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Best countries for American Expats

Many Americans make the move to a country abroad every year. The United States’ State Department estimates that there are roughly 10 million American expats, or a person who lives outside their native country.

If you’ve ever dreamt of living abroad in another country, it’s possible. When deciding where to live, it’s important to look at which countries are the most suitable for you in terms of job opportunities, housing, healthcare, dining and dietary options, schools (if traveling with kids), safety, and more.

There are so many countries to choose from out there when deciding where to move. Do you want to live on a beach or on a mountain? Are you willing to learn another language? This article will go over the top ten best counties for American expats and help you decide where to make the move abroad.

Best countries for American Expats

Here are the top ten best countries for American expats:

Which country has the most expats?

It’s hard to find official numbers on expats and their native countries. Most countries only document immigrants coming into the country, rather than citizens leaving the country. However, there are estimates. 

Some outlets estimate that Singapore has the most expats, with expats making up over 40% of its population. Some outlets estimate that Mexico has the most expats, with almost 30% of Americans living there.

If you really want to know how many expats live in a certain country, you’ll have to do some digging. Checking with official sources—like state departments and federal websites—is a good place to start. You can also join expat groups on Facebook and learn from the expats actually living in the country you want to live in. There are plenty of blogs, books, and websites out there that can educate you about where to live, what living is like there, how to actually make the move possible, and more. Do your research before doing anything else!

Which country is best for American expats?

Now, the big question: which country is best for American expats? This question will vary based on the individual and their needs. Not every American is the same, and not every American will be treated the same abroad. There are American expats in almost every country on earth and each American expat is living there for various reasons.

The list below will go over the top ten best countries for American expats. Only you can truly decide which country will be the best for you.

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Top Countries for American Expats living

Canada

America’s Northern neighbor remains a top contender for expats in the United States. Canada consistently ranks high in terms of job availability, salaries, healthcare, diversity, and overall happiness. Canada is known for its gorgeous, breathtaking scenery, with plenty of National Parks to choose from. Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you are fluent in one (or both) you’re going to have a higher chance of being allowed to live there.

If you’re more a city person, you can try living in Toronto, the largest city in Canada. Toronto features the iconic CN Tower, Toronto Island, and more. If French is a language you would like to use more, try living in Quebec City. The city is home to stunning, elegant architecture that will make you think you’re in Europe. However, if you are more drawn to nature and outdoor activities, try Vancouver. Vancouver, located on the Pacific Coast, is just north of Seattle. It’s home to hiking, biking, water activities, and more.

There are several different ways to live in Canada, so it’s important to check with their state department to learn the rules before moving.

Singapore

Singapore, a city-state, is a place like no other. It’s filled with bustling neighborhoods, incredible food, kind people, and high-quality schools. Many Americans make the move to this wonderful location for job opportunities, but they stay because they fall in love with everything Singapore has to offer. In Singapore, you’ll find everything from outdoor markets to shopping malls, skyscrapers, and more.

If you’re wanting to travel more, Singapore is close to other Southeastern Asian countries, so you’re never far away from stunning landscapes, interesting cities, and culture. Once you’re in Singapore, it will surely steal your heart. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the best countries for American expats and expats worldwide.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Spain

Many Americans choose to make Spain their lifelong home. Spain has great healthcare, affordable housing, job opportunities, and a highly work-life balanced (Siestas, anyone?). There are plenty of amazing cities in Spain to choose from: Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, and more. If you’re wanting a more relaxed place to live, you can try any of Spain’s gorgeous coastlines. Spain is a diverse country, so you’ll never have to worry about meeting new people. If food is a requirement before choosing to move somewhere, Spain will never leave you hungry, as it’s home to some of the best dishes around. Spain is one of the best countries to live in for American expats!

