Last Updated 5 months by Emily Standley-Allard

Interested in working remotely? In this post we’ll go over the top 10 Best States for Remote Work in the U.S.

  • New York ranks in the first place as the best state for remote work
  • New Hampshire falls behind with great activities for health and wellness and internet accessibility and safety
  • Arkansas is the worst state for remote work

A new study conducted by HelloSEO, ranks New York as the best state for remote work according to seven different metrics, including safety, cost of living, internet accessibility, and cybersecurity in each state.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work flourished, and plenty of companies have adapted and continue to offer remote working options to their employees. According to Forbes, an estimated 12% of Americans work from home, and that number is supposed to increase to 22% by 2025, highlighting the importance of finding a good state for remote work. 

Working remotely or employing a hybrid model has plenty of benefits, but those benefits differ depending on your state. Take a look at the rankings below to find the best states in the United States for remote work. 

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Image by Emily Standley Allard

1. New York

new york city skyline
Images by Pixabay.com

Safety: 10th

Remote Hourly Rate: 1st

Cost of Living: 42nd

Transportation: 7th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 5th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 1st

Weather: 30th

Remote Workers in State: 37th

New York is a mecca for remote workers and because of its international influence, it is a hub for global networking opportunities. With New York City at its heart, the state provides remote professionals with everything they need for a balanced yet dynamic work-life atmosphere, but most importantly, plenty of options to explore nature and develop a healthy work-life balance.

New York stands out for its high remote hourly rates, taking the first position. This is partly due to the state’s high cost of living, ranking 42nd. But the Empire State offers an unmatched urban experience for those who can afford it.

With that being said, it also ranks first in the nation for the state with the most activities that promote health, wellness, and community, which pairs well with remote workers, considering they don’t leave their homes often. The state has plenty of museums to enjoy some sightseeing.

This can be an excellent way to offset the less-than-ideal weather ranking at 30th, allowing you to foster community connections while indoors.

2. New Hampshire

new hampshire farm

Safety: 1st

Remote Hourly Rate: 2nd

Cost of Living: 28th

Transportation: 42nd

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 11th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 21st

Weather: 32nd

Remote Workers in State: 5th

New Hampshire is a haven for those prioritizing safety, ranking first in the category. It also offers the second-highest remote hourly rate in the nation, which complements its moderate cost of living. This makes New Hampshire a balanced choice for remote workers seeking security and good pay.

While New Hampshire’s weather and transportation ranking might not be the most inviting, it ranks fifth in the state for remote workers, providing a great community for remote professionals.

3. Minnesota

Minneapolis Minnesota

Safety: 29th

Remote Hourly Rate: 16th

Cost of Living: 32nd

Transportation: 10th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 9th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 5th

Weather: 18th

Remote Workers in State: 13th

Minnesota has a moderate climate with a weather ranking of 18th, making it a reasonable state for those who neither want the heat of Texas nor the snow of Connecticut. It also offers a good remote hourly rate (16th), considering its 32nd place in cost of living.

If you’re looking for a place where you can blend in well as a remote worker, Minnesota sits at a respectable 13th position. The state also ranks 5th in activities that promote community, health, and wellness, making it an attractive option for work-life balance.

4. Oregon

Crater Lake Oregon

Safety: 42nd

Remote Hourly Rate: 19th

Cost of Living: 38th

Transportation: 22nd

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 4th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 13th

Weather: 17th

Remote Workers in State: 2nd

Oregon may have room for improvement regarding its 42nd placement in safety and 38th rank for cost of living, but it compensates for this by ranking second in terms of the number of remote workers in the state. This robust community offers endless networking opportunities.

Although the weather ranks at 17th, you’ll find that Oregon’s fourth place in internet accessibility and cybersecurity and 13th place in activities makes it a fantastic choice for those whose work is strictly online.

5. Washington

Washington state

Safety: 44th

Remote Hourly Rate: 13th

Cost of Living: 30th

Transportation: 3rd

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 21st

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 11th

Weather: 9th

Remote Workers in State: 8th

With the third-best transportation infrastructure and a weather ranking of ninth, Washington is a strong contender for remote workers, especially those in the tech industry.

While the remote hourly rate is moderate at 13th, it’s balanced out by the state’s 30th rank in cost of living.

Washington’s eighth position in the number of remote workers provides a sense of belonging and community that’s hard to overlook, while its 11th place in activities assists with health and wellness. 

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6. Iowa

Des Moines Iowa

Safety: 18th

Remote Hourly Rate: 27th

Cost of Living: 21st 

Transportation: 31st

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 6th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 18th

Weather: 12th

Remote Workers in State: 26th

Iowa may not be a name that comes to mind immediately for remote work, but its 18th position in safety and 27th in remote hourly rates make it worth considering. The state ranks fairly well in the cost of living category (21st), which makes it a viable choice for those looking for affordability.

The state also enjoys a pleasant climate, with a weather ranking of 12th. Coupled with its 26th place for remote workers in the state and sixth place ranking for internet accessibility and cybersecurity, Iowa provides a stable, close-knit community for remote professionals.

7. Connecticut

Yale University Connecticut

Safety: 13th

Remote Hourly Rate: 15th

Cost of Living: 47th

Transportation: 40th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 3rd

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 10th

Weather: 50th

Remote Workers in State: 18th

Connecticut offers a decent rank for safety but lags behind in terms of cost of living. Despite this, its remote hourly rate is impressive, placing the state at 15th in this category.

Weather conditions are less than ideal, ranking last in the nation, but the state ranked third for internet accessibility and cybersecurity, both of which are crucial for uninterrupted remote work.

