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The Number One American Dream…?

Volume XXII, Issue 6

The Eiffel Tower in Paris at twilight

It’s a kind of joke we tell that “The Number One American Dream is to Live in France,” but it’s not really a joke. The American Dream is now all about leaving the U.S., period, even if France is not their destination.

The American dream to live in Paris, France

I know first hand that almost every consultation client I have says the same thing, in so many words, “Get me out of here. This isn’t the same country it was even a few years ago.” The confidence in “The American Dream” has waned for the young and the retirees are fed up. According to a WSJ/NORC poll from October, only 36% of the respondents still believed that “if you work hard you’ll get ahead,” a steep drop from the previous poll. And couple that with the ability to work remotely and what you get is a serious exodus out of the U.S.

Then, consider the retirees who discover they can have a much higher quality of life for a lower cost of living outside of the U.S. They are downsizing and packing their bags for greener pastures. We know. They are our clients.

Quote by F Scot Fitzgerald

There is no specific data that explains the true extent of Americans heading in all directions, but in 2020, the State Department estimated that nine million citizens were living overseas. Still, there’s no telling of the full extent of the damage because U.S. citizens are not obligated to register with the State Department before they hop on a plane.

According to a 2023 study done by the blog HireaHelper.com, the UK is the number one destination, with Mexico falling just behind that. I am not surprised considering that the UK language is English, and Spanish is widely spoken by Americans, making both destinations less intimidating than moving to France and having to learn French.

Chart showing the top destinations Americans are immigrating to

I would have thought Canada was Number One, however, they have lost ground, but did welcome 10% more in the first six months of 2023 than they had the entire year before. As it turns out, Canada took in fewer Americans than each of France, Spain and Germany. France claimed to have issued 50% more visas to Americans in 2023 than they had in 2022. This has been the highest interest in getting the hell out of Dodge since the Presidential Elections of 2016 (Trump vs Clinton).

According to the official statistics, about 160,000 Americans moved to 40 different countries in 2022, more than any year since 2017, and is a 16% increase over 2021. And if you add up all the years, 821,000 citizens have relocated.

Graph showing American Emigration statistics

These articles citing the statistics offer up a few reasons for the moves, particularly remote working which has enabled people to live wherever they want and still earn a living. But, I can tell you the reasons from talking with so many of them on a daily basis: lower cost of living, lower taxation, better quality of life and the biggest one of all—political and moral issues. They are not happy with the direction the U.S. is taking.

Cafe life in Paris

This upcoming election, likely to be Trump vs Biden (even with 91 indictments against Trump), is sure to spark another wave of emigration. Political analysts are predicting a Trump win, and if that happens, then democracy as we have known it will be greatly threatened…as Trump himself has already promised.

Trump, Clinton, Biden

Where do you want to be when that happens?

I’ll be in France…very happily, thank you.

Village life in France

Note: The graphics and charts shown here are thanks to HireaHelper.com.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds in a lavender field in ProvenceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. We can help you make the move from beginning to end. Visit our website to learn more and to request a consultation.


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