Why are Americans moving overseas?
The number of American expats fluctuates, but the trend has seen emigration numbers grow year on year. And the figures show that the number of Americans moving overseas is set to keep growing. It’s estimated that there are currently over 9 million American citizens living overseas, and that figure does not include military personnel. The motivations for leaving the US and moving oversees as well as international trends having a huge impact on the numbers.
2019 has been a tumultuous year for the US: with fast moving politics, trade changes and a ‘hot-topic’ focus on immigration. And while there are many reasons that American citizens move overseas, there are some big hitters when considering the main motivations for taking the plunge and relocating.
Improving language skills
There are many easily accessible countries for American citizens whose first language is English or Spanish. As they are both so widely spoken, it’s easy to move somewhere where you’ll have no troubles communicating from day-one in your new country. However, for some American expats, the main motivation in an overseas move is the opportunity to learn a language. Moving overseas can be the quickest way to learn a new language: getting completely absorbed in another culture and having to speak another language every day. And being able to speak another language, especially with the fluency of a local, has far reaching benefits both socially and professionally.
Many overseas territories have a much lower cost of living than the US. This lower cost of living can afford American expats the opportunity to enjoy financial freedom and even use their expat salary to fund a more extravagant lifestyle. For many US expats, things such as buying an home or investment property, more expendable cash and even choosing private schools for their children are real possibilities. And this change in financial prosperity is often a really strong driving factor for those moving overseas from the US.
For a large number of US expats, the chance to move overseas also sees them put down roots in their new home country. Thanks to (generally) strong expat wages and different financial climates, it can often be true that it’s more attainable for expats to buy a home in their new destination. This security and financial opportunity can also be a deciding factor in making the leap to move overseas.
To explore other continents
With so much of the world to see, a large number of expats are solely motivated by their desire to get out there and explore some of it! The numbers of American citizens who hold a passport – and can therefore travel internationally – is growing every year. And with 42% of the US now owning a passport, it’s clear that the desire to travel the globe is growing. For US citizens with a touch of wanderlust, the chance to study or a job overseas can offer up the perfect way to get out there.
To improve career prospects in the US
Taking a role overseas can often prove invaluable experience for those looking to climb the career ladder. Whether you’re looking for internal career progression, or a faster route to a more senior role in another company or industry, international experience can make all the difference. For many ambitious US citizens, opting into a year or two overseas can help their climb to the top!
More opportunity than ever before
Thanks to growing international companies and a more international workforce, the opportunities to move abroad are growing. And with either English or Spanish as a first language, US citizens can easily move to other countries where these languages are widely spoken. This makes moving for work even easier. And US citizens have strong visa opportunities in Europe, South America, Canada and Southeast Asia.
If you’re considering moving overseas from America, we’re here to help. With dedicated teams in the US and overseas, we support you through every stage of relocating. And our experts put the 120 years of international moving knowledge to good use: we make moving home easy for you.