Connecticut also boasts a strong sense of community, ranking 18th for remote workers in the state.

8. Texas

Texas ranch

Safety: 36th

Remote Hourly Rate: 48th

Cost of Living: 15th

Transportation: 8th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 21st

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 4th

Weather: 1st

Remote Workers in State: 24th

Texas shines brightest in the weather department, coming in at first place. However, it does rank low for remote hourly rates (48th), although the cost of living is moderate at 15th.

Despite the lower hourly rates, the state ranks impressively in activities promoting health, wellness, and community, offering a rich quality of life. The open landscapes offer numerous recreational opportunities, making it a great place for remote workers who enjoy outdoor activities.

9. Indiana

Indiana dunes beach

Safety: 21st

Remote Hourly Rate: 11th

Cost of Living: 16th

Transportation: 30th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 17th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 19th

Weather: 42nd

Remote Workers in State: 43rd

Indiana places in 11th place in remote hourly rates, quite impressive considering its 16th placement in cost of living. This balance makes Indiana a financially smart choice for remote work.

However, it’s crucial to note that the state ranks low regarding the number of remote workers, possibly making it less appealing for those looking to network. Indiana also struggles with the weather.

10. Michigan

Detroit Michigan

Safety: 11th

Remote Hourly Rate: 46th

Cost of Living: 29th

Transportation: 34th

Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity: 6th

Activities that promote health, wellness, and community: 2nd

Weather: 24th

Remote Workers in State: 40th

Michigan impresses with its second-place rank in activities that promote health, wellness, and community. While its 46th-place remote hourly rate may not be the most appealing, the state has a moderate cost of living.

Weather-wise, Michigan is average for the typical remote worker. However, it does rank low for the number of remote workers, making it less ideal for those seeking a larger community of remote workers. With numerous beaches and lakes, Michigan is a haven for remote workers who enjoy water sports or simply want a relaxing environment to work in, ranking second in the nation for health, wellness, and community based activities. 

Jade Pruett, founder of HelloSEO commented on the findings:

“Choosing the right state for remote work is not just a matter of personal preference; it’s a strategic life choice that encompasses various aspects of living, from safety to the vibrancy of local culture. Our carefully chosen metrics offer a comprehensive blueprint for decision-making.

Safety, often taken for granted, is paramount. In a secure environment, you’re free to roam and explore new working locations, whether it’s a beachfront café or a secluded mountain lodge.

The cost of living is another crucial factor that directly impacts how much of your income you get to keep.

In states with a lower cost of living, your hard-earned money goes further, offering a higher quality of life.

Transportation can’t be overlooked, especially if you’re a hybrid remote worker who needs to commute occasionally.

Efficient public transportation or well-maintained roads can significantly reduce commute times, giving you more time to focus on what truly matters. Internet accessibility is the lifeline of remote work.

Poor internet connectivity can disrupt workflow, whereas robust, high-speed internet can make your work seamless and efficient.

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Activities promoting health, wellness, and community are necessary in our increasingly stressful lives. The availability of green spaces, recreational activities, and cultural events can act as much-needed rejuvenators, breaking the monotony of work.

Weather plays a more subtle role than you might think though, as extreme weather conditions can disrupt your internet connection and affect your mood and productivity.

Lastly, the percentage of remote workers in a state indicates the general attitude toward remote work and may offer a supportive community or a plethora of co-working spaces.

Each metric is a key indicator that can materially affect your remote work experience, either boosting your productivity, enriching your leisure time, or, in some instances, doing both. This data equips remote workers with the insights they need to create a work-life setup that is not just functional but genuinely fulfilling.”

Find the top ten and bottom ten states below: 

RankingStateScore
1New York73.2
2New Hampshire70.5
3Minnesota70.1
4Oregon64.3
5Washington63.8
6Iowa63.2
7Connecticut62.7
8Texas59.2
9Indiana59.1
10Michigan58.9
RankingStateScore
41Kentucky40.4
42Delaware39.5
43Oklahoma37.8
44Hawaii37.7
45Alabama37.3
46Nevada36.9
47Kansas35.2
48Mississippi33.6
49Louisiana28.7
50Arkansas25.9

Methodology:

In order to identify the best states for remote work, HelloSEO compared the 50 states across 7 metrics, each with its own set of factors, each of them listed below with their corresponding weights. The metrics were then graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 corresponding to the best state for remote work. 


HelloSEO then determined each weighted average across all metrics and used the results to rank the study. 

  • Safety 10%
    • Crime Rate
  • Remote Hourly Rate 15%
  • Cost of Living: 15%
    • Cost of Living Index
    • Average Tax Burdens
    • Cost of Electricity
    • Gas Price Average
  • Transportation 5%
    • Average miles per person per day driven
    • % of workers that drive to worki
    • Number of airports in the state
  • Internet Accessibility and Cybersecurity 20%
    • State Rankings Based on Access to Broadband, low-price plans, and quality of Internet
    • Cybersecurity
  • Activities that promote health, wellness, and community 20%
    • Numer of state and national parks
    • Number of museums
    • Number of beaches
  • Weather 5%
    • Yearly Average Temperature
    • Yearly Average Rainfall
    • Air Quality Index
  • Remote Workers in State 10%
    • Percent of remote workers in the state

Conclusion

As you can see there are multiple options in the USA for working at home. For a list of the top companies hiring globally in all niches view this post: Top Remote Work Resource Directory – Work from Home Jobs for 2023

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10 best states for remote work