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United States - New York and California

Reasons for moving among California and New York State respondents

Relocating internationally isn’t a frequent action taken by Californians or New Yorkers according to the survey - with only 17.4% of Californians and 17.6% of New Yorkers having relocated internationally more than once. However, among those who have relocated, both Californians and New Yorkers report relocating in the past six to 18 months (35.6% and 38.1% respectively). For Californians and New Yorkers who have relocated internationally, a slight majority moved away from their home country (39.9% and 38.6% respectively), compared to returning to their home country (34.0% and 36.6% ).

Additionally, among Californians and New Yorkers, most respondents report that they have not considered moving back to their home country since the pandemic (62.2% and 60.4% ).

When it comes to reasons why respondents in California and New York relocated abroad, the top three motivations were the economy, work and job opportunities (30.3% and 31.5% respectively), a better lifestyle or standard of living (27.1% and 37.6%), and to be with family, a partner or for love (35.6% and 27.4%). The least likely motivations for Californians and New Yorkers to relocate were the pandemic (7.5% and 10.2% ), for financial or tax reasons (8.0% and 9.1%), and for retirement (4.3% and 3.6%).

Californians and New Yorkers are more likely to stay put

Only 22% of California and New York residents report being likely to consider relocating internationally, while 50% reported that they are neither more nor less likely to consider relocating internationally. Meanwhile, only 17% of Californians and 18% of New Yorkers have relocated internationally – indicating lower levels of mobility compared to other markets.

For all Californians and New Yorkers, regardless of whether they have relocated in the past or not, the top considerations of destinations for relocating and/or considering relocating included looking for a better lifestyle (30.6% and 31.8%), wanting to experience a new culture (37.0% and 34.5%), and thinking that having a change of scenery could be beneficial (22.6% and 20.5%).

Factors motivating a move away from California or New York State

Overall, California and New York residents aren’t motivated to move abroad right now. Only 22.1% of California and New York residents report that they are more likely to consider relocating internationally, while 50.1% reported that they are neither more nor less likely to consider relocating internationally – as compared with South Africa (39.3%) and Hong Kong (35.0%) respondents, who are the most likely audience to have higher consideration to relocate internationally.

For those considering the potential of relocating abroad, the top country choices for Californians were the UK (18.0%), Japan (10.8%), Mexico (9.2%) and Italy (9.0%). While the UK also holds the top spot among New Yorkers, their top country choices for relocation are slightly different compared to Californians: the UK (22.1%), Italy (13.4%), Australia (8.3%), and Japan (6.9%).

The US survey sample consisted of 1,007 people living in California and New York who have a passport; 230 are considering or would like to move abroad, while 100 are expats.

Fig 13 - Reasons for Californians and New Yorkers to move abroad

USA infographic

Q: Thinking about your most recent move, what was your reason(s) for relocating internationally [Multiple responses allowed]

Get the global perspective

Our full Global Movement Report reveals that despite cancellations occurring, worldwide 3 in 5 of respondents who had their relocation plans adjusted or postponed intend to go ahead with their move. Meaning people are waiting for restrictions to lift... does this mean we will see a surge in relocations?