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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.
Published 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:

PlaceRank
Hong Kong1
United States2
South Korea3
United Arab Emirates4
United Kingdom5
Spain6
New Zealand7
Estonia8
Bulgaria9
Czech Republic10

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:

PlaceRank
Hong Kong1
United States2
South Korea3
United Arab Emirates4
United Kingdom5
Spain6
New Zealand7
Estonia8
Bulgaria9
Czech Republic10
Latvia11
France12
Portugal13
Lithuania14
Qatar15
Denmark16
Switzerland17
Germany18
Turkey19
Norway20
Romania21
Saudi Arabia22
China23
Netherlands24
Poland25
Australia26
Sweden27
Hungary28
Finland29
Mexico30
Japan31
Cyprus32
Chile33
Panama34
South Africa35
Italy36
Morocco37
Indonesia38
Iceland39
India40
Croatia41
Egypt42
Austria43
Colombia44
Brazil45
Greece46
Malta47
Peru48
Belgium49
Ireland50
Costa Rica51
Slovenia52
Ecuador53
Philippines54
Israel55
Argentina56
Uruguay57

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

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