There’s been a tremendous focus on immigration and migration in the UK of late, with Brexit having precipitated a change in laws for Brits both at home and overseas.
While there are a slew of British expats located across the globe, however, the number of Americans who reside overseas remains the source of significant doubt and controversy. Although some estimate the number to be in the region of nine million, for example, official figures believe that the figure is actually far closer to 5.1 million.
In this post, we’ll ask why so many Americans live abroad, while considering their preferred destinations across the globe.
Why Do Americans Move Abroad?
As with any group of people or nation of citizens, there are many factors that motivate individuals to live and work in another country.
Some motivations appear to be more prominent than others amongst Americans, however, with love or money arguably the two most pressing. For example, it’s thought that a staggering 24% of American expats moved abroad to pursue a romantic relationship, with Europe a particularly popular destination from this perspective.
A large number of expats have also relocated for the purpose of work, with a view to either furthering their career or boosting their earnings potential.
This trend has evolved as we’ve shifted towards an increasingly interconnected world, which has created more opportunities to live and work abroad. Remember, a large number of Americans also speak either English or Spanish as their first language, creating viable visa opportunities throughout Europe, South America and even Southeast Asia.
On a similar note, Americans may also relocate in order to improve their secondary language skills, while simultaneously exploring other parts of the world and immersing themselves in a new and unique culture.
We should also recognize that the cost of living in the US is considerably higher than alternative parts of the world, which means that a growing number of citizens are now relocating abroad to achieve a greater level of financial freedom.
In some instances, this may enable US citizens to invest in real estate and accumulate wealth for the future, with such goals increasingly unachievable for lower income individuals who remain in the states.
Where are Americans Relocating to?
In recent times, the Social Security Administration in the states has noticed a 40% increase in the number of retirees drawing their funds overseas, with this suggesting that more citizens than ever are now spending their retirement abroad.
This also helps to explain why Mexico is the most popular destination for American expats, with this offering an exotic location for people who want to spend their retirement abroad.
At present, it’s thought that Mexico accounts for 27.7% of all Americans currently living abroad, while this number is likely to increase further in the years ahead.
The second most popular destination is neighboring Canada, with this largely the result of the nation’s close proximity and strong trade relations. Approximately 9.8% of Americans now live in Canada, with many of these of working age and in gainful employment.
Unsurprisingly, the UK is third on the list, with these two nations having enjoyed a special relationship for decades. Once again, there are strong corporate and trade links between these two entities, while the cultural similarities that bind them mean that 7.9% of US expats reside on these shores.
Clearly, US expats are scattered all around the world, despite the debate that surrounds the precise number of Americans living overseas.
Each of these locations provides variable legal challenges too, from the perspective of meeting immigration criteria and applying for the correct visas. This is why you may need expert legal advice prior to relocating abroad, so that you can make informed decisions and minimize the risk of unnecessary delays.
Without this, you make inaccurate or erroneous applications that hinder your dream of seeking out new and more exotic shores.