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Germany

There’s a reason so many Americans want to live in this European country—it’s amazing. Germany borders nine other nations: France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland. You’re never a day’s trip away from another splendid nation. Germany has a low cost of living, excellent public transportation, incredible healthcare, delicious beer, plenty of cute public markets, job options, and more. Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and more are all great cities that boast unique art communities, nightlife, and diverse cultures. If you want to eat and drink the day away, this country will be like heaven for you—with bars and breweries everywhere you go. Germany is one of the best European countries for American expats.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

New Zealand

New Zealand is home to breathtaking, gorgeous scenery that will make you wonder if you’re on another planet. New Zealanders value outdoor activities, so there’s plenty of time and space to try hiking, rowing, biking, rock climbing, and whatever else you want to try outside (seriously, if you can do it recreationally, it’s likely in New Zealand). If you’re considered a skilled worker, there are plenty of job options to choose from, which makes moving to New Zealand that much easier. The climate is sub-tropical, with warm summers and mild winters. New Zealand also has some of the best cities to live in: Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch, and more. Anywhere you choose in New Zealand, you really can’t go wrong.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Australia

Australia is home to some of the best nature this planet has to offer, fresh air, diverse cultures, a great healthcare system, job opportunities, low-density cities, amazing schools, and work-life balances. From the coast to the cities, to the Australian outback—there’s plenty to see and do in this country from down under. You can choose to live in a number of high-profile cities: Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The wildlife in Australia is also second-to-none. You can see Kangaroos, Koalas, Wombats, Dingos, and more.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Costa Rica

If you love dancing, vibrant colors, and delicious food, Costa Rica may be the choice for you. Anywhere you go in Costa Rica, you’re bound to find music and dancing. Costa Rica is one of the best South American countries for expats. The cost of living in Costa Rica is low, fresh produce is cheap and available year-round, public transportation is great, there’s an abundance of nature, and more. Healthcare in Costa Rica is affordable and high-quality. The people in Costa Rica are kind and welcoming; you’ll never feel alone. If you decide you ever want to go back to the United States, you’re only a short plane ride away! Anywhere you choose to live in this tropical nation will be the right choice. Costa Rica is also one of the best countries for Black American expats. Try living in Limoń, where a third of its population is Afro-Costa Rican.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Ghana

Ghana has some of the most gorgeous beaches on earth. You can relax the day away on Ghana’s 310 miles of coastline filled with warm sand and crisp, clean water. The way of life in Ghana is relaxed and slow-paced. There’s no need to hurry and rush to meetings—they likely won’t be on time anyway. Ghana also has plenty of national holidays, which means plenty of time off work to explore what West Africa has to offer. People in Ghana are friendly, diverse, and always willing to engage with you. You can meet people from all over in Ghana. More than 3,000 Black Americans live in Ghana, making it a top choice for Black American expats.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Vietnam

One of the most popular reasons Americans choose to live in Vietnam is its low cost of living. You can find affordable, yet high-quality, apartments to rent for less than $500 a month. The food, shopping, and other expenses in Vietnam are shockingly affordable too which means you can stretch your paychecks out even further. Vietnam is a safe country, so you don’t have to worry about your personal security. The country has lush landscapes, rainforests, waterfalls, and more. If you’re an outdoors person, this is the place for you. The people in Vietnam are kind, vibrant, and welcoming that you’ll feel like a local in no time. Try living in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, to truly experience what life is like in this country.

Check with local governments before choosing to relocate to make sure you’re following all the current laws.

Mexico

America’s Southern neighbor is a popular choice for American expats. Mexico has affordable housing, a low cost of living, incredible healthcare, stunning beaches, vibrant cultures, excellent cuisines, laidback lifestyles, friendly people, and amazing cities. The list goes on and on. Mexico is an, overall, great place to live. It’s close enough to the United States that you can fly or drive back home in less than a day. If you’re concerned about safety, check in with credible sources before choosing to move to a certain city.

Mexico City, the largest city in Mexico, is relatively safe and home to many American expats. Mexico is one of the easiest countries for American expats to immigrate to with a low cost of living, affordable healthcare, and easy access to Mexico (driving or short plane ride). Millions of American expats call Mexico home.

FAQ

What countries welcome American expats?

Most countries welcome American expats! There are countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America where Americans can live as expats.

Where are American expats happiest?

American expats have reported being the happiest in Taiwan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Portugal, New Zealand, and Australia.

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Conclusion

Moving to another country requires a lot of research and hard work. However, if you’re serious about being an American expat, it’s something that is completely possible. Make sure to thoroughly plan out your move before leaving the United States so you know everything is sorted out.

When deciding on where to move abroad, you need to evaluate where you will be able to work, live, and thrive. Do you like hot or cold climates? Do you want to live in a bustling city or a quiet mountain community? Do you want to learn another language? These are all important questions to consider before making the move abroad.

Once you figure out where you’re going to live, there’s only one thing left to do.

Next step: abroad!

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