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US Citizens Abroad: American Expatriate Statistics



The best way to get a detailed portrait of the US citizens living abroad is to look at some American Expatriate Statistics.

A decade or two ago, expatriation was much less developed among Americans than among other populations around the world.

But it’s been growing during the last years, and now it’s an important phenomenon.

Who Are the Americans that Are Living Overseas?

Number of American Expats

When questioned, the Americans are rather reluctant to leave their country to live abroad for a long time.

However, according to the latest American expatriation statistics given by the U. S. State Dept., there are approximately 10 million people living outside the United States.

Anyways, it’s difficult to come with an accurate number, since not all expats register themselves in an embassy or consulate.

Registration is strongly recommended for all American citizens who go abroad for more than six months, but it is not mandatory.

To facilitate this process, the Department of State created the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

The numbers handled by United Nations are lower, with an estimation of 3.2 million.

In any case, what both organisms agree on is that expatriation has been steadily increasing during the last years.

American Expatriate Statistics: Demographics

According to data obtained from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), most of the expats belong to two age groups: 25 to 34 years old, and older than 65.

The percentages per age group are the following:

  • 18 – 24: 9%
  • 25 – 34: 21%
  • 35 – 44: 18%
  • 45 – 54: 17%
  • 55 – 64: 16%
  • 65 +: 20%

According to this data, the vast majority of expatriates are active (64%), and around 18% are retired.

The figures also show that the level of education of American expatriates is relatively high. 46% have more than a bachelor’s degree. And 36% have a bachelor’s.

American Expatriate: Statistics on Reasons and Periods of Time

In general, there are several reasons for choosing to move abroad.

25% have done it for family reasons, 23% for work reasons, and 23% for “other reasons”.

In this last group, there are many individuals who did it due to their desire of traveling and discovering other cultures.

Most of the expats see this change of country as a long-term project.

In fact, 47% have been living abroad in the same country for 12 years or more. While only 31% have been abroad for 6 years or less.

Where do American Expatriates Live According to the Statistics?

The Americans living abroad statistics show these patterns when it comes to location:

  • The favorite country for American expats is Mexico, which holds around 27% of all the expatriates from the US
  • The European countries with the highest number of American expats are the UK, Germany, and France
  • The preferred countries in Asia are South Korea and Japan.

The main host countries of the American expatriate community have remained the same for many years:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia.

The reasons for choosing one or another are, in general, related to job opportunities and proximity to home.

Among retirees and travelers, it’s more about the weather and the cost of living.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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