US Residents’ Emigration Searches Jump 245% After Trump Win

Posted By Gerardo ( on 11/11/2016

Expatistan is the original online cost of living calculator. All day, every day, we compare prices in thousands of cities around the world to help potential expats research their move to a new country. We analyse every comparison our users make in detail, so we know that certain events can spark a trend in people moving to (or out of) a particular nation.

In the wake of the Brexit referendum last June, we saw a 30% spike in current UK residents making cost of living comparisons with, well, anywhere but Britain. When Trump stormed to victory in the US presidential election on November 9th, we assumed we’d see a similar trend.

But we didn’t expect this.

You may have heard reports of US residents googling ‘how to emigrate’ in record numbers, and you probably know that in the hours leading up to the final election result, Canada’s immigration website crashed entirely. At Expatistan, we also saw a massive 141% increase in visitors from the US the day after the election:

Change in number of visitors to from the US on the date of Trump presidential victory

And they weren’t just visiting our site for the heck of it. Americans were researching moves out of the US like crazy (while the rest of the world didn’t pay much attention). We saw a huge jump of 245% in comparisons using the United States and another country.

Change in number of searches in from the US on the date of Trump presidential victory

So where do all these weary US residents want to move to? Pretty much anywhere. For obvious reasons English speaking countries were at the top of list; the four most common comparisons (in order of popularity) used Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

But. Almost every other country also saw an increase in interest from US visitors, with just a few exceptions (China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and India). Take a look at the changes we saw between November 2nd and November 9th. If you ask us, it’s a clear reflection of the sentiment you may have heard from many Americans since the election result:

Popular destinations to leave the US on the date of Trump presidential victory

Searches for the US vs. Canada went through the roof, while definite spikes were also seen with Australia, New Zealand, and some more interesting choices of Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Whether these choices were motivated by price, distance from the United States, climate or culture remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that this was a presidential election like no other. Whatever your political views may be, it’s safe to say that the next four years will be interesting, both in the

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Got questions? Feel free to ask Gerardo Robledillo, founder of Expatistan, at


UK Residents’ Searches To Move Abroad Jump 30% in the Wake of Brexit

Posted By Gerardo ( on 28/06/2016

Expatistan is the original (and best, if we may say so) worldwide cost of living calculator. We compare the cost of living between over 2,000 cities and 204 countries to give potential expats a better understanding of their future homes.

Naturally, we spend lots of time analysing the comparisons that our users make. We see the relative interest people in each city have in moving elsewhere, and how that interest changes over time. And in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of Brexit, we noticed some very interesting activity…

Although the number of visitors to our site has increased over the past few weeks in general, the number of UK visitors in particular saw a huge spike. In the two days following Britain’s EU referendum, UK visitors increased by more than 30%.

Change in number of visitors from the UK since Brexit

Actual comparisons on our site saw a similar trend on the same days (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th); comparisons between UK cities and non-UK cities jumped by 50.8% from the previous Friday and Saturday. There was only a 13.2% increase in comparisons not involving the UK on the same dates.

Increase in comparisons between UK cities and cities abroad

For the sake of reference, the typical number of recorded searches for a similar 2 day period on our site is around 600 from UK residents and 9,000 from across the rest of the world.

Our data suggests that the referendum result lead to many more UK residents researching a move abroad. As much as 30% more are thinking about or researching a move, even taking into account the overall increase in traffic and interest to our site.

But wait, there’s more…

When we examined the number of searches per city in the UK in the two days after the Brexit result, we found a correlation between how a city voted in the referendum and the number of people researching a move away from the UK. The higher the percentage of the ‘Remain’ votes, the more interest there was in moving abroad from that city in the 2 days immediately after the referendum.

Correlation between Brexit results and interest in moving abroad

Some things to note for the numerically inclined: To minimise any noise skewing our data, we limited the results to the 12 UK cities with the most searches in the baseline period of the 17th and 18th of June (one week before the referendum) and compared it to the 24th and 25th (2 days afterwards).

Since the number of data points for some of the cities was admittedly small (13 searches in t

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Got questions? Feel free to ask Gerardo Robledillo, founder of Expatistan, at


Financial Planning for Your Expat Experience

Posted By Gerardo ( on 31/01/2014

This is a guest post from InterNations

In order to make the most of your expat experience, it is essential to plan ahead. In addition to reading up on the customs and practices in the country you are moving to, you should also do some research on the cost of living. Just because you are moving to a country that is cheap to travel around as a tourist, doesn’t mean that the cost of living will be inexpensive for an expat.

Especially if you want to maintain the same Western lifestyle you had back home, some cities, especially in parts of Africa, number among the most expensive expat destinations based on cost of living. Other cities, such as Geneva and Tokyo, are expensive for everyone, expats and locals alike.

Depending on where you are headed, you will have to keep different things in mind when planning your budget. Is safety an issue? Will you need to live in a gated compound with 24-hour security guards? What about health issues? How is the quality of local health care? Will public health insurance suffice, or will you need to invest a considerable amount in private health insurance, which will give you access to high-quality private hospitals and doctors? All these could be expenses you weren’t counting on.

