More American citizens are moving to Mexico than any other country. With 1.6 million Americans residing there in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of State, Mexico is already the top country for American expats. Over 16,000 Americans emigrated across our southern border in 2021, outnumbering moves to any other country – securing Mexico’s place at the top of our list of the countries with the most American expats.
To determine the countries Americans are moving to, 24/7 Tempo consulted a 2022 study called Where Americans are Actually Moving Abroad by HireAHelper.com, a moving company that connects clients to local professional movers. The study utilized United Nations international migrant stock data as well as immigration statistics published by each country to find the 15 most common destinations for Americans moving abroad.
Although Canada follows Mexico as the country with the second highest population of U.S. citizens, our northern neighbor has lagged behind both Mexico and the U.K. as a destination for Americans for the last five years. In 2021, 14,626 Americans moved to the U.K., while only 11,955 headed north.
Mexico and Canada aside, European countries dominate the list of the top 15 destinations for Americans moving abroad, with Portugal seeing the largest increase (303 percent) from 2017 to 2021. Other English-speaking countries including Australia and New Zealand also made the list, as did Costa Rica, Israel, Japan, and South Korea.
Some of the most common reasons that U.S. citizens choose to live in other countries involve career opportunities, research positions, and romantic relationships. Other people move overseas because another country offers cheaper health care or a higher standard of living. Indeed, some of the top destinations are countries that boast cities with the best work-life balance in the world.
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