities, know the times and places to be where they can stay busier than that. But on average, there is a lot more wait time for next trips than there should be.

The numbers Uber has given us, combined with known averages work out really well:

2 million drivers per day – who drive on average for 4 hours; there are 15 million rides each day; the average driver can do about 2 trips per hour.

It works out just about right. If the average driver works 4 hours per day and does about 2 trips per hour – that works out to about 7.5 trips per driver per day.

Based on the fact that these numbers work out with known averages, we believe there are about 2 million drivers worldwide and probably about half of those are in the U.S.

Some have estimated it’s closer to 3 million drivers. However, they base that estimate on the growth in the number of drivers that they assume has occurred since June 2017 when Camp let it be known that there are 2 million drivers.

But we don’t believe the growth rate in the number of drivers in the last 9-10 months has been as high as it was in the past. We believe the growth rate has slowed considerably.

And with Uber continuing to lose about half its drivers every year, we think that means there has probably been little net increase in the number of drivers since last June.

Frequently Asked Questions

vector image of a car driving and money coming out the back to demonstrate how much do uber drivers make

Is Uber Losing Money?

Yes, Uber is losing money. Its second-quarter reports indicate a $509 million earnings loss and a $1.28 billion cash burn. Although losses are expected to continue into the next quarter, increased demand for rideshare apps and ongoing pandemic recovery may lead to improved financial performance.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make Now?

Based on our survey of over 2,500 drivers, we found that Uber drivers currently earn between $8.55 and $11.77 per hour on average, but this varies significantly based on location and demand.

In major cities like Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, and particularly New York City, where drivers can earn an average of $26.24 per hour, earnings are generally higher.

Will the number of drivers on the road always affect my earnings?

Yes, the number of Uber drivers on the road will always impact your earnings.

When many drivers are in the same area, it may take longer to receive trip requests. Conversely, during high demand times like rush hour, events, or holidays, earnings increase due to surge pricing.

Monitoring the heat map in the Uber app can help you identify areas with higher surge pricing, potentially boosting your earnings above minimum wage.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted the number of drivers on the road?

While ridesharing has clearly taken a hit due to COVID-19, many Uber drivers are still active on the Uber Driver app.

This is thanks to the fact that Uber launched new delivery services like Uber Connect and Uber Direct to help its drivers continue to make an income by catering to consumer needs.

Plus, Uber Eats is still faring well, like many food and grocery delivery apps, thanks to the rise in people staying at home.

Uber Driver Numbers Today

While Uber continues to face a driver shortage, the number of Uber drivers throughout the United States has shown significant growth since 2009.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is determined to get drivers back on the road and meet passenger’s demand for ridesharing services.

Through economic incentives and stimulus boosts for drivers, Uber is looking to increase their reach and get their bookings back to pre-pandemic numbers.

As rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft recover from COVID-19, there will be new challenges in building retention and preventing driver churn.

Uber, its drivers, and passengers will have to navigate these changes to avoid high turnover and increase the number of drivers.

With one million US drivers and an increasing need for mobility, Uber is likely to continue to grow and provide trusted rideshare services to passengers around the globe.

2 thoughts on “How Many Uber Drivers Are There in 2024? In The World? In The United States?”

  1. And there’s actually to many drivers in certain cities it’s not all about a driver shortage, the bait and switch bonuses are causing drivers to join that are bran new and only out for the bonus which makes it harder and not worth while for the seasoned drivers, if you started during or covid or after covid started getting better when the bonuses came out you don’t deserve to drive, we can’t keep having newbies starting up oversaturating the market, I have a special vehicle I’m not a regular Uber Lyft driver I have a themed vehicle party ride, and it’s been way more of a hustle after uber started the bonus crap, all these idiots out here chasing a bonus and it’s hard for me to make regular income, it’s ridiculous that there’s no training and no tenior in uber, and some random person can join and slow my business down and not have the knowledge I have over the years and haven’t been through the same things I have with crazy riders, I mean I’ve been anywhere from making hundreds of dollars a night on rides and tips etc…. having the time of my life and making friends all the way to taking people to court for attacking me, it’s not fair for all these newbies coming out slowing things down for the drivers who have made a career out of this and come up with they’re own theme… they haven’t been through what I have…..during covid I made alot more money when there wasn’t any drivers now there’s more drivers in my town than before covid, tulsa ok

  2. Thanks for the update! Personally I think Uber will plateau as far as drivers are concerned or maybe even get lower, especially with many drivers jumping on the Lyft platform, or driving more for them.


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