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Hong Kong is ranked the best place to live if you want to be your own boss

Hong Kong
Kin Cheung/AP
Wave your boss goodbye.
By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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
1
United States
2
South Korea
3
United Arab Emirates
4
United Kingdom
5
Spain
6
New Zealand
7
Estonia
8
Bulgaria
9
Czech Republic
10

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:

Hong Kong
1
United States
2
South Korea
3
United Arab Emirates
4
United Kingdom
5
Spain
6
New Zealand
7
Estonia
8
Bulgaria
9
Czech Republic
10
Latvia
11
France
12
Portugal
13
Lithuania
14
Qatar
15
Denmark
16
Switzerland
17
Germany
18
Turkey
19
Norway
20
Romania
21
Saudi Arabia
22
China
23
Netherlands
24
Poland
25
Australia
26
Sweden
27
Hungary
28
Finland
29
Mexico
30
Japan
31
Cyprus
32
Chile
33
Panama
34
South Africa
35
Italy
36
Morocco
37
Indonesia
38
Iceland
39
India
40
Croatia
41
Egypt
42
Austria
43
Colombia
44
Brazil
45
Greece
46
Malta
47
Peru
48
Belgium
49
Ireland
50
Costa Rica
51
Slovenia
52
Ecuador
53
Philippines
54
Israel
55
Argentina
56
Uruguay
57

Sources: Numbeo, KPMG, The World Bank, Akamai, World Economic Forum, Wifimap

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