FREELANCING / MAR. 15, 2015
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10 Ideal Western Cities for Freelancers

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Most freelancers and self-employed workers are looking for a number of financial perks that come with living in certain cities.

For instance, the cost of living, health insurance, and income taxes are some of the main concerns for independent workers.

According to Forbes’ Top 50 Cities for Independent Workers, there are plenty of cities in the United States that cater to the financial needs of the self-employed.

If you’re thinking about moving or finding a better city on the western side of the country, then here are ten areas you may want to consider.

See also: Top 10 Largest Privately Owned Companies in the US

10. Seattle, Washington

Seattle ranks at 32, probably due to its high-priced monthly housing rate which is over $1,300. Yet, you can find a nice amount of self-employers living there. The percentage of people who work independently is 6 percent. The city also has no income tax rate.

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Taxes and insurance aren’t in favor of the residents in Tulsa. However, the local job market is doing quite well in the area. The cost of living is also a factor to consider since it’s not expensive at all. Like Tucson, living expenses average a little over $770 dollars. The self-employment population (5.4 percent) is one of the lowest on the list. It ranks at 25 on the Forbes list.

8. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque ranks at 16. It has a high unemployment rate of 5.6 percent, but the city’s healthcare rates are low and so are interest rates. The cost of living is not too bad either, which is an average of $900.

7. Honolulu, Hawaii

Surprisingly, Honolulu is the 15th best city to find freelance work. The housing market charges you around $300 more a month than that of Albuquerque, but there is a larger group of freelancers. Right now, the area is home to 6.4 percent of self-employed workers, and the unemployment rate is 4 percent.

6. Denver, Colorado

Housing prices are high in Denver. However, the employment rate is thriving. Denver is not doing too badly with ranking since it made 13th place on the list. The unemployment rate only stands at 4 percent and the self-employment rate is 5.8 percent. Health insurance costs are also not doing too badly for the people who live in the area, at $167.

5. Tucson, Arizona

Only 5.7 percent of freelancers make up the workforce in Tucson—making it the tenth best city to work in. A lot of self-employers enjoy living in this city mainly because of inexpensive housing costs. The average cost of living is only $776. Health insurance rates are also very low. Additionally, the income tax rate only stands at 4.5 percent, making it an ideal place to live.

4. Portland, Oregon

Self-employment in Portland averages at 7.5 percent. The income tax rate, however, is not any better at 9.9 percent. While the cost of health insurance ($175) can be tolerated, the cost of living averages over $1,100. It made number seven on the list.

3. Dallas, Texas

This city is not far behind its neighboring city, Houston. Dallas lands at number five as one of the best freelancing cities. It’s perfect for freelancers because it has a pretty large self-employment population. Right now, freelancers make up 7.2 percent of the working class. Also, Dallas doesn’t require income taxes from residents.

2. Houston, Texas

The third best place is Houston, Texas. The cost of living is amazingly cheap, which is only $879 a month on average. The unemployment population is only 4.9 percent and self-employment is 6.8 percent. Freelancers also admire Houston because there are no income interests.

1. Los Angeles, Califronia

This city is number one on the list of all 50 cities only because of its extremely high self-employment percentage. Los Angeles has 11.9 percent of freelance workers. While this is admirable, the unemployment rate of 7.1 percent is too high and the median housing costs is $1,333. Health insurance coverage is also $210. However, this is the center of fame and fortune, so it’s definitely a place to flock to if you want to network.

See also: 7 Rookie Freelancer Mistakes

California is buzzing with freelance work. In addition to Los Angeles, the state has over five other cities that are perfect for this type of work. Texas seems to be another hot state to live in as a freelancer. Not only are Houston and Dallas dominating the charts, but Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Arlington have earned their titles as top picks for entrepreneurs.

Do you live and freelance in any of these cities? What’s your advice to your peers?

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