Top 10 US Cities For Ex-pats


“It’s time to go.” – that’s how it all starts for an ex-pat. Often, we say it almost jokingly while discussing accumulated restrictions we now feel on our skin, whether it be a poor job market, political tension, or personal growth. For some, it’s about sheer survival and bringing food to the table.

For others, it’s a different kind of survival – from sexual to political oppression. Still, once you’ve set your mind on breaking free from whatever circumstances you were brought up and living in, nothing can change your mind.

And, just like that, you’re an ex-pat in the making, even before setting foot on US soil. So, where to? Where’s that home away from home? Let’s find it. Here are the top 10 US cities for ex-pats.

Top 10 US Cities For Ex-pats

Top 10 US Cities for Ex-pats

1. Miami, Florida

No surprises here. Miami has been voted the healthiest city in the US for living and enjoying our sweet time on Earth. It’s not just the palm trees; it’s the diversity it offers. From Little Havana to the Wynwood District, Miami’s arms are wide open for any ex-pat knocking on its door.

If you enjoy working hard during the day (plenty of job opportunities) and partying harder at night (we’ve all heard stories) while keeping that healthy lifestyle, this one has your name written all over it.

Even if you’re working from home and wondering how to boost your productivity, worry not – its eternal blue skies will make magic happen.

2. Austin, Texas

Yee-haw! It’s 2022, and Texas is on fire (metaphorically). Due to the state’s no income tax policy, ex-pats (and the rest of the US) are silver-spurring their way into Austin and fine Texas living.

From Google and Facebook to Apple and Samsung, Austin is heaven on Earth for all the tech-savvy folks (a job in the industry? Guaranteed!). Beware – the city will spoil you with its supreme weather, outdoor spaces, foodie spots, and its ever-growing art scene and venues.

3. Houston, Texas

Houston, we are problem-free. Yes, we’re still in Texas. And no, not only for a space odyssey. Why do people from all over the US move to Houston? The outstanding job market, perfect weather, low-rent. Sounds good? There’s more.

Buying a house with a median income is possible, and so is landing a position in the highest paying jobs in America. Your fellow Houstonians are as friendly as they come, and the food scene is enviable (from fried chicken to Sichuan and Sushi delicacies).

When you’re not doing yoga or visiting the Theater District, you can catch a Rockets’ or a Texans’ game.

4. Portland, Oregon

With around 650,000 residents, Portland is a true hidden gem. Mountains? Check. The ocean? Check. Great for everyone? Check.

The city’s famous motto is “Keep Portland Weird,” so it’s safe to say you’re more than welcome to show off your quirkiness. (It’s a home to the “World’s Smallest Park” and an entire museum dedicated exclusively to vacuum cleaners! We love it.)

Cycling is a way of living in Portland, but if you’re not a pedaling fan, you can opt for hiking or picnicking in one of its 200 parks. (Woah!)

5. Seattle, Washington

Don’t let the perpetual rain myths scare you off. There’s plenty of sunshine; come spring, come summer. Seattle is where the cool kids live. Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks headquarters, too.

A coincidence? This northern glory has your peace’s back from skiing to volcanoes and beaches. Why do we think Seattle is one of the top 10 US cities for ex-pats, you ask? Well. It’s home to the oldest farmer’s market in the country (since 1907), and you know what they say – Love goes through the stomach.

6. New York City, New York

Let’s hear it for NYC. You know it. You anticipated it. The melting pot of all races, nationalities, colors, religions, and identities is, without a shred of doubt, one of the few places an ex-pat can find a sense of belonging, whichever of the incredible neighborhoods they pick.

Some of the best areas include Brooklyn, Queens, and, of course, the everlasting Manhattan. It’s a concrete jungle, but somehow, it always seems to find a way into your heart. Once you settle in, there’s no escaping it. It’s a love that never dies.

7. Los Angeles, California

Where there’s New York, there’s L.A – conjoined coastal twins. It’s not just about the glorious weather, surfing the waves, and waiting for your retirement shirtless. It’s the people.

There are over 190 languages spoken in the City of Angels; ex-pats are not ex-pats; they’re an integral part of the community. From Little Tokyo to Little Armenia, every nationality finds its little nook to call home. The word “outsider” doesn’t exist in the city’s vocabulary; it simply embraces all oddities.

8. Boston, Massachusetts

The city of Boston exudes intelligence. It’s the city of innovation. From Harvard University and MIT to thousands of start-up companies, it sure is home to a lot of gray matter activity.

It is also one of the healthiest and most livable cities in the country. Boston is armed with a rich history, astonishing transportation, healthcare systems, job opportunities, and year-round activities.

9. Chicago, Illinois

The birthplace of the skyscraper and an ex-pat’s new life, Chicago is one of the top 10 US cities for ex-pats. It’s the third-largest city in the US (right behind the coastal conjoined twins), and it’s got an open buffet waiting at the arrivals.

It’s New York and Los Angeles, only a bit more affordable. The Midwest treats transplants with kindness. Forget the wind. (especially if you’re working from home in the post-pandemic era). The irrefutable sense of community in Chicago makes every foreigner feel at home.

10. Portland, Maine

What? Yes! The oddball is finally here. With only 67,000 residents, this little Casco Bay sanctuary is for those who enjoy quaint ways of living.

This lobster town is known for having more food joints and restaurants per capita than any other imaginable place in the country. (with +300 microbreweries to quench the thirst) And, no, you don’t have to disguise yourself as a fisherman; the job market is expanding as we speak, especially in the digital niche. 

The Finish Line

This was our “top 10 US cities for ex-pats” list, but we can only go so far. Crossing that finish line and finding “the one” is no easy task. Gather as much information available before putting a ring on it. Good luck, fellow ex-pats.

Author: Sophia Perry