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Pretty creative woman working on her laptop and looking to the camera in a coffee shop. Smart woman. Freelancer lifestyle.

Thinking of going freelance? These are the best countries in the world for female freelancers.

The world of work is changing rapidly, spurred on by digital innovation and new approaches to working. Never before have so many people worked remotely, whether from their own homes or further afield, with traditional office-based approaches to work looking to quickly become outdated.

Indeed, even the typical working week of forty hours over five days is becoming less relevant in a world where being present in an office eight hours a day holds diminishing merit.

Starting a new business as a freelancer or sole trader gives you the freedom to work at times that suit you, and for as long as you need to get the job done.

As digital innovation is transforming the way we work, and more women than ever are choosing to go freelance, the UK’s leading business financial platform Tide, has identified the best countries in the world for female freelancers.

The study, conducted by Tide, used the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 to assess each country’s stance on equality and gender issues, highlighting the best countries to work in, especially for women.

The top 10 countries for gender equality:


Rank Country Name Global Gender Gap Index 2020
1 Norway 0.842
2 Sweden 0.82
3 New Zealand 0.799
4 Ireland 0.798
5 Spain 0.795
6 Germany 0.787
7 Denmark 0.782
8 France 0.781
9 Switzerland 0.779
10 Canada 0.772


The country that scored the highest in the Global Gender Gap Index was Norway, having received a score of 0.842. This singles out Norway as a champion of equality, and a great place for women to live and work.

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Another Scandinavian country, Sweden takes second place with a Global Gender Gap Index score of 0.820. This shows that Norway isn’t the only Nordic country to offer a fantastic environment for people of all genders to live and work without discrimination.

New Zealand takes third place having scored 0.799 on the Global Gender Gap Index, adding yet another string to its bow in the race to be the best destination for freelancers.

Following New Zealand are Ireland and Spain in 4th and 5th place, with a Global Gender Gap Index of 0.798 and 0.795.

Despite many countries scoring highly on the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, there are still differences in the freelance earnings of men and women. Men charge an average day rate of £149.48, while women charge an average day rate of £120.38 – meaning they earn 19.5% less than men.

Looking at the averages by industry, we see a more complex picture. In some sectors, women charge much higher rates, while men dominate other professions. Some of the differences may be explained by men and women taking on different roles within these industries, while some sectors may be more dominated by one gender – meaning that the dataset is easily skewed.

The difference is significantly large for the legal sector, with self-employed females charging, on average, 56% less than their male counterparts.

The study also looked at the best country overall for freelancers, looking at the varied cost of living, broadband speeds, the strength of workers’ legal rights, availability of co-working spaces and happiness index.

  • Singapore takes the top spot as the overall best place to work as a freelancer in 2021. 
  • Japan is the worst country for freelancers overall, with a Freelancer Score of just 3.99/10. 
  • Singapore is the country with the fastest internet speed at 256.03 Mbps. 
  • The Netherlands has the highest interest in freelancers with 1,305 searches being made per 100,000 people.
  • India is the cheapest country to live in on our list, with monthly costs reaching only $326.30.
  • Denmark is the happiest destination, with a Happiness Index Score of 7.65.

You can view the full research, including the overall top 10 best countries to be a freelancer, by clicking here.

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