Ranking It

New study swears it's good to be a freelancer in Houston: Self-employment income 5th highest in nation

New study swears it's good to be self-employed in Houston: Here's why

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On the list of best cities for freelancers, Texas takes five of the top 20 spots. EcoChamber.com

According to a new study, Houston is among the best places in the country for independent contractors. Financial site NerdWallet crunched the numbers and determined that Houston is the 12th best U.S. city overall for freelancers, and the fifth best in terms of income. It reports:

Freelancers thrive in Texas. Thanks to high rates of self-employment and income earned through freelancing as well as a relatively low cost of living, cities in Texas are some of the best in the nation for freelancers. Five Texas cities made our top 20, led by booming Austin at the No. 4 spot."

Other Texas cities in the top 20 are Dallas (No. 10), Plano (No. 18) and Fort Worth (No. 20).

For its findings, NerdWallet analyzed factors such as self-employment income by household, health insurance costs and median rent in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Self-employment stats were weighted more heavily.

The Houston numbers break down thusly: 10.64 percent of households report self-employment income, at an average of $41,473.96 per year. Only Scottsdale, Arizona; San Francisco; Gilbert, Arizona and Atlanta have higher self-employment income than Houston.

About 6.7 percent of the Houston population has direct-purchase health insurance, at an average cost of $160.36 per month. Median monthly rent is $841.

Freelancers in Scottsdale are living large. The city ranks No. 1 on the list, thanks to an average self-employment income of $66,309.09. Rents in the Arizona city are higher, with a monthly median of $1,134 and monthly healthcare costs at $162.19.

Rounding out the top five are Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon and Boise. For all the details on the top 20 cities for freelancers, visit the NerdWallet blog.