The 10 Best Cities for Freelance Work

2 min read
WorkMarket Editorial Team
WorkMarket Editorial Team
March 06, 2015
The 10 Best Cities for Freelance Work

Once upon a time, what you did for a living was likely to dictate where you lived, at least to a degree. But now, more people than ever make a living solely by doing freelance work. In America alone, it’s estimated that half of the workforce will perform some type of independent work by 2020.

One of the most attractive benefits of doing freelance work? The freedom to live where you choose. For most freelancing professions, modern technology enables you to serve clients around the globe from a location of your choosing.

Maybe your dream location is a comfy cabin nestled amongst the mighty Colorado Rockies. Maybe it’s a sun-drenched cottage on the breezy, balmy Gulf coast. Perhaps it’s a tropical hovel in Ecuador. Maybe it’s precisely where you are right now.

Wherever your dream location, odds are good that it will work just fine for freelance work. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best place to pursue your independent lifestyle.

Good News for Flyover Folks

Zen99, a provider of resources for independent workers, recently took a hard look at the cities that make the best home bases for independent workers. They weighed factors such as housing costs, tax rates, employment rates, health care costs, etc.

Based upon their exhaustive analysis, here are the 10 best cities for freelance work:


  1. Los Angeles
  2. Miami
  3. Houston
  4. Oklahoma City
  5. Dallas
  6. Nashville
  7. Portland
  8. Austin
  9. Oakland
  10. Tucson

Notice a pattern? Freelancers in the oft-dismissed flyover states are leading the charge, with most of the top 10 located in the Midwest region.

And while Los Angeles is ranked number 1, don’t pack your bags for the City of Angels without giving it considerable thought. Unless your work niche is tied to the film and entertainment industry, you might find the going tough and the living expensive.

You Really Can Live Where You Want…

As an independent worker, you really are gifted with an incredible freedom. You, not your occupation, drive the choice of where you will live your life. And you have the liberty to change that choice on a whim, with nary a disruption to your professional life. But that doesn’t mean that some locations aren’t better than others, even for freelancers.

So if your dream location happens to coincide with one of the top 10 cities, more power to you. And if not? No worries; you’re where you want to be. That’s what’s important.