Emigration from the United States
Emigration from the United States is a complex demographic phenomenon existing for decades and having a number of reasons. The process is the reverse of the immigration to the United States.
For the first centuries of its existence, the US benefited from its low population density and had attracted large masses of immigrants. A major source of emigrants from the United States are former military personnel retiring to the countries where they were previously based. As of 2010, the number of American long-term residents in the United Kingdom giving up on their U.S. citizenship has overwhelmed the U.S. embassy to the point where waiting lists extend for more than half a year.
The United States does not keep track of emigration, and counts of Americans abroad are thus only available courtesy of statistics kept by the destination countries.
Some other reasons for emigration from United States
- Economic reasons (e.g. inexpensive housing in Mexico)
- Family reasons (most common with recent immigrants or permanent residents).
- Marriage to a foreigner with a job in the foreign country (especially for American women).
- Business opportunities (e.g. American corporations in the Persian Gulf and East Asia).
- Religious reasons (e.g. aliyah to Israel).
- Political disenchantment
- Health issues (see medical tourism).
- Evasion of legal liabilities (e.g. crimes, taxes, loans, etc.)
- Political Issues (e.b communism to China)
- Tax incentive: Expats are given a $95,900 yearly exemption from income tax as of 2012 ($192,000 if married).
The United States is a net immigration country, meaning more people are arriving to the U.S. than leaving it. Many of the emigrants from the United States do not plan to become permanent emigrants, but to be expatriates (expats) for a limited amount of time. There is a scarcity of official records in this domain. Given the high dynamics of the emigration-prone groups, emigration from United States remains indiscernible from temporary country leave.
As of 2009, there are over 6 million non-military U.S. citizens living abroad., an increase from the 4 million estimated in 1999. However, these numbers are highly open to dispute as they often are unverified and can change rapidly.
One reasonably "hard" indicator of the US citizens' population overseas is offered by the fact that whenever they have a child born to them, they need to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad from a US consulate in order for the child to be officially recognized as a US citizen. The Bureau of Consular Affairs reports issuing 503,585 such documents over the decade 2000-2009. Based on this, and on some assumptions about the family composition and birth rates, some authors estimate the US civilian population overseas as between 3.6 and 4.3 million.
Sizes of certain subsets of US citizens living abroad can be estimated based on statistics published by the Internal Revenue Service. US Citizens are generally liable for US income tax even if they reside overseas; however, if they receive earned income (wages, salaries, etc) while residing in a foreign country, they can exclude it from the US taxation by attaching an appropriate form to their US tax return. The IRS reported that almost 335,000 tax returns with such a foreign-earned income exclusion form were received in 2006. This imposes a lower (and very imprecise) bound on the number of US citizens who were living and working in foreign countries at the time.
In the same tax year, almost 969,000 US taxpayers reported having paid foreign tax on "general limitation income" (i.e., income other than interest, dividends, and other "passive income") from foreign sources on their foreign tax credit forms. Of course, not all of these were actually residing abroad full-time.
Overseas US populations
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The list below is of the main countries hosting American populations. Those shown first with exact counts are enumerations of Americans who have immigrated to those countries and are legally resident there, and does not necessarily include temporary expatriates (the number of Americans resident in Mexico, for example, is believed to be well over one million). In all other cases, starting with Israel, the figures are estimates of part-time US resident Americans and expatriates alike.
- Mexico - 738,103 (2010)
- Canada - 250,535 (2006)
- United Kingdom - 158,434 (2001)
- Germany - 101,643 (2011)
- France - 100,619 (2008)
- Brazil - 98,000 up to 350,000 (See also Confederados, descendants of post-war Confederate settlers in Brazil)
- Japan - 88,000 (2011)
- Australia - 83,996 (2010)
- China - 71,493 (2010, Mainland China only))
- New Zealand - 17,748 (2006)
- Sweden - 16,555 (2009)
- Netherlands - 14,100 (2000)
- Ireland - 12,475 (2006)
- Denmark - 8,651 (2012)
- Norway - 8,013 (2012)
- Portugal - 2,228 (2008)
- Israel - 185,000
- Italy - 170,000 to 200,000
- Philippines - over 300,000
- Spain - 63,362
- Dominican Republic - 82,000
- South Korea - 67,000
- Hong Kong - 60,000
- Costa Rica - 9,128 to 50,000
- Republic of China (Taiwan) - 38,000
- Belgium - 36,000
- Saudi Arabia - 36,000
- Switzerland - 32,000
- Poland - 31,000 to 60,000
- Lebanon - 25,000
- Panama - 25,000
- Colombia - 15,000 to 45,000
- Austria 15,000
- Hungary - 15,000
- Singapore - 15,000 
- Russia - at least 2,008 up to 6,200
- Argentina - 10,552
- Malaysia - 8,000
- Pakistan - 5,000
- Syria - n/a (in the 1975 Encyclopædia Britannica, 2.5% of Syrians reportedly have dual U.S.-Syrian citizenship)
- Chile - 10,000
- India - n/a est. 10,000 to 15,000 
- Immigration to the United States
- American Canadians
- American Mexicans
- American Brazilians
- Americans in the United Kingdom
- American Australians
- American diaspora
- Emigrants Articles & Information The world Emigrants Knowledge Base (Non-Profit Organization)
- American Overseas Network
- Bill Masterson (2000), How Many Americans Really Live in Mexico? And Who Cares, Anyway?, peoplesguide.com
- These are our Numbers: Civilian Americans Overseas and Voter Turnout, By Dr. Claire M. Smith (Originally published: OVF Research Newsletter, vol. 2, issue 4 (Aug), 2010)
- Individual Foreign-Earned Income and Foreign Tax Credit, 2006, pp. 54 (overall number), 57 (geographical distribution), 84 (foreign tax credit) at SOI Tax Stats - Individual Foreign Earned Income/Foreign Tax Credit
- Los extranjeros en México
- 2006 Canadian census
- 2001 Census of the United Kingdom
- . Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2011. Last accessed 9 October 2011.
- 2010 Chinese Census (from Wikipedia article Demographics of the People's Republic of China)
- 2006 Census, Statistics New Zealand
- >Background Note: Philippines. U.S. Department of State: Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. January 17, 2012.
- see List of countries with foreign nationals in Lebanon
- http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2030.htm Missing or empty
- Russian Census (2002), Basic Result: table 4.1. National composition of population, table 4.5. Population by citizenship, table 8.3. Population stayed temporarily on the territory of the Russian Federation by country of usual residence and purpose of arrival
- Federal State Statistics Service, table 5.9. International Migration: in Russian, in English
- Somini Sengupta (October 17, 2006), Americans head to India for high-tech jobs, The International Herald Tribune