Americans leaving the U.S. in record numbers; jobs and the cost of living are major factors

Feb 14, 2012

Ever dream of leaving it all behind and heading out of America? You’re not the only one. A new study shows that more U.S. citizens than ever before are living outside of the country.

According to statistics from the U.S. State Department, more than 6.4 million Americans are either working, studying or retiring overseas, which the Gallup Poll says is the largest number ever for such statistic.

The polling organization came across the number after conducting surveys in 135 outside nations and the information behind the numbers reveal that this isn’t exactly a longtime coming either — numbers have skyrocketed only in recent years. In the 24 months before polling began, the number of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 living abroad managed to surge from barely 1 percent to over 5.1 percent. For those under the age span wishing to move overseas, the percentage has jumped in the same amount of time from 15 percent to 40.

An even larger group, those over the age of 55, are leaving the U.S. in search both of new job opportunities and a more affordable retirement. Many believe that the number of retirees relocating to other countries will mushroom in the coming decade. “I´ve seen statistics that show as many as 5 million older Americans will live overseas by the year 2020,” says Georgia State University sociologist Ben Stalls. “This could end up  being one of the largest out-migrations in U.S. history.”

The most popular destinations for retirement-aged Americans are in Latin America, with Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and Costa Rica being the most popular countries for relocation.
 
While the United States of America was at one point (and largely still is) a magnet for foreigners in search of work, the statistics makes it clear that an opposite trend is quickly picking up steam.

"There's a feeling among more entrepreneurial Americans that if you really want to get anything done, you have to get out of country and away from the depressing atmosphere," Bob Adams of America Wave tells Reuters. “There's a sense of lost direction, so more people are looking for locations that offer more hope about the future."

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Many of those leaving the US have job skills that would transfer quite well in the American market. Instead, however, they chose to bring those out of the States, attracted instead to opportunities elsewhere.

While America offers some employment opportunities unmatched outside of the United States, the country has also seen dire economic statistics since the dawn of the Obama administration, with jobless benefit claims soaring in recent months, and only last week did the Department of Labor reveal an unemployment statistic below 9 percent. On the contrary, the number of Americans that want full-time work and have given up on finding it or unable to locate it is closer to double that figure, while at the same time many of America’s largest employers have outsourced positions across the globe. Banking giant Goldman Sachs announced earlier this year that in the wake of a recession, they would finally be creating 1,000 new positions, yet making them available only to workers in Singapore. Other industries, significantly American, have been relocated as well; the ending of NASA’s space shuttle program this year left many intelligent US citizens with little choice but to continue in their field outside of the States.

“We’ve pretty much outsourced everything else,” aerospace technician Giovanni Pinzon tells RT. He was left scrambling for a job after years working in America’s space program.

America Wave’s Adams adds to Reuters that the statistics prove surprising to him, but noted that it doesn’t exactly make sense to think that it is a fluke.

“They're looking for work because of the sluggish economy, and they've lost confidence that the U.S. is going anywhere,” says Adams.

Credit: RT, http://rt.com/usa/news/

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