America Today

More Americans are returning to their European homelands

It was once believed that the United States was an ideal country for European immigrants. However, recently more and more Americans are moving to Europe. This is a relatively new phenomenon, so there are no exact statistics yet, but an emerging trend can already be identified.

This is a relatively new phenomenon, and it is difficult for governments to track foreign residents, so there are no accurate statistics yet. But in many European countries, there has been a clear trend. 

Thus, in ten years the number of Americans in the Netherlands increased from 15,500 to 24,000, in Portugal, it tripled to 10,000, and in Spain, it grew from 20 to 34 thousand. In countries such as France, Germany, and Northern Europe, it grew steadily and more gradually. In Britain, by some estimates, the number of permanently resident Americans has grown from 137,000 in 2013 to 166,000 in 2021. 

Meanwhile, more and more residents of the United States admit that they want to leave their own country, the magazine writes. Thus, according to Gallup, if under Obama 11% of respondents wanted to leave the United States, then after Biden came to power this figure increased to 17%. And these are mostly liberals. 

‘Once a month, Americans call me and ask how to get here,’ American Caroline Behringer, who moved to Amsterdam, told media. According to her, for most emigrants, politics was not so much a reason for leaving as a reason not to return. This is especially true of the ‘continuing division of society’. 

‘We keep hearing that the work-life balance is much better here,’ Tracy Metz, head of the American-Dutch John Adams Institute, explained. Americans work 1,811 hours a year, Europeans average only 1,571, and the Dutch even less – 1,427 hours. 

 According to her, if the Netherlands previously attracted Americans with its freedom of morals, now the priorities are more mundane. It is common knowledge that Americans are not very eager to master foreign languages. Therefore, the spread of international English makes life in Europe much easier for them. In Dutch universities, 28% of undergraduate programs are conducted in English. 

 Many emigrants are attracted by the reliable European social protection system. Heather Caldwell Urquhart, moved to Lisbon from Massachusetts in 2021. At home, she had to take on extra work just to get health insurance. Now, living in Portugal, her family pays for insurance coverage an amount that is several times less than the cost of a similar American option.’ We didn’t realize how broken the social structure of the United States was until we moved here,’ she explained to the publication. 

Americans once believed that their country was ideal for immigrants; leaving anywhere seemed absurd. They now realize that Europe has many advantages over the US: good healthcare, efficient public transport, and less gun violence. Racism, of course, exists here too, but it is not as deadly as in America. Therefore, expats in Europe are finding more and more reasons not to return to the United States.

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