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HomeWorldAmericasIn search of a better life: why Americans leave for Europe

In search of a better life: why Americans leave for Europe

The number of people who want to escape from violence and political strife in the United States is growing, the Economist informs.

On Sunday, The Economist reported an increase in the number of Americans who are moving to Europe to “escape from the United States.” While the American dream is crumbling due to political and economic polarisation, racism and mass shootings, many find satisfaction in Europe’s less competitive work environment, long vacations, relatively low housing and living costs, and excellent social security systems.

The Economist cites the case of Stanley and Sylvia Johnson as an example. Racism and discrimination forced an African-American couple, a psychiatrist and a lawyer, to take their children and move to Europe. As a key factor influencing their decision, they named the murder of George Floyd, a black man strangled by a white policeman in 2020.

In Europe, you don’t have to worry about being shot for being black.

The average American usually works at least 35 hours a week, unlike their European counterparts who work 30 hours.

In France, employees can take a summer vacation lasting more than a month. Furthermore, comparing the high cost of housing and living in large American cities, many European cities are considered more affordable than New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

The John Adams Institute, an American-Dutch cultural venue, cites widespread English as one of the reasons why many Americans additionally also like the idea of moving.

Americans are very satisfied with the work-life balance in the Netherlands.

One of the most popular countries to move to is Portugal. Migrants are attracted by the low cost of living and the rich cultural heritage of the country.

In 2013, only 2,800 Americans lived in Portugal. Today, that number has jumped to almost 9,800.

Portugal has started to actively attract foreigners and provide residence visas to those who earn more than 1,100 euros. After the global financial crisis of 2008, as well as the Southern European debt crisis of 2010-2011, the country is looking for ways to stimulate the economy.

Spain, a neighboring country, has a similar policy that allowed it to increase the number of Americans living there from 20,000 to 34,000 over the past 10 years.

More and more Americans say they want to leave their country. However, only a few of those who have vowed to leave if Donald Trump is elected in 2016 have actually done so.

Gallup pollster found in 2018 that the percentage of Americans who said they would like to move permanently to another country rose from 11% under Barack Obama to 16% under Trump. By 2022, the figure was 17%, despite the election of Joe Biden.

Many recent emigrants say they left partly out of desperation about where the United States is heading.


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