Despite the risks of working without the safety net of a full-time employer, free agents are expected to comprise as much of the workforce as formal employees by 2020. Anticipating this, over 80% of large corporations plan to expand the use of freelancers (pdf) over the next few years.
But a new report by Expert Market, a UK-based comparison shopping service for businesses, shows that some countries are better for digital nomads than others. Analyzing eight key economic and lifestyle factors in 57 countries across the globe (chosen based on available data and cross-referenced against GDP figures), the report ranks the best and worst places for free agents to live. The factors were chosen based on how they would affect a freelance worker’s quality of life, and include cost of living, individual income tax, access to credit, average internet speed, transport networks, free wifi availability, cost of a coffee, and overall ease of starting a business.
Here are Expert Market’s top 10 best places to live if you want to be your own boss:
Hong Kong topped the list with high marks for having the best transportation system, second-best access to credit, and one of the three lowest income tax rates. Europe won overall best continent for the self-employed, while South America ranked as the worst, with weak scores for transportation, internet availability, and ease of starting a business.
Here’s the full list:
Sources: Numbeo, KPMG, The World Bank, Akamai, World Economic Forum, Wifimap