New Research Reveals Paris as the Best City to be a Freelancer

Career Climbers / 15th January 2020

AppJobs took the best cities to live in around the world and analysed a series of metrics such as the number of freelance jobs, number of cafes with free wifi, cost of living, average self-employed salary and the percentage of the city population that currently freelance, and created a score out of 100 to reveal the best cities around the world to be a freelancer in. You can view the full findings here. 

More and more businesses are starting to use freelancers, which gives individuals more opportunities to find contract employment that can supplement or even replace their original career. Freelancers benefit from the flexibility of working hours and working environment, which allows them to work from anywhere, however, some places are more freelancer-friendly than others. 

So which cities around the world offer the best work and lifestyle for freelancers?

Paris takes the crown with an overall score of 54.3 out of 100. Self-employed people in Paris can expect to receive an average salary of £36,656 per annum, which is just below the world average for freelancers of £38,855. However, Paris comes in first place for the most freelancer jobs available with almost 4,000 (3,938) within 25 miles of Paris. The average cost of rent in Paris is £1,040 per month, which makes it the 19th most expensive city to live in. Nevertheless, with 367,704 free wifi spots and 265 cafes with free wifi, the city is very freelancer friendly. 

London follows closely behind Paris with an overall score of 53.8 out of 100. London has a whopping 730,532 free wifi spots around the city and 703 cafes with free wifi – the most out of all the cities analysed. There are 1,393 freelance jobs available within 25 miles of the city with an average annual salary sitting at £31,187. However, the London lifestyle comes at a price with the average monthly rent amounting to 1,682 per month, making it the fourth most expensive city to live in. 

Joint third place goes to the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid who both achieved an overall score of 46.8. Both cities have over 200 wifi accessible cafes and a reasonable cost of living (£832 and £788). 

Luxembourg offers freelancers the highest salary with the average currently sitting at £67,232 per annum. The self-employed salary in Luxembourg is over double that of freelancers in London (£31,187) and over triple in Barcelona (£19,324).

The worst cities to be a freelancer

Despite Luxembourg paying freelancers the most, it comes in last place overall with a score of 9.7 out of 100. The average cost of rent in Luxembourg sits at £1,650 per month, making it the 14th most expensive city to live in. There are as little as 24 cafes with free wifi and only 12,072 free wifi spots around the city. 

Geneva comes second from the bottom with an overall score of 11.1. The city has 34 cafes with free wifi and 27,583 free wifi spots across the city, over double that of Luxembourg. Geneva is the 6th most expensive city to live in with the average monthly rent costing £1,556. Despite the city not being very freelancer friendly, the average salary for a freelancer is £57,484, over £20,000 (£20,828) more than Paris’ average salary. 

Iwona Polog, Head of Growth at AppJobs comments:

“Moving from your current job to freelancing can be a daunting experience, but choosing the right location can have a massive impact on making the transition easier. Being your own boss gives you a lot of flexibility and allows you to be able to work from anywhere- that’s why we have analysed which cities would be the best for those thinking of becoming a freelancer. 

“It’s great to see that London comes in second place with the salary sitting just below average and the internet accessibility being very good – an important component of a space to work for any freelancer.

“Getting the right balance between job satisfaction and pay is really important, which is why freelancing can be a great option..” 

Are you planning on making the change to freelance work in the next couple of years? Take a look at the index to see which cities would be best for you here.

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