Best freelancer locations: Big cities versus small cities


Deciding where your freelancer business will be located might not seem like a big deal. After all, we live in the Internet age, right? For most freelancers, the majority of work-related tasks are done online. However, where you live can have a bigger influence on your career than you think, even if 99% of your freelancing is done through the Internet.

Whether you chose a big or small city depends a lot on your personal preferences and situation. But you should definitely consider the city you’ve chosen to make your home as a business decision, at least to some extent.

To help you along, here are four of the biggest advantages of living in a big and small city as a freelancer.

Big City Advantages

  • Networking

The number one bonus of a large city, say a technological hub like San Francisco, is all the other people working there. Networking is best done face-to-face, and there is no better place to meet a lot of professionals and form business connections than big cities. There are interesting meetups and conferences happening at least once a week in such places. In smaller locations, that number might be as low as once a year. In addition, the quality of the network you could build would be significantly lower in a smaller city.

  • Bigger local job market

Secondly, not all freelancers like to do all their work online. If you want to do at least a fraction of your work locally, for example meeting up with clients, a big city might be worth considering. And if you are planning on taking at least some jobs that are local, the amount of opportunities is definitely higher in a bigger location. That means you will have more local jobs to choose from, which is always a great thing.

  • Bandwidth

Now, if you’ve grown up in a big city or lived in one most of your live, this aspect might seem a bit ridiculous to you. But getting used to the idea that there is high-speed internet everywhere you go might lead you to taking it for granted. It’s not. In more rural areas, you can definitely end up facing some internet connection issues, even in our modern day and age. In big cities, that will almost never happen, provided you do some research when choosing your internet provider and pick a plan according to your needs.

  • The big city quality of life perks

There’s a lot that big cities offer that many smaller cities lack. One example is public transportation. If you don’t have a car, getting from A to B is much easier in a place like New York than it is in a city with only a few thousand people – you won’t find a metro system there. Additionally, there is also the entertainment aspect to consider. Theaters, clubs and even a lot of cinemas are abundant in bigger locations but can be next to non-existent in smaller ones.

Depending on the kind of person you are, these perks may or may not seem appealing to you. But do the ones of smaller cities? Let’s find out.

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Small City Advantages

  • Cheaper living

One of the first reasons to move to a smaller city is the reduced cost of living. A person living in Los Angeles earning $70,000 USD will pay a much larger percentage for things like rent and commodities than a person living in a rural area. It doesn’t matter how big or small your earnings are. In the end, living in a big city is simply more expensive. And that’s definitely something that any freelancer should consider.

  • Less local jobs, but little competition

We spoke about how big cities have larger job markets, which leads to a wider variety of jobs to pick from. And while that is true, there is something to be said about the smaller local market of rural areas. Yes, there might not be that many jobs if the next big city is hundreds of miles away. But the good news is – there aren’t many freelancers to take those jobs either.

  • Family-friendly

For freelancers with children, living in a smaller city has even more benefits. Any parent wants their child to grow up in a cleaner, friendlier environment with a close-knit community. Being a San Francisco kid might come with a lot of perks, but having animals in your backyard and hiking through woods or mountains definitely aren’t some of them.

  • The small city quality of life perks

We already mentioned some of the things that separate small cities for big cities in terms of quality of life. These obviously aren’t just great for children, but for adults as well. If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors, a small city can definitely be a great place for your freelancer business hub, especially if nature is something you can draw inspiration from. Cleaner air and local products are a couple of other things that really sweeten the deal.


Are you a big or a small city freelancer? Still there are a few cities that are the most loved by freelancers and here is our list for freelancing around the globe!

What is the one thing that would have you consider moving most? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  • Commented by Juan Carlos Álvarez Gamboa on 02.05.2018 at 13:41 h

    Soy un Consultor de Ingeniería Independiente, .... , Resido en San Cristóbal, Venezuela ,,,,,, me gustaría tener orientación de su parte para la consecución de trabajo, ya que Mi País se encuentra en una Profunda Crisis de Valores, Política, Económica, Humanitaria y en la actualidad han Migrado de Venezuela desde el 2.016 hasta la fecha más de 6 millones de Venezolanos, ... , Profesionales, Técnicos, Jóvenes en su mayoría en la búsqueda de una mejor calidad de vida. Es por ello, que nos estamos quedando en el País los Mayores de 45 años aproximadamente y nuestros Hijos Migran. Gracias.

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