American expat stats

American Expatriate Statistics: Trends of Living Abroad

The trend of Americans moving to other countries offers an interesting look at how people adapt to different cultures and lifestyles. In this article, we’ll explore the latest numbers and patterns related to Americans living overseas. We’ll also cover various aspects of life abroad, like where people choose to live, and reasons tied to culture.

If you’re interested in what life is like for American expats abroad, you’ll discover concise insights here. Let’s delve into the wide-ranging world of Americans living in other countries.

Americans Moving out of the Country

Americans are moving to other countries for a variety of reasons. Some Americans leave the country to retire abroad. Or else, most of the people with United States citizenship chose Mexico City as the best expat destination.

How Many Americans Emigrate from the US?

We can say that there are a significant number of Americans emigrating from the US. Here are some statistics:

  • In 2021, American expats preferred living abroad in countries such as Canada, the U.K., and Mexico.
  • In 2021, it was estimated that annually, tens of thousands of Americans emigrate from the United States.
  • As of 2021, there were approximately 9 million American expatriates living worldwide. This number represents a diverse range of individuals and families who have chosen to live outside the United States for various reasons.
  • 2020 is a record year for Americans giving up citizenship, according to N.Y. accountants.
  • About 4.8 million U.S. citizens were estimated to be living abroad in 2018, with approximately 2.9 million of them being of voting age.
  • In 2023, 18% of expats living abroad are 61 years or older.

Countries to Move to from the USA

  • Many Americans find Portugal to be the most accessible European country to relocate to, particularly as of 2022. Expats are drawn to this place because it welcomes them with open arms, has straightforward residency requirements, offers an affordable cost of living, and has an attractive Golden Visa program.
  • According to the Portuguese government, there were around 10,000 US citizens living in Portugal in 2022.

American Expatriate Reasons

Here are some of the reasons for Americans becoming expatriates:

  • Better quality of life
  • Employment opportunities
  • Retirement
  • lower cost of living
  • Adventurous experiences and new cultures
  • Family reasons
  • Political climate
  • Access to healthcare
"In 2021, the most popular destination for U.S. citizens moving abroad was Mexico."

Best Countries for American Expats

According to InterNations and Expat Insider surveys and reports, the best nations for American expats in 2022 were Canada, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand. American residents overseas live in destinations like Spain and Portugal.

  • According to Global RCG and their research, by estimate, roughly 40% of all Americans could be eligible for citizenship by ancestry in the EU.
  • In 2021, a total of 443,546 Americans retired abroad and received their social security checks outside of the USA, according to the Social Security Administration.

The Easiest European Country to Move to from the US

Many Americans find it relatively easy to move to Portugal compared to other European countries. Reasons for choosing this place include its friendly culture, easy residency requirements, low living costs, and the Golden Visa program.

Where are the Most Expats from the US in Europe?

  • Most American expats in Europe live in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Americans are drawn to the UK due to its shared language and cultural ties with the US, while Germany and France also have their appeal. Work, education, and cultural integration are available in these countries with diverse opportunities.
  • By the end of 2019, the EU had a total of 2.3 million American residents with valid permits, out of which 869,877 held long-term permits.

Expats from the US Living in the UK

  • According to Statista, there were approximately 166 thousand American nationals residing in the United Kingdom in 2021.

Expats from the US Living in Germany

  • Most expats in Germany come from the USA, with 15% of all the expats living in Germany, according to the InterNations report 2020.

Expats from the US Living in the UK

  • According to the American Embassy in Paris, as of 2015, there are about 150,000 to 200,000 American citizens residing in France. Throughout France,  Paris and major urban centers are mostly preferred.

The Best Country to Live in Europe

Countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands frequently top the list. These countries also score highly in safety, environmental quality, and social welfare.


  • Denmark’s healthcare system is ranked among the top in the world, with a 2020 Euro Health Consumer Index score placing it in the top 5 European countries for healthcare quality.
  • As of 2022, Denmark’s GDP per capita stood at approximately $61,000, reflecting its strong economy and high standard of living.
  • In 2021, Denmark was frequently cited as having one of the best work-life balances globally, with an average workweek of about 37 hours.


  • Switzerland’s healthcare system is renowned for its high quality and efficiency. In 2021, it was ranked 2nd globally in the Health Care Index.
  • Switzerland had a GDP per capita of about $83,832 in 2022, one of the highest in the world, indicating a robust and prosperous economy.
  • In 2022, Switzerland was recognized for its excellent work-life balance, with full-time workers dedicating around 15% of their day on average to personal care and leisure, one of the highest rates in OECD countries.
"In 2021, it’s estimated that about 9 million Americans lived overseas."

The Netherlands

  • The Netherlands has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe, ranking 3rd in the 2020 Euro Health Consumer Index.
  • In 2022, the GDP per capita of the Netherlands was around $58,341, signaling a strong and stable economy.
  • The Netherlands is known for its work-life balance, with a 2021 report indicating that Dutch full-time workers spend approximately 16 hours per day on leisure and personal care, one of the highest in the OECD.

