Believe it or not, most Americans want to live abroad

The study, published in the International Migration Review, also found that the aspiration to live abroad is strongly predicted by national identity.

Published: 18th December 2018 02:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2018 02:19 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only (File | AP)


LONDON: While you may be trying hard to get a chance to visit or live in the the US, but according to new research, approximately one in three American-born citizens living in the country consider leaving and living their lives abroad.

The desire to explore other lands (87.4 per cent) was found as the leading factor to leave the US, said Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels from the UK's University of Kent.

The study, published in the International Migration Review, also found that the aspiration to live abroad is strongly predicted by national identity.

On the other hand, there is almost no correlation between political ideology -- whether someone identifies as politically liberal or conservative -- and Americans' aspiration to live abroad.

"When we looked at what underlying factors played a role in Americans' thinking about migrating, we found that having a less than "very strong" American national identity was an important factor," von Koppenfels said.

"Others that played a role were knowing other Americans who had lived abroad or having served in the US military, both of which are networks our respondents might tap into.

"While one might think that ideological orientation plays a role, at least in this pre-Trump survey, we found out that it did not, at least not directly," von Koppenfels noted.

Other reasons identified were retirement (50.8 per cent); leaving a bad or disappointing situation in the US (49.0 per cent); and working (48.3 per cent).

Previous research has shown that adventure or exploration is the primary reason American migrants who are already abroad give for migration, with marriage or partnership a very close second.

This study builds on that research and examines what motivations prospective American migrants have, whether they end up leaving or not.

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