Some optimistic news from Ed “The Wealthy Freelancer” Gandia’s 2012 Freelance Industry Report. Freelancers say they’re happier than they were before going independent; they say they’re making decent money, and they were relatively unscathed from the recession.

Here’s a great infographic that sums up some of the key findings:

One interesting caveat: The freelancers who set out to be freelancers made more money and reported being happier than those forced into freelancing by layoffs. This makes sense, as it takes a certain type of personality to thrive as an indie.

Overall, women freelancers outnumbered men nearly 3 to 1. Respondents came in all age groups, and most respondents had been doing this for over a decade. Nearly half are the primary income earner in their households.

For more fascinating stats, download the full report.