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One in Four Young Adults Want to Leave America — Here’s Why

One in Four Young Adults Want to Leave America — Here’s Why

A growing number of America’s Gen Z population is showing a growing interest in living abroad, diverging from previous generational patterns.

A new survey from Preply found that one in four Gen Z Americans have expressed a desire to live outside the U.S. As of 2020, nearly three million people born in the U.S. were living in countless different countries, and no other country has sent as many emigrants to as many places.

The reasons fueling this urge to emigrate are as diverse as the respondents themselves. While high living costs and the political climate in the U.S. are significant factors, it’s the deeper longing for social programs, like universal healthcare, that have Gen Z considering a move. Additionally, 59 percent of respondents said that gun violence in the U.S. played a major role in their decision-making.

A representative from Preply explained that the possibility of moving has never been easier thanks to remote work.

“With the explosion of remote work, Gen Z and Millennials are looking for ways to have the best of both worlds,” the representative said. “They want to earn American salaries, which are on the high end of the international scale, while enjoying the social safety net provided by some countries in Europe, Asia and beyond.”

Gen Z has their sites set on places all around the world. The United Kingdom, with its cultural similarities and language familiarity, tops the list, closely followed by Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. European countries are also on the radar, suggesting that young Americans are willing to overcome language challenges. Beyond the Western world, Gen Z is looking at places predominantly in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Brazil and the Philippines.

This trend isn’t just about short-term adventures. A considerable number of the surveyed group expressed a desire to settle permanently abroad, with many considering starting families in their new countries. This aspiration persists despite most young Americans not personally knowing anyone who has emigrated in the past five years. On social media, however, it’s easy to find a community of ex-pats.

“A decade ago, these results may have been a big shock,” the representative said. “But with the social media boom, it’s much easier for people to see the differences between life in the US and abroad.”

Of course, saying you want to move and actually doing it are two different things. But as more and more young adults make the move abroad, America’s future is left in an unpredictable place.

“This trend could certainly pressure American organizations wishing to attract top talent to provide support for employees who wish to live abroad while working for a domestic company,” the representative said. “But ideally, it would pressure lawmakers to catch up to our allies when it comes to programs such as universal healthcare, paid parental leave and subsidized higher education.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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