Top 3 Statistics About Mexico

  • As of 2022, Mexico has a growing healthcare system that is increasingly catering to expatriates, with quality medical care available at a fraction of the cost in the US. In major cities, hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
  • As of 2021–2022, real estate in Mexico is considerably more affordable than in many parts of the US. For example, the average cost of a home in popular expat destinations like Lake Chapala or the Riviera Maya is significantly lower than in comparable U.S. locations.
  • As of 2022, Mexico’s economy has been showing signs of steady growth and stability. While it may not match the economic power of the US, its steady growth provides a sense of economic stability for expatriates, particularly those looking to invest or start businesses.

Emigrating from the US

Between 2020 and 2021, thousands of Americans moved abroad, leaving the country primarily for Europe and Asia. An increase in emigration from the US was observed around 2021, especially among young professionals.

American Expats in Europe

As of 2021, the top destinations for American expatriates in Europe are the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. It’s estimated that around 25% of American expatriates reside in these countries.

American Expats in Asia

As of 2021, Japan, China, and South Korea had become popular locations for approximately 14% of American expatriates living in Asian countries.

American Expats in Latin America and the Caribbean

About 30% of American expatriates reside in this region, with Mexico being the top as of 2021.

Largest American Expat Communities

Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom have the largest American expat communities.

"The US population exceeded 331 million as of early 2023."

Emigrating to the US: Expats Moving to the US

How many international students study in the US?

  • According to Statista, there were 948,519 international students studying in the United States in the 2021/22 academic year. The number increased by 914,095 compared to the previous year.

America visa statistics

  • In 2022, the US issued over 9 million non-immigrant visas, with tourist and business visas being the most common.

Diversity visa statistics in America

  • Up to 50,000 visas are allocated annually through the US. Diversity Visa Program, with the 2022 data reflecting this quota.

Statistics about travel in America

  • Over 79 million international visitors traveled to the US in 2019, the latest year with comprehensive data pre-pandemic.

Racism statistics in America

  • Surveys in 2021 indicated that over 70% of Americans viewed racism as a significant issue in the US.

States with the most immigrants

  • California, Texas, and Florida were the top states by immigrant population in the 2020 US Census.

Foreign-born population by state

  • The 2020 Census data showed California leading, with over 27% of its population being foreign-born.

States with the highest immigrant population

  • According to 2020 Census data, California, Texas, and New York had the largest immigrant populations.

State with the Least Immigrants

  • States like West Virginia, Mississippi, and Montana had the lowest immigrant populations according to the 2020 Census.

Immigrants by State

  • The 2020 Census data indicated significant immigrant populations in states like California, Texas, and New York.

Best Countries for Expats

  • Based on 2022 surveys like InterNations, countries like Canada, Australia, and Germany were top choices for expats.

Immigration Stats in the US

Number of immigrants by country

  • The US had over 50 million immigrants in 2020, leading globally.

How many immigrants are in the US?

  • Over 50 million immigrants were residing in the US as of 2020.

States with the most immigrants

  • California, Texas, and Florida had the most immigrants, according to the 2020 Census.

State with the least immigrants

  • Montana, Mississippi, and West Virginia had the lowest immigrant populations per 2020 data.
"In 2022, according to the American Community Survey (ACS), an estimated 46.2 million
foreign-born people resided in the US, representing 13.9% of the total US population."


The landscape of American expatriation is as diverse as it is dynamic. In this article, we’ve provided a thorough overview of the current state of American expats. We’ve also shed light on the numbers, destinations, and driving forces behind this growing community. As we’ve seen, various factors, from economic opportunities to personal aspirations fuel this global movement.

The statistics and trends highlighted here serve not just as figures but as reflections of individual stories and broader societal shifts. Whether you’re an expat or an interested observer, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the global American footprint. As the world continues to evolve, so too will the patterns of expatriation. Let’s stay informed and curious.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Central America foreign-friendly?

Central American countries like Costa Rica and Panama are known for being expatriate-friendly, offering welcoming communities, attractive retirement programs, and a relatively easy residency process.

Is Central Asia a country to move to for United Nations citizens?

Central Asia, encompassing countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, is less commonly chosen by expatriates from the U.S. and other UN member states due to factors like language barriers and less familiar cultural settings.

Where do Americans of young age emigrate?

Europe (UK, Germany) and Asia (Japan, South Korea): Young Americans often move to these regions for education and employment opportunities in technology, education, and business sectors.

Do expats from the US prefer the Middle East?

The Middle East, particularly the UAE and Qatar, attracts American expats with job opportunities in industries like oil, finance, and technology, though it may not be the top preference compared to other regions.

What are the political reasons for Americans moving out of the country?

Political reasons for emigration include dissatisfaction with domestic politics, a desire for a more favorable political climate, concerns about social justice and human rights, and the pursuit of more progressive social policies.

What are the countries with the most immigrants?

As of 2020, the US, Germany, and Saudi Arabia had the highest numbers of immigrants.

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