5 surprising numbers from Uber’s driver data report

January 22, 2015, 8:15 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

Uber released its first-ever “partner experience” survey Thursday. It looks at the diversity and earnings of its drivers across the U.S.

The report, which collated feedback from 601 drivers, was commissioned by the ride-share company and was overseen by Uber’s head of policy research Jonathan Hall, and by Alan Krueger, a current member of President Obama’s cabinet and former chair his Council of Economic Advisors.

There are some interesting data highlighted in the paper, from the age distribution of Uber’s partners to the reasons why people sign on to work for the ride-sharing app (flexibility is a big draw.) The data are not comprehensive — the response rate was only 11% — but Uber’s findings provide a fascinating glimpse into how the sharing economy is working for workers.

Here are five standout numbers from the report.


That’s the total number of Uber drivers that completed four or more trips in December.

The number of active drivers has grown exponentially since 2012 when the ride-sharing service launched. The greatest growth in the number of active drivers was in Miami, Austin and Houston, all of which saw Uber launch locally within the past 12 months.


That’s the percentage of female drivers working for Uber.

That share of women drivers exceeds the 8% number seen across the taxi industry in the U.S. About 42% of female Uber drivers say a primary reason for signing up for the gig is the flexibility the job provides, which lets them plan around family, health or educational commitments.


That’s the average hourly wage for Uber drivers across the U.S.

That number can go even higher depending on the city. New York has the highest average hourly rate of $30.35, and San Francisco drivers rake in an average of $23.52. Nationwide, Uber drivers are faring better than their cab-driving counterparts, who are making $12.90 an hour, on average. Over the last three months alone, Uber has doled out over $650 million to its drivers.


That’s the share of Uber drivers who have at least a college degree.

That’s considerably higher than the corresponding percentage for taxi drivers and chauffeurs nationwide, which stands at about 18%. In addition to drivers with degrees, students are also using Uber as a way to earn extra income while they’re in school. About 7% of drivers are current students.


That’s the percentage of Uber operators that have never previously worked as a driver.

That may raise some concerns, which is why certain cities or states have made a concerted effort to better control ride-sharing services. To date, 22 jurisdictions, including cities and states, have implemented pro-ride sharing regulations.

Meanwhile, other areas are still trying to figure out the best way to make sure operations such as Uber are safe and well regulated. Portland, Ore., for example, recently struck a deal with the company to suspend the service while the municipality sorts out legislation for oversight of ride-sharing companies.