American's Interest Toward Leaving the U.S. is up 945%

Here is what some other great countries have to offer…

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International Living, a website that shows how you can live, invest, or retire overseas, says that interest in leaving America has been soaring, with traffic up 945 percent from this past springtime through summer.

According to Immigration New Zealand, a total of 250,000 Americans have looked into how to leave the U.S. and move to the Pacific Island nation. Visits to a website, New Zealand Now, have spiked 160 percent, an average of about one U.S. resident per minute.

Companies that help Americans get second passports are also witnessing a massive increase in their services.

And Americans are giving up their citizenship at record levels. According to Bambridge Accountants New York, twice as many people (5,816 Americans) relinquished their citizenship in the first half of 2020, compared to the 2,072 who did it during the entirety of 2019.

The seemingly never-ending pandemic, in tandem with the corrupt political climate, the country's overall aura of anger and anxiety, along with a terrible social safety net, the staggering cost of housing, and crushing student loans, are all becoming too much to bear for a lot of people. Americans want out and many of them are looking to make it happen.

So, what might be the advantages of living in another country? I’ve picked a few and offered those up for your reading pleasure and consideration below.

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New Zealand

New Zealand has always been a popular destination — especially amongst more discerning migrants looking for more than just sunshine. NZ always features highly on the PSS National UK Migration Survey and for the past 3 years, New Zealand has been rated 2nd in HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey.

In Gallup’s recent Net Potential Migration Index, New Zealand came top as the country people most wanted to migrate to. In fact, if everyone who wanted to migrate to New Zealand did so, its population would increase by a massive 232% to 11 million!

So, why live in New Zealand?

  • Beautiful scenery and nature (it’s no coincidence that Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed here). New Zealand is known for having some of the most astonishing natural scenery in the world.
  • High quality of life. New Zealand was rated 2nd in the world for work-life balance in HSBC’s 2018 Expat Explorer Survey.
  • People in New Zealand are said to be welcoming, warm, and friendly. Because the country is so small, it feels (for a lot of people) like an especially neighborly community.
  • Your qualifications and skills are likely to be in high demand. Whether you fancy Auckland or Wellington or somewhere smaller, there is a current high demand for people with skills in engineering, trades, finance, and of course, health and education. Most skilled occupations are generally paid more too. Check out the Skill Shortage List and see if your occupation is one that is currently needed. MoveToNewZealand.net recommends that you be researching job opportunities online before you leave (if you don’t have an offer already) and be lining up interviews for when you arrive.
  • New Zealand is incredibly progressive. World firsts in this country include giving women the vote, the 8-hour workday, climbing Mount Everest, the first transgender MP, the first bungee jump and more recently the first Prime Minister to take maternity leave. New Zealand is now aiming to be the first country 100% powered by renewable energy. It’s certainly a country its people can be proud of.
  • Great future prospects. New Zealand is forecast to be one of the stronger growing economies in the western world this year according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) latest global outlook. The growth forecasts for New Zealand were towards the top of the OECD table, similar to those for Australia, but outstripping those for the European Union, Britain, and the United States.
  • They are said to have great public services. They are frequently cited as a success story in the international media and many other countries look to New Zealand for inspiration when trying to improve their public services. But they are not content to rest on their laurels and continually lead the way with new reforms.
  • A plethora of interesting animal species lives here. From the amazing flora and fauna to the stunning mountains and forests, New Zealand is a magical and exotic paradise just waiting to be discovered.
  • There is a lot of space here. The population of New Zealand is just hitting the 5 million mark which, when compared to that of the slightly smaller UK with 66.77 million, makes it clear just how much space is available in this beautiful country. If you’re looking to escape crowds and traffic jams then New Zealand has a lot to offer.
  • There’s seriously good food in New Zealand. Kiwis are especially fond of their seafood and their ice-cream. You will find many excellent restaurants and cafes in bigger towns just as you will in the smaller ones. Good food is plentiful and the cleanliness of the country’s land makes the fruit and vegetables even more wholesome.
  • New Zealand is laden with adventure sports, sunshine-filled beaches, volcanoes, and hot springs.
  • New Zealand has been voted the greatest country on earth, not just in 2018, but for seven years in a row in the Telegraph Travel Awards because of its combination of familiarity and escapism. So why escape here for a couple of weeks when you could be living here permanently?
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Canada

Did you know that in 2018, more than 310,000 people made the move to Canada? So, why consider doing so yourself?

