The Freelance Index
Which are the best countries and US states for freelancers?
The pandemic gave workers the opportunity to step back and reflect on their careers with many of them reevaluating their priorities, quitting their jobs and going freelance. Workers are now less willing to stay in jobs that they don’t find fulfilling and self-employment gives people a chance to take control of their professional lives, making their jobs work for them by allowing for greater flexibility and higher wages.
So which countries around the world and which US states are the best for freelancers? We’ve delved into the data to find out, analyzing the number of freelancers and coworking spaces, the cost of living, broadband and mobile speeds and costs and the demand for freelancers to find out.
The best US states for freelancers
Texas can be crowned the top state for freelancers in the US. Freelancers in the state are in high demand as it ranks in the top 3 for annual searches. The Lone Star State also has one of the fastest broadband speeds in the country, ranking in the top 10.
Next up is Tennessee, scoring highly in the index thanks to its low cost of living. The Volunteer State ranks in the top 10 for this factor. It also has a high proportion of self-employed workers, ranking just outside the top 10.
Georgia ranks third, thanks to it placing in the top 10 for 3 factors. Georgia places in the top 10 for the lowest cost of living so freelancers won’t have to be worried about their finances. Demand for freelancers is also high in the state, placing in the top 10.
The best state for …
The number of self-employed people per 100,000
Taking the top spot for the highest proportion of self-employed workers is Montanna. Agriculture is the largest industry in The Treasure State, and self-employment in agriculture is commonplace creating the largest proportion of self-employed workers in the US.
Self-employment means you are fully in control, setting your own hours and following your passion. Nobody knows this more than workers in The Pine Tree State as Maine takes second place with 8,400 self-employed workers per 100,000 people.
Vermont is one of the most entrepreneurial states on our list with 8,200 self-employed people per 100,000. Most of the self-employed citizens of The Green Mountain State have jobs in the construction industry, followed by jobs in real estate.
The monthly cost of living
Taking the top spot for the lowest cost of living is The Magnolia State. Rent and land prices in the state are lower than the other 49 states by 37% and the ease of shipping means prices for goods are kept low.
In second place is Arkansas with a monthly cost of living of $4,442. The low average salary in the state means the cost of living is lower across the board and property taxes are some of the lowest in the country.
Up next is Oklahoma, ranking third as one of the US’s most affordable states. Housing and rent prices are nearly half that of the national average, thanks to a large amount of affordable land. Utility bills are also roughly 8% lower than the national average.
The number of coworking spaces per 100,000 people
One of the most important benefits of coworking spaces is the motivation they provide by getting rid of distractions and increasing productivity. This is important to the self-employed workers in Colorado as they top the ranking for the most coworking spaces per 100,000 people.
The Big Apple ranks second for this factor, with many self-employed New Yorkers thriving in coworking spaces thanks to the flexibility they provide and their communal atmospheres. The state has 1.9 coworking spaces per 100,000 people.
Next up is The Golden State with 1.6 coworking spaces per 100,000 people. Coworking spaces have flourished in the state thanks to the high commercial rent prices making office spaces less affordable for smaller businesses.
The average broadband speed
One of the most important considerations for self-employed people is their internet connection as faster broadband speeds mean important decisions and insights can be made and gained quickly to maintain maximum output. No one knows this more than freelancers in Maryland, as the state ranks first for the factor.
Delaware takes second place with an average speed of 469.7 Mbps. The state has very fast broadband speeds thanks to a large amount of fiber optic cables underneath its streets, which coupled with its small size keep it ranking highly.
High-speed internet is key for self-employed people not having to wait around for files to upload or long load times for applications helps increase their productivity. Nobody values this more than the self-employed population of Washington, as they can rely on speeds of 451 Mbps, taking the state to third place.
The demand for freelancers
Now more than ever companies are hiring freelancers thanks to the faster deliverables and easy access to specialized talent that they can provide. Companies in The Golden State are the most in favor of this tactic as California has the highest demand for freelancers in the US, with 174,900 Google searches in 2021.
Up next is Texas, which is no surprise as the state capital Austin has become a national hub for skilled freelancers over the last few years. The Lone Star State takes second place, with 106,200 searches in 2021.
One key reason freelancers are so important to companies is the fresh insight they can provide to projects from an outsider’s perspective. Companies in New York state are taking full advantage of this insight with 92,700 searches for freelancers in 2021 taking it to third place.
The best countries for freelancers
Taking the top spot is the economic powerhouse of Spain. Spain ranks in the top 10 for both proportion of self-employed workers and broadband speeds and is one of the most desired places for freelancers, according to Google searches.
France takes second place, thanks to it ranking in the top 5 for broadband speeds and demand for freelance workers. The country also ranks in the top 10 for the number of freelancers and mobile data speed.
Poland & Switzerland
Poland shares third place with Switzerland, with the central European nation ranking in the top 3 for the cheapest broadband as well as having a relatively low cost of living too.
Switzerland has the fastest broadband and mobile data speed in the index and takes second place for the number of coworking spaces per 100,000 people.