The 10 Worst U.S. Cities For Digital Nomads Revealed In New Report

No matter which city you live in, it’s safe to say there’s some inkling in the back of our minds that wishes we have ultimate freedom to work from home or on the road.

Digital nomadism has taken off with no looking back! Whether it’s converting an Airstream trailer or an old school bus into a new workspace, that’s the dream, right?

There are a ton of amazing cities to work from globally, particularly in the United States.

Digital nomad visas are becoming increasingly popular for those looking to work abroad, but staying in the States is a great choice too.

However, a recent collaborative study from Zumper and Tamara Sanderson, the author of Remote Works, has found the bottom of the barrel for digital nomads in America.

Methodology Of The Study

These key metrics were used to determine their rankings:

  • Free wi-fi availability
  • Average air quality
  • Cost of living
  • Transportation options
  • Restaurant options
  • Entertainment options
  • Distance to major airport
  • Average price of short-term rentals
man at cafe using laptop

The team then used letter grades to score each of the 100 cities that were evaluated:

  • A – scores higher than 80% of the cities
  • B – scores higher than 60% of the cities
  • C – scores higher than 40% of the cities
  • D – scores higher than 20% of the cities
  • F – scores below than 20% of all the cities

These are the worst 10 cities for digital nomads in the U.S., according to their report:

10- Newark, New Jersey

The big city just outside of New York City received slightly better grades than the 11th worst city, Winston-Salem. One of New Jersey’s main cities received a few F’s and a couple of D’s.

The lone A grade was for convenience to a major airport, which presumably is the Newark Liberty International Airport. However, NYC’s airports are very convenient too.

newark new jersey skyline

9- Providence, Rhode Island

The charming capital city of America’s smallest state is a better place to work remotely than Newark, but not by much.

Providence received failing grades for restaurants and entertainment but scored its highest grade of B for air quality.

8- Henderson, Nevada

One of the main suburbs outside the fabulous city of Las Vegas did not receive a high score for any category related to digital nomads.

The highest grade given was a pair of C’s for Wi-Fi access and cost of living.

las vegas skyline from henderson nevada

7- Augusta, Georgia

Georgia’s third largest city near the South Carolina border comes in with a mix of very low grades and high grades.

Augusta received F’s for entertainment and restaurant options, nightly short-term rental prices, and transportation.

A’s were given for cost of living and air quality, as well as a B for airport convenience.

augusta georgia skyline

6- Scottsdale, Arizona

Those visiting the Phoenix area will most likely stop in the lovely town of Scottsdale. Unfortunately, for digital nomads, this isn’t the place to be.

Very low scores were given across the board. In fact, the highest grade of C was only given for transportation options as there is a free air-conditioned shuttle for those super hot desert days.

5- Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This Florida city outside of Miami, known for its beaches and canals, should not be on the radar for digital nomads.

Receiving D’s and F’s across the scorecard, the only B and C were for convenience to a major airport and air quality.

view of fort lauderdale

4- Asheville, North Carolina

This trendy mountainous city that has grown in popularity is not in high regard for those looking to work remotely.

Asheville is a gorgeous place known for its scenic nature, so it’s no surprise it scored an A for air quality.

However, the rest of the categories are very poorly received, with mainly F’s and a single D.

3- Plano, Texas

The suburb outside the big city of Dallas is not a good place for digital nomads to get their work done.

All F’s were given except for 2 categories, which both scored D’s – wi-fi and nightly costs for a short-term stay

plano train station

2- Santa Ana, California

This sunny Southern California city of over 300,000 residents ranked poorly in all but one category.

The one bright spot was an A for convenience to the airport, as Santa Ana has the John Wayne Airport. Los Angeles and San Diego are within about an hour north and south too.

santa anna

1- Anaheim, California

Orange County is not the place for digital nomads! Since the neighboring cities of Santa Ana and Anaheim both scored so poorly, they are better served for permanent residents and vacationers.

Anaheim received a high score of D for restaurants and entertainment options but failed every other category making it the worst place in America for digital nomads.

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