Politics Driving Americans Abroad

Updated on April 9, 2024
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Political climates shape more than just policy. In the US, it’s leading many Americans to contemplate emigration. Spurred by dissatisfaction with our domestic political scene, a significant number of individuals and families across party lines are considering new lives abroad. Our comprehensive survey of over 1,000 Americans sheds light on this trend, highlighting their destinations and specific motivators behind these life-changing decisions. This article explores these patterns surrounding major election years (including this one) and reveals the potential long-term shifts of American expat plans.

Key Takeaways

  • 85% of Americans feel negatively about the current political climate in the United States.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans would consider moving out of the US regardless of the election outcome in 2024.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Democrats would consider moving out of the US if the Republican candidate wins the election.
  • Nearly 1 in 12 Republicans would consider moving out of the US if the Democrat candidate wins the election.
  • Democrats (41%) are 86% more likely than Republicans (22%) to consider emigrating in response to the current political climate.
  • Over 1 in 5 Americans considering emigration due to the political climate would make a permanent move and be willing to revoke their US citizenship.
  • Within 2 years of the 2020 US election, Mexico (46,347), the United Kingdom (45,966), and Canada (28,750) were the top destinations for US emigration.

America’s Political Discontent

Infographic showing Americans' sentiments on the US political climate.
  • 85% of Americans feel negatively about the current political climate in the US.
    • Gen Z is the most likely to hold a negative sentiment toward the current political climate in the US (76%) and least likely to hold a positive sentiment (7%).
  • 87% of Republicans feel negatively about the current political climate in the US, while 7% feel positive. The top 3 issues impacting Republicans’ sentiment toward the current US political climate are:
    • Immigration (73%)
    • Economy and employment (66%)
    • Foreign policy and conflict (43%)
  • 83% of Democrats feel negatively about the current political climate in the US, while 6% feel positive. The top 3 issues impacting Democrats’ sentiment toward the current US political climate are:
    • Abortion and reproductive rights (73%)
    • Gun control (66%)
    • Healthcare, income inequality, and poverty (Tie – 65%)
  • Democrats (41%) are 86% more likely than Republicans (22%) to consider moving out of the US in response to the current political climate.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Democrats would consider moving out of the US if the Republican candidate wins the election.
  • Nearly 1 in 12 Republicans would consider moving out of the US if the Democrat candidate wins the election.
  • Over 1 in 4 independents would consider moving out of the US regardless of election outcome.
  • Gen Z (46%) is the most likely to consider moving out of the US in response to the current political climate.

Top Expat Destination Motivations

Infographic of Americans' emigration thoughts due to the political climate
  • Top 3 Countries Democrats Would Consider Emigrating To:
    • Canada (48%)
    • United Kingdom (22%)
    • Australia (17%)
  • Top 3 Countries Republicans Would Consider Emigrating To:
    • Canada, Australia, Italy (Tie – 18%)
    • Japan (16%)
    • New Zealand (13%)
  • Republicans (29%) are 71% more likely than Democrats (17%) to consider permanent emigration without US citizenship.
  • Gen Z is the most likely to consider permanent emigration while maintaining US citizenship (60%).

Tracking Post-Election Emigration

Infographic showing top American emigration destinations after the 2020 election.
  • Within 2 years of the 2020 US election, Mexico (46,347), the United Kingdom (45,966), and Canada (28,750) were the top destinations for US emigration.

Methodology

For this study, we surveyed 1,001 Americans about their sentiments toward the current political climate in the United States and whether they would consider emigrating in response. Among the respondents, 48% reported as Democrats, 29% as independents, 21% as Republicans, and 2% as other.

We also referenced the following sources for US emigration (specifically for family, work, or study) to the respective country from 2020 to 2022:

About Greenback Expat Tax Services

Greenback Expat Tax Services provides Americans worldwide with expert, hassle-free tax preparation. Our team combines personalized support with digital solutions, ensuring a transparent, accurate, and efficient tax filing process. Dedicated to making tax time stress-free, we empower expats to navigate their tax obligations with confidence, allowing them to focus on their international lives.

Fair Use Statement

If you’re intrigued by the insights on American emigration and political dissatisfaction, feel free to share this article for any noncommercial purposes. Please link back to this page so readers have access to the full context and methodology behind our findings.

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