15 Reasons So Many Americans are Seeking a New Life Beyond U.S. Borders

Are you an American who secretly feels that you might not want to live in America anymore? If so, you aren’t alone. 

Travel blogger Tom Kuegler wrote a post on Medium in 2020 explaining that long-term traveling had made him want to leave the U.S. for good. He shared that his parents felt the same way, although he didn’t give their reasons. 

This is just one story; however, there are thousands more. Here is a list of some of the most popular reasons why people have chosen or intend to leave the U.S. Some personal anecdotes are shared; however, it’s important to note that they are for illustrative purposes only and not advice. 

Non-Natives Agree

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A post from The Spectator shared that people from other countries also feel this way. “Why I No Longer Want to Live in America” had reasons such as “the political scene is just too absurd” and that Americans have “always been oddly polarized in lots of ways,” not just in politics. That’s why a non-native didn’t want to live in the US, but why are Americans feeling this now?

The Healthcare Industry Stole His Parents’ Retirement 

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A member of the question-and-answer platform Quora shares that although he hasn’t left yet, what happened to his parents is his reason for wanting to do so. They had excellent savings, social security, and a paid-off home. However, his mother got breast cancer at 70. Despite having the “most comprehensive Medicare supplements available,” she still burned up over $175k out of pocket for treatment in six years.

Better Healthcare In Australia

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Another Quora user shared her husband’s story in December, telling why he had renounced his American citizenship and now lives in Australia with her. He went to Oz to meet her and had planned to stay in the country for only three months, but after seeing the healthcare there, he changed his mind and would “never go back to the States.” They’ve been married for 25 years now. 

Rising Education Costs

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Many Americans are finding it almost impossible to pay for a higher education. Even those who have worked hard to keep up their grades and been offered scholarships sometimes find that they have to pay entrance fees first. 

Although student loans were once a way to help poorer students have the option of college, loaning money for college has now become a high-dollar business. And there is no guarantee they will find jobs to pay back the money.

Racial Division

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The racial division in America seems to be increasing daily, spurred on by those who benefit from it. The media constantly feeds its readers hate and fear of people of other races. The loudest voices often don’t represent the hearts of the majority, and this fear is causing people to want to flee the country.

No Work-Life Balance

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Some citizens feel that there is no work-life balance in America. They see the country’s work culture as “demanding” and feel that productivity is prioritized over well-being more in America than in other countries. This can lead to burnout and stress for the workers who keep the country going. They feel that there is no way to lead a fulfilling life in a country without a healthy work-life balance.

Political Instability

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Other Americans are concerned about the constant political turmoil that is rampant in the country. The citizens have lost faith in politicians. They see the entire affair as more of a wrestling match where both sides are playing them for money rather than an honorable institution. This is another issue that is fed by the media.

Housing Costs

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Americans are also considering leaving the country because of the outrageously high housing costs. In some parts of the country, it is simply impossible to find stable living arrangements that are affordable. The only housing that is within many budgets is in high-crime neighborhoods, and the housing market is in shambles. It makes many wonder what the American dream really is.

Safety and Security

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With no safe place to live affordably, residents have valid concerns about their personal safety and security. As more racial tension, political, and other issues are fed by the media, more fear and anger are ignited. Many Americans feel a sense of unease and vulnerability, even in small towns where this was never an issue before. This can cause some to consider leaving their country.

No Help For Abuse Victims

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In some areas of America, the system is so broken that there is no help for abuse victims. One user shared on Quora that she is homeless in America because she fled a domestic abuse situation. Calling the police for help only made her situation worse, and she chose to be homeless over staying in abuse. With the long waiting list for shelters, there was nowhere for her to go in America. If she could, she would likely leave.

Better Life in Tropical Paradise

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Another member of the platform shared that he is a veteran who is disabled from multiple sclerosis. He’s on $1069 a month from SSDI and has to subtract $100 a month for Medicare in the U.S. because his disability was not service-related. With the cost of rent, food, and utilities, he could afford to live in very few places in America. 

He took a trip to the Philippines to meet a caregiver and found his monthly rent was under $100, and groceries were about $65 a month. He feels that he can live much better there and even gets to visit a seaside resort occasionally. The natural, stress-free lifestyle and diet there have allegedly put his illness into remission, and he has already lived three years longer than his American doctor projected. 

Life in Spain is Good, Too

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A US expat and Medium-writer living in Spain explains that she left America in 2017 and has seen a dramatic improvement in her health. She pointed out that America has over “2000 additives and chemicals in the food industry that are banned in the EU.” She also says that her cost of living, especially healthcare costs, has drastically reduced. 

She went on to share that the low crime rates in Spain and the country’s emphasis on “quality of life over work” have made everyone happy and greatly improved her own quality of life. She says that with France and Portugal being her backyard, you couldn’t pay her to go back to America.

Retirement in the Netherlands

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A dog trainer in the Netherlands explained that some Americans choose to come there for several reasons – the main one being retirement. He said there is a safety net there for people when they reach “old age” and that healthcare and housing are more secure.

Property Taxes

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He went on to explain that he was shocked when his American friends told him about property taxes. He couldn’t believe that in the US, older people are “robbed of their houses” if they can’t pay taxes on them. He explained that there are no taxes on a home you own in the Netherlands unless you don’t live in it. His American friends chose to retire in the Netherlands.

Are Americans Really Free?

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Another user of Quora, who “once worked for a congressman,” explained many reasons for wanting to leave America, including what we “claim the entire country was founded on freedom itself.” 

He pointed out that if you want to build a house on a vacant lot, the local “NIMBYs” (that’s Not In My Back Yard to those not in the know) can stop it using the local government. He makes a point that others have often made about the U.S. – if you have to pay for a permit to fish, hunt, collect water, etc., are you really even free? 

Economic Inequality

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Some wish they could leave America because of the economic inequality they see as the wealth gap widens. Those who are not among the top earners can no longer afford to live comfortably and have no vision of a secure future after retirement. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that the middle class can’t even afford healthcare, rent, and food, and many of them don’t even own a house or a car.

It Isn’t Like the Movies

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Television shows and movies show an America where the middle class drives expensive cars, lives in nice homes, and wears designer clothes, which can be a big draw to immigrants. 

However, those living the lifestyle seen in Hollywood are among the wealthiest percentage – the elite, not the average, everyday American worker. And while so many risk their lives to get into America, some of those born there are working to get out.

Career Opportunities

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Limited career opportunities and professional growth prospects in America can be a driving factor for some individuals considering relocating to other countries. Pursuing fulfilling and rewarding career paths may lead some to explore opportunities abroad in more dynamic and vibrant job markets. This is why many end up as expats in other nations and are happy to stay there.

Some Choose to Stay and Fight for Change

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While America offers many opportunities and freedoms, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges and shortcomings that some individuals may face in the country. By understanding the reasons why some Americans may be hesitant to continue living in America, those who stay can work towards creating a healthier, safer, and more secure society for all its citizens.

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