Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is Named the Best U.S. Metro for Digital Nomads

Aloha Melani

Yelp and Zillow Rank the Top 10 U.S. Metros for Digital Nomads and Jacksonville, Florida Takes the Top Spot.

Top 10 U.S Metros for Digital Nomads, According to Yelp and Zillow(Yelp & Zillow/Zillow.com)

Digital Nomads

According to Investopedia, digital nomads are people who are location-independent and use technology to perform their job, living a nomadic lifestyle. Digital nomads work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company's headquarters or office.

I have been a digital nomad since 2008. When I told people I worked from home up until the year 2020, everyone wanted to know what I did and how I got my job. My background is in Information Technology. Most of us original nomads worked for an IT company if not self-employed.

Digital Nomad in Coffee Shop(Abhi Bakshi/Unsplash)

It was only in the year 2020 that working from home and being a digital nomad became a well-known concept. I haven't been asked what I do in over a year when I tell people I work from home as it seems almost everyone I run into also works remotely.

Today, almost 11 million U.S. workers now describe themselves as digital nomads. In 2020, the U.S. and the entire world witnessed a seismic shift toward remote work, accelerated in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the MBO Partners’ 2020 State of Independence research study. In 2020, the number of traditional workers working as digital nomads grew 96%, from 3.2 million to 6.3 million.


As a Floridian since college, I have always chosen to live in Florida although I could have lived anywhere in the world as a digital nomad. I chose Tampa Bay as my home base.

It never occurred to me to move to Jacksonville, but I can see why "The Bold New City of the South" would be attractive to new nomads.

Downtown Jacksonville(Sharon Kehl Califano/Pixabay)

Jacksonville is the most affordable metro in Florida. Rent in Jacksonville is typically around $960 a month stated in the February 2021 Zillow Observed Rent Index for rentals with leases of less than 1 year.

Zillow also states that page views to Jacksonville rental listings increased 120% over the same time last year.

Jacksonville, like many Florida beach towns, has always popular as a winter destination for thousands of vacationers from the northeast seeking a more temperate climate. It has always had its fair share of transplants due to military personnel moving in and out of NAS JAX. Now there is an unforced migration to this city with so much to offer.

Jacksonville Beach(Paul Brennan/Pixabay)

Jacksonville happens to be the largest city in the United States. Over the years it has transformed into a bustling metropolitan region of more than one million people. Downtown Jacksonville now has transformed into an urban oasis with restaurants, nightlife, storefronts, and historic buildings as living spaces.

The vibrant business community in Jacksonville gives nomads the chance to work and play in the midst of a plethora of beautiful outdoor scenic views in every direction and year-round weather that make almost every day a beach day,

Zillow and Yelp Ranking System

The report from Zillow® and Yelp Inc. ranks the top U.S. destinations best suited for digital nomads.

Yelp used page views, reviews, and photos in the 12-month period between March 2020 and February 2021, compared to the previous 12 months, to identify places that had experienced the biggest relative growth during the pandemic, including from digital nomads. This excluded cities that were already on the upswing before the pandemic.

Zillow analyzed five main variables:

  • Year-over-year inventory of rentals with lease terms less than 1 year 
  • Year-over-year pageviews of rentals with lease terms less than 1 year
  • Typical affordability of rentals with lease terms less than 1 year 
  • Typical inventory counts of rentals with lease terms less than 1 year 
  • Year-over-year price growth of rentals with lease terms less than 1 year 

The collection of Yelp indicators and Zillow variables were each given 50% of the overall weight for the final index.

These areas offer the best mix of available, affordable, and flexible rental housing and community amenities sought after by those with newfound flexibility to explore the country as they work remotely.

The list of Top 10 U.S. Metros are:

  1. Jacksonville, Florida
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Boise, Idaho
  4. Nashville, Tennessee
  5. Charleston, South Carolina
  6. San Jose, California
  7. Fort Collins, Colorado
  8. Asheville, North Carolina
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Jacksonville, Florida has to be the only city on this list that surprised me as a Floridian. How do you feel about Jacksonville as the number one place to live for a digital nomad?

NAS JAX(Naval Air Station Jacksonville/Navy.mil)

SOURCE Zillow; Yelp Inc.

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Multicultural lifestyle content creator focusing on Food, Travel, Tampa Bay, living life with the Spirit of Aloha, and striving to transfer that sentiment to readers.

Tampa, FL

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