How Many Americans Live Abroad And Top Countries Have the Most American Expats (Update)

How Many Americans Live Abroad And Top Countries Have the Most American Expats (Update)

You’ll surely always wonder how many Americans are expatriates and which country has the highest concentration of American expatriates, given that there will be over 340 million Americans living in the US as of 2024. KnowInsiders.com helps you find the causes and update and synthesize data.

Although the number of Americans who leave the country is not officially tracked by the government, the most recent estimate places the number at almost nine million.

Today, there are over 8 or 9 million foreign-born people residing abroad. Furthermore, 15% of Americans surveyed by Gallup in 2022 expressed a desire to permanently leave the country.

The number of people who have left the US can be attributed to a wide range of reasons. Family problems or worries rank first among these justifications.

Family is the most important thing to some people, especially if a sick parent or sibling lives abroad and cannot get a passport or visa. It becomes clear and even reasonable in these kinds of circumstances why someone would decide to become an expat.

A person may choose to become a citizen or resident of another nation for financial or personal reasons. It makes sense that some people might be drawn to or convinced to leave by the allure of opportunity in a foreign undertaking.

Why is the number of Americans residing abroad increasing at such a rapid rate? The first is the quick increase in work-from-home policies and the effect of COVID, which really pushed this trend into overdrive.

the sharp rise in the accessibility and availability of Digital Nomad Visas, Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) programs in the Caribbean, and Residency-by-Investment (RBI) or Golden Visa programs, especially in Europe.

According to the World Economic Forum, there is a cost-of-living crisis, with 1 in 6 Americans now classified as “financially struggling.” Although gas prices appear to be slightly declining, other expenses like rent, food, gas, entertainment, and even clothing have all gone up.According to Livingcosts.org, a website that tracks expenses in almost 200 nations, expatriates can save up to $1,000 or more per month in the majority of popular locations. Hundreds of dollars even in France, which is frequently thought of as expensive.

Of course, there are some people who are anti-American for various reasons. Furthermore, there exists an even more exceptional subset of individuals who have had their citizenship revoked (a total of 107 individuals, as per reports).

Apart from these individuals and the evident familial or professional motives, it is difficult to conceive of many other good reasons to wish to depart from the land of opportunity. Additionally, it makes foreigners a very small minority because more people than any other country in the world flee to the US.

Mexico is the nation where American expatriates are most numerous. There are currently 799K Americans living in the nation.

Here is an estimated breakdown of American expats by nation (2024 Update), excluding former military personnel:

> US citizens living in Mexico: 799,248

> Change from 1990: 601,018 – #1 largest increase

> Pct. living in Mexico out of all expats: 26.68%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $18,150 – #61 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Canada: 273,226

> Change from 1990: 34,228 – #7 largest increase

> Pct. living in Canada out of all expats: 9.12%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $47,580 – #21 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in United Kingdom: 170,771

> Change from 1990: 28,953 – #9 largest increase

> Pct. living in United Kingdom out of all expats: 5.70%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $45,170 – #23 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Puerto Rico: 159,515

> Change from 1990: -67,968 – #1 largest decline

> Pct. living in Puerto Rico out of all expats: 5.32%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $24,000 – #51 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Germany: 152,639

> Change from 1990: 52,804 – #4 largest increase

> Pct. living in Germany out of all expats: 5.09%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $55,770 – #14 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Australia: 116,620

> Change from 1990: 63,045 – #2 largest increase

> Pct. living in Australia out of all expats: 3.89%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $51,330 – #20 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Israel: 76,794

> Change from 1990: 29,262 – #8 largest increase

> Pct. living in Israel out of all expats: 2.56%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $41,960 – #28 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Republic of Korea: 68,050

> Change from 1990: 56,337 – #3 largest increase

> Pct. living in Republic of Korea out of all expats: 2.27%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $43,650 – #24 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in France: 61,668

> Change from 1990: 21,408 – #13 largest increase

> Pct. living in France out of all expats: 2.06%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $47,450 – #22 out of 135 countries

> US citizens living in Japan: 58,340

> Change from 1990: 19,965 – #15 largest increase

> Pct. living in Japan out of all expats: 1.95%

> GNI per capita, 2020: $42,460 – #26 out of 135 countries

So where are all of these American expatriates heading? The Association of American Residents Overseas (AARO) reports that there are American expatriates in more than 160 nations:

40% opt for the Western hemisphere — Canada, Central and South America.