Other unexpected expenses can include needing vaccinations and special medicine during your expat assignment. All the administrative steps associated with starting a job abroad can also start adding up. These include applying for your visa and then your residence and/or work permit once you arrive. Be sure to also look into the transportation situation in the city you will be moving to. Will you need a car, or can you rely on public transportation to get around?

If you are moving with children, does your host country’s government provide public child care or will you have to arrange and pay for this yourself for your under school age children? What is the quality of the public schools? Will you need to send your children to an international school?

Make a budget before you leave, and try to account for all foreseeable expenses. Be sure to also budget in a little extra to be able to make an emergency trip home, if necessary.

If you don’t have to worry about money during your expat assignment, you’re more likely to have a successful experience abroad. This will also free up your time to focus on adapting to the cultural and social differences in your host country. Take some language classes. Join a club and make some l

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How to Start a Business in Chile

Posted By Gerardo ( on 31/01/2014

This is a guest post from James Jones, travel blogger for My Travel Guide Posts.
Chile is one of the best places in South America to live as an expatriate, invest money, own Real Estate and start a business. The following article is intended to inspire and guide expatriates on the process and requirements needed to start a business in Chile:

1. Recognise a niche

Before setting your mind on what business to start up in Chile, consider the following:
  • Research how competitive the market is
  • Get to know the expat community
  • Build trust with local people that will be of help to your business (i.e. electricians, builders, etc) 
  • Learn the local culture and customs
  • Learn Spanish
Also, when identifying a business niche, it is important that the business will be of benefit or interest to the expat and local communities. Always keep in mind how your new business will impact (help) the local people, and develop a good healthy relationship with the locals.
Whichever business niche you pick, make sure it is something you are actually interested in or are passionate about.

2. Business niches ideas 

Here it is some business ideas to start a business in Chile that targets the expatriate and local communities:

  • Restaurant
  • Physiotherapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Import business (i.e. coffee, cars, etc)
  • Speciality shops
  • Aromatherapy
  • Surf shop
  • Hostel
  • Scholarship programs
  • Yoga, Pilates or Gym class
  • Winery
  • Fishing tours
  • Coffee Shop
  • Care taker
  • Teaching English
  • Tour-transport business
A couple of good examples of expat businesses and why they are successful overseas are “PURE Gym and Spa” in Nicaragua and Kelly’s Expat Shop in the Netherlands.
“Pure Gym and Spa” is based in Granada, Nicaragua and stands out from the local competition by offering a spa, gym, yoga classes and a scholarship program for local mothers. 
Kelly’s Expat Shop is based in The Hague and appeals to the English and American expat community because the shop sells favourite brands of products that English and American expats would recognise back home.

3. Starting a company

Chile has, without a doubt, been one of the easiest and cheapest places in Latin America to start a business. Typically it takes 3-5 weeks to start a company at a cost of roughly $650. 
However, as of early last year the Chilean government passed down a new law which cut-down much of the bureaucracy associated with a starting a business in Chile, which means you can now start a new business online at no cost.
The online form to start a business in Chile c... (keep reading)


Best cities to live in for location-independent internet entrepreneurs

Posted By Gerardo ( on 04/11/2013

This is a guest post from full-time World traveler Jasper Ribbers.
As a location independent internet entrepreneur, I can live where ever I want. One option is to roam around, moving from location to location every other week or so. This is a lot of fun and I get to see a lot of our beautiful planet this way.
However, it's though to get work done when constantly on the move. And sometimes, I just feel like having a home base for a few months. Sleep in the same bed, make some local connections and really get to know a certain place.
But where? What are good cities to camp out for a while? I've thought about this for a long time and I've come up with a number of criteria:
  • Internet speed: I need a fast connection
  • Cost of living: I rather spend less then more money
  • Climate: I prefer temperatures in the 20 - 30 Celsius range and mostly sunny
  • Safety: I value my life and I also carry just about everything I own so I rather not have it stolen
  • Health care: In case something does happen
  • Pollution: It's nice to have some fresh air
I asked fellow internet entrepreneurs what their favorite cities are to setup shop. Based on their answers, I've selected six cities: Bangkok, Medellin, Buenos Aires, Budapest, Shanghai and Vilnius. I ranked these cities based on the factors mentioned above. I've given some factors more weight than others, to reflect my personal preferences. Here are the results:

The winner: Vilnius!

This might surprise you! Many people have never heard of Vilnius. It's the capital of Lithuania, a former Soviet state. The country is named a Baltic Tiger, for it's rapid economic development in the last decade.
Vilnius has the world's 10th fastest internet, topping all US cities. The city sees very little pollution, cost of living is low and it's a safe place. The biggest drawback is the climate. Temperatures are around or well below zero from November to April. That being said, the summers are warm and dry, so if you go June to September you'll avoid the cold!
The other cities are quite closely together, with Bangkok being somewhat behind. This is mostly due to cost of living and pollution. The city only excels at one thing: health care.

Final note

I used my personal preferences to rank the cities. For me, cost of living, climate and internet speed are the most important factors. Others might have a different opinion. To help you find yo... (keep reading)