What's a freelancer?
Freelancers are all independent workers, excluding manual workers (artisans, farmers,...) and regulated workers (doctors, lawyers...). A few examples of freelancer profiles: graphic designer, copywriter, consultant, coach, photographer, programmer, etc.
"Freelancer" is thus a definition, and not a legal status in itself.
Overall, there are 9 million + freelancers in all of Europe, of which 700 000 are in France. Over slightly more than 10 years (2000-2013), this number has gone up by 85% just in France, pushed by generation Y's need for independence and by companies' want for flexibility as well as expertise.