Around the world, more than 46 countries host American populations, with nearly 1 million United States citizens residing in Mexico and another 800,000 living throughout the European Union. While these emigrants rarely renounce their American citizenship, a steady rise in the number of citizens choosing to move out of the country for a life abroad is not likely to slow down anytime soon.
Surprisingly, the multitude of reasons why so many Americans are living abroad are as varied as the emigrants themselves. The central theme of these reasons, and those who consider them, depend on factors such as family histories, religious ties, and personal experiences.
Mexico is well-known among Americans for being less-expensive, but the Czech Republic has become a popular relocation destination. In addition to enjoying a cheaper cost-of-living, U.S. citizens are also afforded easy access to both Eastern and Western Europe, broadening both their travel and business opportunities in all new ways.
Every year, citizens and permanent residents alike choose to pack up, hire moving companies, and set sail with the intention of living abroad. Some have married foreigners, while others are looking to reconnect with their extended family, rediscover their roots, or simply return to a home from which they were involuntarily driven.
The United States was once known as a religious haven for foreign immigrants hoping to escape persecution. However, events throughout the past several decades have negatively affected citizens’ views of some religions and those who practice them are now opting for locales in which they can worship without harassment.
Despite the fact that American health insurance companies rarely cover overseas medical treatment, U.S. citizens will often cite healthcare coverage as a main factor in their decision to emigrate. Even for those deemed ineligible for universal health care in foreign countries, the costs associated with treatment are much more affordable.
Americans have a natural wanderlust and the need to immerse ourselves in forgeign cultures plays a huge roll in emigration numbers. Many simply move out of the country with hopes of experiencing, and learning from, the lifestyles of other cultural groups. Refugees and the children of former immigrants choose to return to their homelands and live their lives in the same manner as those who came before.
Information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Bureau of Consular Affairs led the State department to estimate that as many as 9 million non-military U.S. citizens were living abroad in 2016. While these numbers have more than doubled since 1999, they are still disputed.
What is known, however, is that Americans are not going to stop emigrating anytime soon, and many with good reason. Quite often, those who establish permanent residency in foreign countries have left with the hope of broadening their horizons while also living a happier life in the long run.