If all these Americans were placed in one state it would be the 12th most populous state in the U.S. (right between New Jersey and Virginia)!
In March 2016, AARO delegates to "Overseas Americans Week" were told that State Department estimates had been raised to 8.7 million Americans living and working around the world. That makes them equivalent to the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Tucson – something to keep in mind when legislation is being drawn up!
All such numbers are "guesstimates" of course, but they are telling. They are projections from a number of sources but are not broken down by country, as they were at the turn of this century, or even by region, as they were in 2011.
2015 Government Estimate of Overseas Americans by region around the world
In 2018, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report "Workplace Retirement Accounts" which included estimates of U.S. citizens abroad by geographic region, as of April 21, 2015.
Total Private and Official U.S. Citizen Residents
- Africa: 231,854
- East Asia and Pacific: 1,135,114
- Europe and Eurasia: 2,027,914
- Near East: 1,019,457
- South Central Asia: 618,772
- Western Hemisphere: 3,706,577
- For a total of 8,739,688
Living Overseas is Difficult for Americans
While fellow Americans may have moved overseas for family, work, study or even an adventure, they face legal and regulatory impediments that make life abroad difficult such as:
- Reporting for FATCA and FBAR is tedious, redundant and expensive.
- U.S.-based financial institutions and banks refuse to deal with Americans living overseas, often cancelling accounts with little notice.
- Overseas Americans are caught between two conflicting tax systems, the mandatory U.S. and the country where they live.
- Saving for retirement is difficult, if not impossible, due to conflicting requirements, forbidden investments, and onerous reporting.
More issues and problems which confront expat Americans can be found in the reports from the AARO Advocacy Survey.