The 15 Best Cities for Freelancers

Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular work option for Americans because of the freedom it offers. As a freelancer, you control your schedule, who you work for, and where you work from. For this reason, it’s important to choose the right city for freelancing based on factors like self-employment growth, state income tax, and housing costs, among others.

In a recent report, Fundera broke down the top 15 cities for freelancers based on these factors. Most of the cities that made the list are in the South or west United States. These cities are ideal places to start or continue your freelance career for different reasons from affordability to work opportunity. Below you can read through the cities and some of their main attractions for freelancers.

Atlanta, Georgia

Known for great music and food, Atlanta also is the top city for freelancers in the country. Atlanta has a self-employment rate of 11.1% and lower housing costs than many major American cities.

Oakland, California

Close to one of the most expensive cities in the country, San Francisco, Oakland is the second best freelancing city in the United States. Oakland boasts strong job growth and a high self-employment rate, as well as easy access to San Francisco with its wealth of job opportunities.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson made the third spot on the list due to its solid job growth and recent increase in self-employment. The self-employment rate grew by an impressive 1.1% last year. Give Tucson strong consideration if you like dry heat and community with other freelancers.

El Paso, Texas

El Paso is an ideal location to do freelance work because of Texas’ lack of an income tax, low housing costs, and rising self-employed community. Consider El Paso and the three other impressive Texas cities on the list for your freelance city selection.

Houston, Texas

With a growing population and increasing job growth, Houston is an excellent choice as a freelancing city. Houston also boasts established industries like healthcare, and oil and gas.

Dallas, Texas

With low housing costs and a low unemployment rate of 4.3%, this is an ideal Texas city, alongside Fort Worth, El Paso, and Houston, to choose for your freelancing career.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Freelancing is already a popular job option in Albuquerque with 9.9% of the working population choosing this vocation. A large number of coffee shops are another draw for you to choose this New Mexico city.


Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is an epicenter of entertainment and has also seen growth in self-employment of 1.1% last year. So if you love to gamble and work for yourself, Vegas could be the right freelancing city choice.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix has seen 5.6% growth in job growth and boasts a self-employment rate over 10%. So whether you want to freelance full-time or just use it to side-hustle while working elsewhere full-time, Phoenix could be for you.

Long Beach, California

Freelancing is a growing vocation in Long Beach with a 1.7% growth in recent years. There are also a large number of coffee shops from which you can work in this city.

Fort Worth, Texas

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to other major cities in Texas, consider Fort Worth to jumpstart or continue your freelancing career. The freelancing population is growing here so you’ll be in good company.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles needs no introduction. It’s a center of American culture and the home of Hollywood. It also has the highest self-employment rate of any city on this list at 16.8%. So if you’re looking to work remotely and potentially brush elbows with A-list actors, look no further than LA.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City has a sizable freelancing community and solid job growth of 4.5% which should attract freelancers seeking a major city in Oklahoma to work from.

Fresno, California

Low housing costs are a main draw for freelancers seeking a city to work from. Though the city doesn’t boast job growth, it does have a solid self-employment rate and community of freelancers.

Portland, Oregon

Portland not only is a great place to meet interesting people but also has an excellent economy and high self-employment rate of 13.3%. Portland values freelancers and creators who don’t follow norms around work.

While no northeastern cities made the top 15, this list of the top cities for freelancers offers a diverse selection of locations to freelance from, each with their own virtues and attractions. Choosing the right city to freelance from is an important step in the long-term success of your freelancing career. Consider the culture of the city, match for your lifestyle, and job opportunities, alongside the factors Fundera highlighted in their article and graphic.

The full list of the top 50 cities for freelancers can be viewed at The 15 Best U.S. Cities for Freelancers in 2020.

These are the best cities in the US for freelancers of 2020


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