NerdWallet has identified the best cities for Independent Contractors
Other key findings
* Scottsdale earns the top spot. Scottsdale, Arizona, ranks as the best city for the self-employed thanks to its friendly environment for freelancers. The self-employment rate is above the national average, but what really sets the city apart is at an income of $66,309, it is home to the highest average freelance income of all cities we analyzed. Scottsdale also has the highest percentage of people with direct-purchase health insurance of all 100 cities, and the cost of that insurance is lower than average,
* Freelancers thrive in Texas. Thanks to high rates of self-employment and income earned through freelancing as well as a relatively low cost of living, cities in Texas are some of the best in the nation for freelancers. Five Texas cities made our top 20, led by booming Austin at the No. 4 spot.
* Growth exists in both low-wage and high-wage self-employment. Several low-wage positions, such as landscapers, groundskeepers, maids and housecleaners, have seen growth in self-employment rates in recent years. Meanwhile, some high-wage jobs have also made gains, especially in computer occupations — for example, since 2007, the number of self-employed web developers has increased 67%. At the other end, the occupations with the biggest drops in self-employment are in farming and construction.
Here’s how Nerd Wallet calculated the score for each of the 100 largest U.S. cities:
* Percentage of households with self-employment income is 25% of the score. Data are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey.
* Self-employment income per household earning self-employment income is 25% of the score. Data are from the 2013 American Community Survey.
* Percentage of population with direct-purchase health insurance is 12.5% of the score. Data are from the 2013 American Community Survey.
*Monthly health insurance cost for 2014 is 12.5% of the score. Data are from HealthSherpa.
Median rent is 25% of the score. Data are from the 2013 American Community Survey.