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2022 best cities for freelancers Lifestyle


The pandemic has created more opportunities for remote, independent and freelance work than ever before. Today, about 10 million Americans say they work for themselves in one way or another.

Being able to work from anywhere really appeals to many, and an interesting question arises: if you could work from anywhere, where would it be?

To help you answer that question, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 cities for freelancers in 2022. Our core analysis, which used the latest metro data from the U.S. Census Bureau and state-level data from the Federation of State Tax Administrators, finds evidence of relatively affordable rents; These metro areas also seem to have a vibrant and growing culture of freelancers, as well as a growing demand for goods and services. Here is the list.


1. Greenville-Anderson, SC

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4. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

5. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah

7. Worcester, Massachusetts-Caen.

8. Chattanooga, Tenn-Ha.

– Many of the top 10 cities for freelancers had relatively low housing costs. According to the Census Bureau, 51.6% of U.S. tenants paid less than the recommended threshold of 30% of gross monthly income. And some subway areas were well above this average, which means they had a higher proportion of people with relatively possible rental costs. Rental can be done or broken by some freelancers. “Your number one strategy should be to keep costs as low as possible when you start“,” Says Lori Martinek, a certified SCORE teacher from Los Angeles, a national nonprofit that offers free resources to business owners.

– In the best cities for freelancers, unemployment was often relatively low and jobs increased. A good labor market and an influx of workers may indicate an increase in demand for goods and services from freelancers. The top 10 metro areas have tended to be highly efficient in these areas, and all have seen a net increase in the number of people hired there in 2020.

– The number of self-employed communities is noticeable in many of the main metro areas. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau, nationwide 5.8% of workers were self-employed in unincorporated enterprises. Several metro areas on our list have exceeded this percentage, indicating a rich active environment for concerns, independent contractors and freelancers.

– Minimum state duty rates are relatively low in many large cities. Although deductions, loans, filing options and tax rules are hard to predict exactly what freelance tax burden will, state minimum income tax rates may hint at whether freelancers ’tax accounts may be higher or lower in certain locations.


Moving is not easy and not cheap, so it can be difficult to decide when to move your freelance life to another city. Business experts say there are three things to keep in mind when switching.


The bigger the city, the more expensive it is to live, says Jonathan Meadows, a certified Medows CPA accountant in New York City. State income tax categories and rates vary, and in some places there are even new or additional taxes to consider. For example, Meadows ’hometown in New York City has an income tax at the city level, in addition to state and federal taxes; Freelancers moving there may need to consider raising their rates to offset additional tax costs.


Medows recommends the trip for a preview. “Lower your toes. Go for a couple of weeks. Work there. See if it is viable. Moving is expensive, and I would like a pilot trip, ”he says. It will also give you the opportunity to gather the necessary information about taxes and licensing.

“So number one, get put to the ground; understand county, state, and local taxes. Second, understand whether you need a business license, ”he says. “Third, see if your product or service you offer is taxed and sign up for sales tax.” Zoning laws should be another consideration, Meadows adds.

Once you’ve moved, go to your local bank and set up your account in person, Martinek says. “Go meet people at the bank, tell them what you’re trying to do. And they connect you with other organizations and other small businesses. It happens again and again, ”she said. “They want to help you because they want to see your business grow.”


“One of the best things about being a freelancer or independent contractor is that you can literally live and work anywhere you have a high-speed Internet connection, domestically or abroad,” says Martinek.

Accommodation can’t solve everything. “Things that a location can’t fix include, for example, a lack of a business plan or have valuable skills or services that can be offered“- says Martinek. In addition, some jobs may only be available in certain areas, such as freelance camera work in areas with a large number of TVs and receivers. “You may be in the busiest city in the world, but if you can’t get any business for what you do, then you’re in the wrong place,” Meadows says.

To create the list, NerdWallet extracted from the U.S. Census Bureau data for major U.S. cities. We have also pulled state duty rates out of the Federation of State Tax Administrators. We weighed the impact of each factor depending on how important we think this factor will be to the freelancer’s potential financial success. We excluded subway areas for which there were negative census data from work to work.

NerdWallet analysis includes data from the following sources:

– The 2019 U.S. Census data on the unemployment rate, the percentage of people in metro-designated subway areas who identified themselves as self-employed in unincorporated businesses, and the percentage of tenants in census-designated subway areas who spend less than 30% of their family rental income.

– US Census data for 4 square meters. 2019 and 4 square meters. 2020 from Job-to-Job Explorer.

– State tax rates for 2022 from the Federation of State Tax Administrators.

This article was provided by The Associated Press on the NerdWallet personal finance website. Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com.

NerdWallet: How much should I spend on rent? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-how-much-should-I-spend-on-rent

NerdWallet: How to start a business in 13 steps https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-how-to-start-a-business-in-13-steps

NerdWallet: Taxes on Freelancers: A Guide to Filing Documents https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-freelance-taxes

NerdWallet: 23 most profitable businesses in 2022 https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-most-profitable-businesses

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