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Why do some Europeans want to move to U.S?

Why do some Europeans want to move to U.S?

Oct 12th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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Why do some Europeans want to move to U.S?

I love Europe and Europeans and am a confirmed Anglophile. Born and raised in California (northern) I travel across the pond when I can. I dream of living in England or a beautiful European city and have various reasons why this seems like a good idea. I make comparisons with the U.S. and frequently we come out unfavorably. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live and feel that my quality of life is exceptional in comparison to some others in the world, however, I can't help wishing Americans valued the arts more and had more sense when it comes in health insurance. Of course there's more. So, I'm curious as to why Europeans move to this country. Any views? BMK
bobbymckaye is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 09:19 PM
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For the same reason that Americans move to Europe. View it as an improved change in their life style. No reason for you to understand it.
fmpden is online now  
Oct 12th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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Living is easier. A friend of ours teaches at a British university. A student of hers went for a post-grad position in the States which paid more than her own salary. At the same time, an American academic came to teach at her university for half the salary and twice the cost. Of course, there are costs in the States which are covered in Europe in a general way, such as medical insurance. In terms of ease of life, northern California is particularly appealing, although it does have a high cost of living.

As for the arts, I think that NYC can match any European city in terms of the arts, but at a generally higher cost. It just doesn't have "old stones" everywhere you look like Paris or Rome.
Michael is online now  
Oct 12th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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"It just doesn't have "old stones" everywhere you look like Paris or Rome."

Thanks for the giggle Michael. Cute way to describe Paris and Rome
cafegoddess is online now  
Oct 12th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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I've been puzzled by this for decades, so I asked. Here are some replies I've gotten:

More freedom -- less perceived observation from fellow citizens

Cheaper real estate

Easy lifestyle

More open land, less feeling of claustrophobia

swandav2000 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 11:45 PM
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I have traveled throughout 24 countries in Europe over the past 15 years and have lived in Paris 6 to 7 months a year for the past 5 years and I have never met the European who wants to live in the U.S. but I have met dozens of Americans who want to live in Europe. Probably just my limited experience though.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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A bit more pragmatic - jobs, better salary, increased quality of life, bigger houses. Those are the reasons that my English coworkers have moved to the States. Also, the UK is SMALL.
lizziea06 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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I have three friends from the UK who moved to the US - all for professional reasons.
hanl is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:38 AM
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If, as is sometimes claimed, a quarter of a million Americans live in Britain, common sense says the number of Europeans living in the US is likely to be in proportion.

Which would work out at tens of thousands of Europeans a year choosing to move to the US. I imagine there are tens of thousands of different reasons - from career advancement, to liking open spaces, to meeting the right boy/girl, to having an obsessive interest in Native American art.

Unlike Americans, Europeans aren't brainwashed with endless propaganda about how they live in a perfect country, aren't accused of disloyalty if they suggest things might be different (who's ever seen a "Montenegro: love it or leave it" sticker?)and aren't lumbered with a government that demands taxes from its citizens if they live somewhere else.

So if someone wants to live elsewhere, no-one turns a hair and upping sticks is easy. It's how things have almost always been.

And the motives aren't always logical or even sane. I recently read a long rant from a British expatriate about why he'd left his native country. Much of it unintelligible, but mostly about corrupt politicians, rotten customer service and high taxation.

All understandable - but he'd just moved to France. If he ever gets round to learning French, he's going to make some very disconcerting discoveries.

The belief that there's greener grass somewhere is probably hard-wired into us all.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:47 AM
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It could be because they are all here already. In 2008, German Americans (16.5%), Irish Americans (11.9%), and English Americans (9.0%) were the three largest self-reported ancestry groups in the United States. In 1990, 84% of Americans were of European heritage but by 2000 that decreased to 61%

Something like 20% of the apartments in Manhattan are second homes owned by people from Europe, Asia, and South America.

The ethnic diversity in the US cannot be matched elsewhere. In the borough of Queens, which is part of NYC, over 175 languages are spoken.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:57 AM
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I had wanted to move to the US since the late 70's, as I later worked for an American company in the UK, I had the opportunity to work there in 1989 and again in 1992. I was based in Rochester Mn and to describe it as laid back would be a big understatement, for the first few weeks it was a bit of a novelty but as time went on it was more and more annoying, I sometimes felt I needed to give someone a slap to get a reaction out of them.
While I was there, Rochester was voted on of the top 3 places to live in the US, needless to say I was cured of wanting to move permanently to the states.
Hooameye is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 12:58 AM
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YOu probably can't generalize this.

