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What are the Most Popular Countries for American Expats?

Almost every country in the world hosts American expats, but there are places that happen to draw more than others. Whether it’s for work opportunities, retirement, or simply a change of scenery, expatriates from the United States are exploring various countries across the globe. This article explores the top 5 countries outside of North America that consistently rank high as the most popular countries for American expats.

popular country globe

United Kingdom

With over 200,000 Americans living in the UK, it is no doubt the most popular country for American expats. The United Kingdom, with its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene, offers a familiar yet distinct experience. The strong cultural and linguistic ties between the US and the UK make the transition smoother, especially for those with British ancestry. London, a global metropolis, is a hub for finance, business, and the arts, attracting professionals seeking career opportunities.

Beyond the bustling capital, charming towns and historical sites like Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath offer a glimpse into Britain’s past.  The rolling hills of the English countryside, the dramatic Scottish Highlands, and the rugged coastlines of Wales and Northern Ireland provide ample escapes for nature lovers.


The cost of living in major UK cities, particularly London, can be significantly higher than in the US.  Navigating the complex healthcare system for Americans and adapting to a slower-paced bureaucratic environment may also require some adjustment.

Ideal for

Expats seeking a familiar cultural environment with a distinct European flair, professionals seeking career opportunities in a global hub, and history buffs with a love for tradition.

Read our moving to the UK guide


Germany boasts a thriving economy, a world-renowned education system, and a strong emphasis on social welfare. Over 120,000 Americans call this home for a variety of great reasons. Known for its efficiency and organization, Germany offers a high quality of life and a stable environment for families. Major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt are cultural centers with museums, art galleries, and a vibrant nightlife.

Beyond the urban landscape, Germany boasts breathtaking scenery, from the majestic Rhine Valley to the Black Forest and the Bavarian Alps.  German villages offer a glimpse into a traditional way of life, with charming half-timbered houses and a strong sense of community.


Learning German is highly recommended for long-term integration and navigating the bureaucracy may require patience. The initial adjustment to a more reserved and direct communication style might be noticeable for some Americans.

Ideal for

Professionals seeking career opportunities in a stable economy, families seeking a high-quality education system and social safety net, and nature enthusiasts who appreciate a balance between city life and outdoor recreation.

Read our moving to Germany guide


Around 90,000 Americans live in Australia, making it one of the most popular countries to American expats. It makes sense while Australia beckons them with its stunning beaches, relaxed pace of life, and a welcoming multicultural atmosphere. Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne offer a vibrant mix of cosmopolitan living and access to nature.

Australians are known for their friendly and laid-back attitude, making it easier for Americans to integrate into the social fabric.  The job market is strong, with opportunities in industries like technology, healthcare, and tourism.

Beyond the cities, the vast Australian Outback offers a unique adventure, with opportunities for camping, hiking, and exploring the country’s diverse wildlife.


The cost of living, particularly in major cities, can be high.  Australia’s geographical isolation can mean limited travel options and higher travel costs compared to European destinations.

Ideal for

Professionals seeking career opportunities in a growing economy, those seeking a relaxed and outdoorsy lifestyle, and families looking for a safe and welcoming environment.

Read our moving to Australia guide


Spain’s sunny climate, delicious cuisine, and rich cultural heritage make it a popular choice for American expats seeking a slower pace of life.  Cities like Barcelona and Madrid offer a vibrant mix of art, history, and gastronomy. Throughout the country there are about 50,000 Americans living here at any given time. There has been a general increase of people coming from the US vs returning back.

The Spanish way of life, characterized by long lunches and siestas, may require some adjustment for Americans accustomed to a faster-paced lifestyle.  However, the emphasis on family and community fosters a strong sense of belonging.

Spain boasts stunning beaches, charming historic towns, and diverse landscapes, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.  From the rugged coastlines of Galicia to the rolling hills of Andalusia, Spain offers a variety of experiences.


The Spanish language barrier can be an obstacle, although English is increasingly spoken in tourist areas.  The economy can be more challenging than some European counterparts and navigating the bureaucracy may require patience.

Ideal for

Those seeking a slower pace of life with a focus on community and family, retirees looking for a warm climate and affordable living options (outside major cities), and food and culture enthusiasts.

Read our moving to Spain guide

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE has become one of the most popular countries for American expats over the last few years. This is due to major companies offering new job opportunities for Americans across a wide range of industries. Their booming economy and business friendly situation make the UAE a great place to make career-oriented moves. They also offer tax-free income, which can be appealing to many long term Americans as they will keep more of their income.

Dubai has become the most searched city for Americans looking to move and it makes sense. Over 10,000 Americans live in the city and there are over 50,000 in the country as a whole. While it is very extreme in temperature, most people get used to staying indoors in the many different large indoor shopping centers. 


UAE culture and climate are major hurdles for many Americans thinking of making their move here. Culture wise, major hubs like Dubai are mostly made up of expats but not always American Expats. This means people need to be extra carful because there are so many differences between Americans and the rest of the world.

Ideal for

Professionals looking for new career opportunities as their emerging businesses provide ample opportunity. People who want to meet expats from all over the world in one place as it is host to more expats than natural born citizens.

Read our moving to the UAE guide


In conclusion, the world offers a vast array of possibilities for people seeking a new adventure. These 5 countries have been the most popular countries for American expats, but there are many different places with people from the USA. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual desires, career goals, and preferred pace of life.  So, delve deeper into these top destinations, explore hidden gems, and embrace the chance to discover a new home abroad.

Read our international moving guide

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