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15 Cities Where You Can Thrive Without a Full-Time Job

Jami Farkas
·4 min read
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The pandemic taught Americans one big thing when it comes to their work: If you have a good internet connection, and a spot you can carve into a quiet office space, there are a lot of jobs that can be done from home. That isn’t news to the estimated 67 million Americans who are freelancers. And that number is expected to rise to 86.5 million — or more than half the workforce — by 2027, according to research from Statista.

Find Out: How One Person Turned a Side Hustle Into $100,000 Per Year

Because freelancers can work, and live, anywhere, GOBankingRates took a look at the best cities for freelancers to call home. The study took into consideration the cost of rent, state and federal income taxes paid, and ease of getting around the city on foot, by bike or via public transit. The end results assume the freelancer rents a one-bedroom apartment, earns the average annual freelance salary of $67,139 and files income taxes as a single person.

The 15 cities listed reflect a combination of cheap housing, low taxes and convenient transportation, along with fast internet and the assumption of plenty of coffee shops where you can work.

Here are the best places to live if you’re a freelancer.

Last updated: Feb. 10, 2021

Young adults on a park bench over the bay at St.
Young adults on a park bench over the bay at St.

St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,210

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 47

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Knoxville, Tennessee, USA city skyline at World's fair Park.
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA city skyline at World's fair Park.

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $840

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 30

Tips: 100 Ways To Work Better From Home

Bellagio Tower in Las Vegas part of The Leading Hotels of the Wo
Bellagio Tower in Las Vegas part of The Leading Hotels of the Wo

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,000

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 40

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Houston is the most populous city in the U.
Houston is the most populous city in the U.

Houston, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,100

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 45

Afraid of a Recession? These Industries Will Make the Biggest Comeback From COVID-19

Arlington, Texas AT&T football Stadium, November 23, 2018 is home of the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium located in Arlington, Texas USA, nightlight - Image.
Arlington, Texas AT&T football Stadium, November 23, 2018 is home of the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium located in Arlington, Texas USA, nightlight - Image.

Arlington, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $950

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 40

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San Antonio, Texas, USA cityscape at the River Walk.
San Antonio, Texas, USA cityscape at the River Walk.

San Antonio

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $950

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 39

Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.
Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.

Tucson, Arizona

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $730

  • Federal and state income taxes: $9,402

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 48

Memphis, Tennessee, USA   downtown city skyline at dusk.
Memphis, Tennessee, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

Memphis, Tennessee

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $830

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 40

Tallahassee-FL
Tallahassee-FL

Tallahassee, Florida

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $800

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 37

Akron, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Akron, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Akron, Ohio

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $600

  • Federal and state income taxes: $9,165

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 41

Keep Reading: The Best and Worst Things About Working From Home

Corpus Christi, Texas, USA skyline on the bay.
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA skyline on the bay.

Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $850

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 40

View of the Maple Street Bridge in Spokane at Sunset - Image.
View of the Maple Street Bridge in Spokane at Sunset - Image.

Spokane, Washington

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $880

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 46

El Paso, Texas, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment
El Paso, Texas, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment

El Paso, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $710

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 38

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summer footbridge and lake In Lubbock Texas.
summer footbridge and lake In Lubbock Texas.

Lubbock, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $650

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 36

Laredo Texas
Laredo Texas

Laredo, Texas

  • Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $650

  • Federal and state income taxes: $7,758

  • Combined walkability, bike and transit score: 43

More From GOBankingRates

Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: To discover 15 cities where you can thrive without a full-time job GOBankingRates analyzed a number of factors. First, GOBankingRates found the (1) median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to Zumper.com’s “National Rent Report: February 2021” for 100 of America’s largest cities. Then, the annual salary for a freelancer ($67,139) was sourced from ZipRecruiter and was held constant for every city. Next, GOBankingRates found the (2) total income tax paid (federal and state) by a person single-filing and using the standard deduction in each city, as calculated using an in-house income tax calculator with tax bracket information sourced from the Tax Foundation. Then, GOBankingRates found (3) the average internet speed (Mbps) for each city as sourced from BroadbandNow.com and (4) a getting around score sourced from WalkScore.com’s walk, transit and bike score for each city. These four factors were then scored and combined with the lowest score being best. In final calculations factor (1) was weighted 2x and factor (3) was weighted 0.5x. All data was collected on and is up to date as of Jan. 27, 2021.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 15 Cities Where You Can Thrive Without a Full-Time Job