  • It’s safe. According to the Global Peace Index (GPI), Canada is one of the safest places to live. The country came in at number six, scoring 1.381 in 2018 in the GPI. Lower crime rates, a peaceful political government, and low military action mean that Canada has become a mainstay for peaceful living.
  • It has great immigration programs. Canada has one of the largest numbers of visa options to help immigrants move to Canada! Currently, there are over 70 immigration options that are on offer across the different provinces and territories.
  • It has a free public schooling system for all residents. No matter where you live in Canada, as a resident, your children have access to free public education from the time they are five to around the age of 19 depending on the province or territory. When you arrive in Canada as a newcomer, you can be assisted to enroll your children for free public education in your local area.
  • Since the country is so welcoming, these services will also extend to helping you start a new bank account and getting a tax number to help with finding accommodation.
  • It has fantastic job opportunities. Did you know that Canada’s unemployment rate hit an all-time low that hasn’t been seen since the 1970s? Because the country has a steadily growing elderly population, many of the residents are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce. What does this mean for you? More chances to get that dream job in Canada. Through systems like Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Trades Class, you do not need a job offer to move to Canada if you qualify. In fact, you can browse for a job after you make your move to the country. Because of the number of retiring professionals, the salaries in certain job markets have increased exponentially. Read more about the top in-demand jobs in Canada for 2019.
  • Great economic opportunity. Did you know that Canada is one of the G7 economies? Together with France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, Canada forms part of the strongest economies of the world.
  • Public healthcare is free. Yes, you heard right, public healthcare in Canada is free to all residents and citizens. The average Canadian is entitled to at least $6,500 a year to help keep themselves healthy! You can apply for medical aid once you have your Health Insurance Card which proves that you are a member of the community and can access all the benefits as a resident. It can take around three months to get your Health Insurance Card so remember that you should get some additional health insurance in the meanwhile. All provinces and territories in Canada will provide free emergency services even if you don’t have a health card though.
  • It has some of the top universities in the world.
  • Canada is one of the few countries that doesn’t just want temporary workers, it wants citizens from around the world. This means that it has loosened the requirements needed to apply to become a citizen of the country. Applicants only have to live in the country for three years in a five year period instead of four years now to qualify.
  • It’s multicultural and welcoming to newcomers. The city of Toronto, besides being known as a local hub for cuisine, nightlife, and technology, is also renowned for over half its population being from around the world! Vancouver is also a great place to start a new life as 46.9% of the entire city are from visible minorities.
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Denmark

Why scope out this European country for living?

  • The superb location. As Denmark is located in Northern Europe, you’re very close to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Hamburg. From the center of Copenhagen, it only takes about 20 minutes to the airport, and then a quick check-in and you’re ready to go. After within 1–3 hours flying, you’ll get to other countries in Europe.
  • Denmark has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. You’ll get proper treatment and don’t need to pay up the wazoo. In some countries (America included), you likely die if you can’t afford care or don’t have insurance, or if the quality of the hospital is not high. Not in Denmark. Not only do you get care but it’s top-notch and affordable.
  • No need for a car. There are lanes for bicycles everywhere in Copenhagen, and people bike in any weather conditions: sunny, rainy, and even snowy. You can live your whole life in Denmark without a car. Use your bicycle and public transport such as trains and buses between cities! The metro system is useful in Copenhagen too. You save a boatload of money and help the environment.
  • Great work-life balance and solid social services. The average working hour is 34 hours, and you can get 5–7 weeks of vacation + 3–5 sick days + 10 public holidays. There is plenty of time to enjoy your life besides working. And if you are fired or quit your job, you can rely on the insurance to live and carefully search for a good next job, not that you must take the first job that comes because your survival depends on it.
  • Denmark is ranked as one of the best countries in the world to live in.
  • It’s ranked as one of the happiest places in the world to live.
  • Incredible baked goods are bountiful here. They are known for it.
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France

Why relocate here?

  • Great work-life balance. Shops and services close at 7 pm sharp to let employees enjoy dinner with the family at home (and there are double wages for overtime). More perks: an hourly lunch, usually paid for by the company as meal coupons to the nearest brasserie. Plus, the French have 30 days of paid vacations, which start accumulating once they get hired. The French are experts in disconnecting and opt to spend much of their free time outdoors — hiking, kayaking, or simply having a picnic in the countryside. Or, enjoying quality time with family and friends.
  • Higher education is dirt cheap. You can get your BA or BS for just €181 (225$) per year and enroll in post-graduate studies for €250 (310$) a year! Engineering schools are a bit more pricey with an annual tuition fee of €596 and obtaining a Ph.D. in France will cost you €380 for each year of studies. Private colleges (think law and medical schools) cost more, however are still rather affordable with prices ranging from €3.000 to €10.000 per year.
  • Food quality in France is more strictly regulated than visas. The food here is stellar, from shopkeeps who specialize in and sell a specific kind of food (such as, the man who sells fish, or the woman who sells cheese, or the hole-in-the-wall bakery that’s been running for a hundred years), to the high quality of restaurants everywhere.
  • France has extremely diverse scenery and locales to suit all tastes, from the bustle and excitement of Paris to the quiet romance of the countryside to the lush, sultry aura of the French Riviera. Don’t forget art up the wazoo and history abound all over the country.
  • Childcare and preschool services are covered entirely by the government. You even get paid to adopt a child.
  • Healthcare is affordable and easy. The French residence card comes along with carte vitale. This is your pass into the world of reimbursements for medicine, cheap (or free) prescription drugs, and free medical checkups you can request every other month. Each month a flat rate is taken from your salary and transferred to your health insurance fund so that you can visit your GP doctor for free. If you get hospitalized, the most significant charge you pay is around 18€ per day.
  • Housing is reasonable and generally affordable. Excluding apartments in Paris’ most fashionable areas, you’ll certainly see two-bedroom rentals offered for $1,500 to $2,000 a month. It’s possible to find one-bedroom apartments in pleasant neighborhoods for $1,200 monthly, but they will be quite small. If you’d be happy with a studio apartment in Paris, expect it to cost about $1000 a month.