In a globalized world, and especially in many fields of the business or academic world it is as normal to move from Paris to Chicago for a job as from Paris to Geneva.
Most of those global job-hoppers probably don't mind living in the US or Switzerland or Australia for a while, but it's not their prime objective to live in a specific place - as long as the standard of living meets their basic criteria.

Those who seek "change" will probably have a more focused desire to live in the land of their dreams.
I don't know the statistics, but the US still is the #1 destination for emigration (at least it is for Germans), also from the "wealthy" countries of Europe.

Personally, I would not mind to live in a country that is not covered coast to coast with Romanesque churches and castles. I've seen enough of those, and I barely notice them when I drive by another 800yo castle here.

When comparing countries, I find (subjectively) the Americans often more in denial of their amount of "heritage" or history than the Europeans. The idea that Europeans laugh about the "short" and wanting history of the US is in the same league as the idea that we care about what clothes you wear on your visit.

Few countries in Europe are 250 years old, by the way. Mine is 65 years old.
Few of the buildings you associate with "Europe" (castles, old town churches, etc) have been built when the country you visited already existed. There was no "Italy" when the tower of Pisa was erected, nor was there "Germany" when Neuschwanstein castle was built (and that is even a pretty young one).
I have no emotional attachment to whatever castle from the 7th century - it's the same for me as visiting the Anasazi dwellings in Mesa Verde NP.

Or maybe the concept to "go west" in still lurking somewhere in our subconciousness
At least I could think of a handful of areas in the US where I'd love to live (few have cobblestones).
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 01:37 AM
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What Flanner said

...Or maybe the concept to "go west" in still lurking somewhere in our subconsciousness....

Could be. Anyway, Europeans have been migrating within Europe for millennia and sailing away to establish empires.
On both sides of the Pond, people often go for a few years and then return.
Just in my own family, I have two sets of uncles and aunts who lived for years in the US and then came home when they retired. The US is not a country for the old or sick unless you have a lot of dosh.
Josser is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 03:18 AM
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To get to the other side?

bookchick is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 03:24 AM
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The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side
alanRow is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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A Scottish friend migrated here for the same reason Scots migrated to Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada: Scots seek economic advancement.

He found excellent professional employment and owned two new cars and a large house at a time when most of his Edinburgh contemporaries were still looking for permanent work.

He is working in an area entirely outside his MA degree, something that has been very difficult to do in the UK. Here it was enough to be very, very bright and willing to teach himself the skills needed.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 04:39 AM
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We nearly migrated to the US. To Pasadena in fact to work at JPL. Purely because of the career opportunity for my husband.
In the end it fell through and we moved to the Netherlands instead.
No regrets about not going to the US. Well apart from the weather that is .
hetismij is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 04:46 AM
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I can see why a lot of AMERICANS wouldn't even consider moving to Rochester or that place where the OP lives and the people don't "value the arts."
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 04:52 AM
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I suspect that the top reasons why Europeans move to the US are the same top reasons why Americans move to Europe. I would think that jobs and educational opportunities are the top 2 reasons and the rest of the reasons are of minor importance in driving mobility. I know a lot of current and former expatriates and the reasons for moving abroad are significantly more prosaic than you would think. Very few of the expatriates I know are living in their "dream" locale - I will admit, thought, that I know only working-age expatriates, so the reasons for retiree expatriates may be different.

however, I can't help wishing Americans valued the arts more

To the extent that this is based upon an assumption that Europeans value the arts to any great degree, this makes me laugh.

So if someone wants to live elsewhere, no-one turns a hair and upping sticks is easy. It's how things have almost always been.

Quite amazing, then, that labor market mobility in Europe is half (or less) that of the US and that the percentage of EU citizens working outside their own country is so low. Heck, the cross-border mobility within the EU-15 countries is remarkably similar to the cross-border mobility characteristics of the US population.


I mean, to hear you tell it, Americans are a bunch of homebodies, while Europeans are worldly folks willing to move across the world at the whim. Oddly, the data points to most people, Americans and (especially) Europeans as committed homebodies. What was that you said about Europeans not feeling obliged to think that they live in the "best" place on earth?

aren't lumbered with a government that demands taxes from its citizens if they live somewhere else

This is pretty much a complete non-issue for most American expatriates. Between the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit, the actual incremental tax liability for most Americans living abroad is relatively small, if not zero. And, FWIW, there are many, many papers discussing how the various social insurance systems throughout the EU have a similar depressive effect on intra-EU labor market mobility.
travelgourmet is online now  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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The main reason cross border mobility is low within the EU is simple - language. No use deciding to move to Greece or Poland if you don't speak the language. Neither are that easy to learn either I'd imagine.
hetismij is offline  

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