The Wall Street Journal has released a ranking of its top cities for remote workers. Many of these cities are low-cost towns in red states, waiting for refugees from the “Escape States” to show up and fill their reserves of reasonably priced housing.
- Springfield, MO
- Joplin, MO
- Evansville, IN
- Conway, AR
- Lafayette, IN
- Huntington, WV
- Kansas City, KS
- St. Louis, MO
- Wichita, KS
- Fort Wayne, IN
You can see heavy representation in the WSJ ranking for cities in Missouri, Kansas, and Indiana. The Journal explains that these cities will give remote workers a life they can’t enjoy in more expensive coastal cities.
Fully remote workers make up about 13% of working Americans, or about 25 million individuals, according to Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom. The large majority of them are call-center employees, or do work such as data entry or information-technology support. In other words, they aren’t work-from-anywhere jet-setters with high salaries.
“Somewhere with cheap housing, low crime and good schools within the U.S. will be a huge magnet for these folks, because if you’re making $74,000 a year, you can have a great family lifestyle, which is maybe harder to do in New York or San Francisco on that salary,” Prof. Bloom says.
Places, that is, such as Springfield, which is known as the Queen City of the Ozarks and possesses several of the top 10 factors. Among them: a relatively low cost of living; high-speed broadband; easy access to an airport that connects to large hubs; and a host of parks, restaurants and art venues.
Kenneth Soldink, a web developer for Academic Impressions, a Denver-based provider of professional development training for higher-education institutions, has worked remotely from Springfield since 2015. His wife grew up outside of Springfield and still had family in Springfield, so the two moved from Denver when she landed a job there. The rent on their three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is about half what it would cost in Denver, he says.
The lower cost of living lets the couple take weekend trips—“like going up to Kansas City and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to go to a four-star restaurant every night for the weekend,’” Mr. Soldink says. Or going to Santa Fe, N.M., for a weeklong anniversary trip and buying art.
Action Line: Missouri and Indiana both place in Your Survival Guy’s Top 20 newly released Super States for 2023. Don’t miss a Super States release or news about my Super States. Click here to subscribe to my Survive & Thrive letter and to be one of the first to receive my latest updates.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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