By contrast, other cities are much better valued. For example, in lovely Lyon in the Rhône-Alps region, you can find classical two-bedroom apartments right in the elegant historic center for $900 — $1200 a month. Apartments outside Lyon’s center cost even less, running about $800 — $1000. In and around Blois, a small charming city in the beautiful Loire Valley, you can rent a three-bedroom house for less than $900 per month and two-bedroom apartments from $800 and good condition, sizeable one-bedrooms from $500. So, don’t only confine your thoughts to life in Paris when France offers so many other affordable, beautiful places.

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The Netherlands

Why adventure to the country of tulips, winding canals, and windmills to live?

  • Fantastic work-life balance. Statistically speaking, about 75 percent of women and 26 percent of men work around 35 hours per week, with some even working a day or two from home. To counteract this, the average pay is somewhat higher, which also leads to a higher degree of standard of living. Dutch workers also like to start early and leave early. They’d much rather finish their daily tasks sooner so that they have the entire night to enjoy with friends and family. Additionally, workers also receive more time off, with an average of 20 vacation days every year. Perhaps this is why the Netherlands is also listed as one of the top ten happiest countries in the world!
  • The Netherlands has a very low crime rate — one of the lowest in the world. There is great speculation as to why this is, including referencing the country’s drug policies, lower levels of poverty, and the system’s usual favoring of rehabilitation over incarceration. The average Dutch person takes rules very seriously, so adhering to local regulations is typically a must. Things remain in harmony because most residents actually follow the rules, seeing that the regulations in place benefit everyone as a whole. You know, a collectivist mindset (people caring about one another) rather than our extreme individualism here in America (and look where that’s gotten us).
  • It’s easy to find jobs there as an expat. Many international students also opt to work a part-time job or to find an internship. This can often be difficult in some countries, but the Netherlands is not one of them. If you’re interested in an internship, many universities will have a board where you can find these postings, or you may even be able to speak with someone in your department about available opportunities. If you are looking for a job in the Netherlands, agencies like Undutchables Recruitment Agency can help you to further your career. They help both starters and executive candidates, fluent in languages other than Dutch. Their website offers a lot of information on how to find a job in the Netherlands.
  • The Netherlands is extremely well organized and efficient, from public transit, to postal service (which is quite fast), to very strict rules regarding waste.
  • Bicycling is a way of life and is easy, cheap transport. Cycling is definitely popular all throughout Europe, but in the Netherlands, it is a huge part of the Dutch lifestyle. In fact, you’ll even see residents cycling in the rain, some with a seat on the back and a child in tow.
  • English is spoken everywhere. You’ll hear it on the streets, on the bus and in the grocery store. You will most definitely hear it spoken in the university areas and even in the workplace. Typically, if you are attempting to have a conversation with someone who is speaking Dutch, and they sense that you are struggling, they will almost always switch over seamlessly to English.
  • The Dutch are direct. Part of Dutch values means saying what you mean, and then doing what you say. However, don’t misunderstand this with not being polite. The Dutch people are extremely accommodating, straightforward, and honest. Americans will say all sorts of things they don’t really mean, leaving you to wonder if that person really wants to get together sometime, or how they truly felt about what you said.
  • The Dutch are friendly. They are open, welcoming, and don’t hesitate to engage when they pass you on the street. People new to the area may find that they can easily strike up a conversation with a complete stranger on the bus, or realize that they’re only a few words away from finding the best restaurant in Tilburg. Most students easily build relationships with their neighbors.

And these are just five great countries. There are, of course, many more places to live that are likely to result in an awesome life. Ones with a sense of security (in terms of healthcare, housing possibilities, education possibility, and one’s general well-being), those which have incredible food, gorgeous scenery, where people are easy to connect with, and there is less anger, hostility, and polarization.

Sources

Escape From America: 5 Cheapest Places To Move If You Want To Leave The U.S. (Forbes)

The Ultimate List of Reasons to Move to New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand from the U.S.A (New Zealand Immigration)

13 Reasons to Move to Canada (Canadianvisa.org)

12 Reasons Why Living in France is Awesome

International Living: France

Living and Working in Denmark (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark)

Living in the Netherlands: 11 Reasons Why It’s Perfect for Internationals

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com

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