26% move to Europe.

14% head to East Asia and the Pacific — think Australia and New Zealand as well as China and Japan.

14% head to the Middle East.

3% travel to Central or South Asia.

3% choose Africa.

In 2015, the most popular countries for expats of all nations to move to are:

Ecuador

Mexico

Malta

Singapore

Luxembourg

New Zealand

Thailand

Panama

Canada

Australia

As a result, a country-by-country comparison of the data from 2015 and 2024 reveals significant movement among Americans residing overseas. The majority of Americans reside in two adjacent countries: Mexico and Canada; in 2015, that was Ecuador and Mexico.

Ultimately, because precise data on the number of Americans residing overseas is either unavailable or unreliable, there will always be some degree of uncertainty regarding the actual number of such citizens.

An official estimate that is precise cannot exist:

Though there is no formal registry, travelers and expatriates can register with their local embassy. There is no way to remove people who have returned to the US from the list, and the registries cover long-term and short-term relocation.

In 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau piloted a program to see if foreign nationals could be included in its decennial census. The study found that data quality would be poor and full implementation unaffordable. As explained below, federal and military personnel living abroad are counted in US censuses, but Americans living abroad are not.

Thus, the number of Americans abroad must be estimated. This article’s wide range of numbers shows how complicated and tricky it is. We don’t know the data source or methodology behind some estimated figures. Much of it relies on older data.

There are differing estimates regarding the number of Americans who are employed abroad in various nations.

There are an estimated 5.4 million Americans residing overseas as of right now, according to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO). AARO claims that other agencies frequently report that 8 to 9 million Americans “live” abroad, but their statistics also include “travel,” so they are not entirely accurate. The numbers provided by AARO in 2024 do not account for American travelers; they only include “living” abroad.

A one-page pamphlet titled “CONSULAR AFFAIRS BY THE NUMBERS,” released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, claims that “an estimated 9 MILLION U.S. citizens live overseas” without providing any justification. This number has been in use by the Department of State since 2016.

Along with State Department estimates by geographic region, based on data as of April 21, 2015, the State Department’s earlier estimate of 8.7 million Americans living abroad was published in the 2018 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report “Workplace Retirement Accounts.” For your information, we have included this regional breakdown below, but please note that the State Department’s current estimate is closer to 9 million, and this table is based on the 8.7 million estimate from 2015.

The US Department of Defense launched the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), a voter assistance and education initiative. After every general election, the FVAP is required by law to report on the registration and voting behaviors of the populations it serves, including American citizens residing abroad. To find out more about the population of American overseas citizens, the FVAP sponsors the Overseas Citizen Population Analysis (OCPA).

According to the FVAPs 2020 Overseas Citizen Population Analysis Report, there were 4.8 million American citizens residing abroad in 186 different countries in 2018. (2020 data not yet available). Neither military personnel nor their families are included in this FVAP estimate.

According to American Citizens Abroad, there will be 5.1 million American citizens living overseas as of 2022. This number includes 1.2 million service members and other Americans with government affiliations, in addition to 3.9 million civilian Americans.

Delivering current global population data and demographics is the mission of the independent, for-profit World Population Review (WPR). According to WPR estimates, there will be over 8 million foreign-born people living abroad in 2023.

As of right now, Democrats Abroad’s official position is the State Department number of 9 million, they have informed us.

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