An increasing number of Americans are seeking life abroad, according to U.S. News and World Reports. Independent organizations estimate that between 4 and 7 million non-government employed U.S. citizens are living outside the United States. (The U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t keep track for apparent budgetary and security reasons.) The article states that “recent Zogby polls commissioned by New Global Initiatives, a consulting firm, yielded surprising results: 1.6 million U.S. households had already determined to relocate abroad; an additional 1.8 million households were seriously considering such a move, while 7.7 million more were ‘somewhat seriously’ contemplating it.” Given these figures, it can be estimated that roughly 3 million Americans are relocating abroad each year.
In addition to the growing trend of Americans moving abroad, one of the most surprising aspects of the new wave of expatriates is that an increasing number of these émigrés are not retirees, but a younger, more computer literate group of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34. Unlike Hemingway’s fabled “Lost Generation,” today’s younger generation of expatriates is not motivated to relocate because of political dissatisfaction or the desire to write the great American novel (from a café in Paris, of course). They are more often than not entrepreneurs, emboldened and liberated by the conveniences of the Internet. Having grown up in a world of cell phones, e-mail, instant messenger and Facebook, keeping in contact with friends and family, in say New York, is just as easy having relocated to Panama City (in this respect), as it would be moving to Los Angeles (and in fact, less of a time difference). Thanks to the marvels of the Internet, for all you know, unsuspecting reader, I could be writing this blog from beach in Belize, aboard an arctic icebreaker, or in an office above a collision center in a ubiquitous American suburb (I’ll never tell).
As a member of the demographic group in question, I have witnessed this movement abroad within my own group of friends (several of whom are currently living outside of the country), and will be interested to see if the trend continues, given the current position of the dollar and the rising costs of fuel. The Internet has certainly made the process easier, and advancements in telecommuting technology will only help to generate more options for adventurous Americans looking for a new life abroad.