The “land of the free” is a dream destination for people from all walks of life who seek the comfort and opportunities that entry into the United States offers.
Demographically the largest groups of expats residing within the USA are from Germany, France and the UK with 32% moving there for work or education.
However all is not as it seems. According to recent research by currency-conversion company TransferWise, over a third of Americans would actually consider living abroad. It seems even in the USA the grass may be greener, with those who have grown tired of the “American dream” willing to chance their luck overseas.
Of the 35% of Americans that would consider moving abroad, an even more surprising 14% of those surveyed would consider doing so within the next five years.
The obvious question is “why”? When so many people are willing to risk life and limb to gain access to the standards of living offered by America, why are so many Americans themselves willing to leave home to seek opportunities elsewhere in the world?
The most common reason for Americans being willing to relocate was the search for a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Following closely behind as the second most common motivator to moving overseas was quite simply a reduction in living costs.
Interestingly, when asked about the ways in which the United States could be made more attractive to them the number one concern, with 58% of the votes, was the cost of healthcare in the USA. It could be suggested therefore that the much-maligned “Obamacare” movement has done little for reducing healthcare costs for the average American.
Secondarily 51% of Americans felt that lower taxes would make remaining a US citizen more attractive while 48% touted improved education as their priority.
So what would hold Americans back from moving overseas? The survey suggests that far and away the most common anchor to their home country is close ties to family and friends. Almost a quarter of those surveyed feared leaving behind their democratic society whilst culture ranked third.
Interestingly very few of the respondents worried about leaving behind the crime, the weather or even affordable housing.
That said, patriotism still runs deep in American culture, with 59% of US-born respondents to the survey claiming that they view the United States as “home”.
Indeed, of those Americans that would consider moving abroad just over 30% said they would do so to have new experiences.
Perhaps living in the States is much like anywhere else in that no matter how good life gets many of us long for adventure overseas.