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International Movers – Trends

Insights into international movers trends in the USA. Where are people moving from and where are they moving to? What is the direction of international movers?

International Movers – Trends

Have you been considering moving from the United States to another country? You might be surprised at how many people just like you are also considering a relocation from the USA to start a new life in a new country. As a company that has been facilitating the relocation of families and businesses from the USA to countries around the world for decades, we are able to identify many interesting trends.

When we started our moving business a few decades ago we were a firm just doing regional moves and were drawn into the international moving business by a growing number of requests for our packing expertise for overseas moves. Naturally, when we started coordinating international moves ourselves, we started on our home turf of Southern California. As the years have gone by, our business has expanded, mirroring the growing globalization of some American businesses. We now serve clients from regions across the country, from almost every region.

International Movers – The Big Movers

Historically, the regions with the greatest number of people emigrating from the United States were from regions with large numbers of temporary or transient employees. Notable amongst these are New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. At times it is difficult to assess true numbers as major metropolitan areas often traverse several states, and official statistics are kept by states. However, both our own experience and those in the moving industry show that there is less movement in and out of the New York area than there used to be, and an increasing number from some other areas of interest such as Massachusetts and Texas.

The regions where people come to and the regions where people move away from are more or less the same. There is a bit of a time lag, but in general, the regions where the most people come to are also the regions where the most people move away from.

International Movers – Trends

International Moving to California

California has always been America’s magnet to foreigners. Ever since the Gold Rush of 1849, California has drawn Americans to the West and Asians to the east and Mexicans to the north. In the modern era, the nuggets of gold are long gone, but California’s two industrial epicenters, of entertainment in the south and high technologies in the north, continue to draw people from around the world. California’s universities are also world famous, and students and visiting research fellows from countries worldwide flock to places like Davis and San Luis Obispo in addition to big metropolises. SDC International Shipping maintains offices, dedicated moving crews and long term storage facilities in both Los Angeles and San Francisco to serve all of California.

International Moving to Texas

Texas is the second largest destination for those coming to the United States. Like California, the mere size of the state has so much to offer in world class universities throughout the state that there is always a constant flow of academics. In addition to universities and the most advanced energy corporations in the world, Texas is also home to many businesses, like hospitality management and agriculture. All of these attract people to come to Texas to learn and work and receive training.

International Moving to Washington, D.C. Area

Though nominally it ranks below Boston, based upon our experience, Washington, D.C. is now the third largest area for immigrants to the United States. While Washington has always hosted the families of diplomatic missions to the United States, it is now one of the leading centers of commerce in the United States. Virginia and Maryland now have populations surrounding DC that exceed that of the city itself. They are sprinkled with high tech, defense, commerce and other industries. Some of Maryland’s suburbs are amongst the most cosmopolitan in the world, and both Virginia and Maryland have what are considered to be the best public education systems in the countries. The DC metropolitan area is a natural choice for many immigrants.

International Moving to Massachusetts

The Boston area is the next biggest destination for those both coming and leaving the USA. Boston’s universities are world renown. The city’s life sciences and biotechnology industries also are based upon transnational work that require the training of people from around the world and attract the world’s best and brightest to come to it.

International Movers – Those Who Come and Those Who Go

All of these regions rank high not only for those moving to them, but also for those moving away from them. While the economic and academic opportunities in all of these areas, and throughout the United States are probably the best in the world, it is not always sufficient.

Most of the people moving to our biggest locations are coming with the intention of only staying in the United States for a few years to begin with, especially many academics who come to the USA to spend their sabbatical year away from their home university. Because of the high cost and effort involved in moving a family from one country to another, most of the academics that we have served have arranged to be in the USA for a few years. We have seen the following trends consistent throughout the years.

Academic is far from the leading reason why people come to the USA. America is seen by most around the world as the land of endless opportunities is a place for people to learn valuable job skills, and being hired by an American corporation is an extremely attractive prospect for up and coming workers in any field. Right now the leading source of immigrants to the USA is India. Many of these people later return to India to start businesses there, or to work for the Indian subsidiary of an American company. There are many American companies that actively seek out Indians to come to the USA to learn how eventually to lead a team of Indians back in Bangalore. There are also many Americans who travel to destinations like Bangalore, Singapore and Barcelona to help set up teams.

High tech research and development, customer sales and support is now expected in every language and to be done locally. Long gone are the days when someone in Europe could expect to be up until the middle of the night to have someone in California make their software work. Almost every country needs support in all languages, and our clients move to destinations all over the world, not only to the leading high tech centers, but cities in every country.

But high tech isn’t the only reason people come to the USA. Even more come to the USA just to work in simple jobs where they can make a decent living, and even have enough left over at the end of the month to send back to their family. Many come with their families, hoping to afford an education for their families that they are unable to afford in their home countries. They still love their home countries, their families and communities, and while a lot choose to remain in the USA, there are an equal number that repatriate back to the countries from whence they came.

We have seen many a family that came to the United States with little more than a few suitcases go back to their home countries a few years later with an entire container! If you are one of these families, you probably know that the USA has not only the opportunity to make money, but also to purchase many creature comforts either unavailable or very expensive in their home countries.

We have also seen an interesting new trend in the past few years. This trend is of people who were born in the USA, or came here at a young age moving to another country where they never lived. They grew up in this country, were educated here, yet retained close contact with their family abroad. Most of them were taught their parents’ native along with English and are fully bilingual. In the age of affordable international travel, moving to the USA doesn’t mean leaving your family. Their parents came to the United States for opportunity, and now they are moving back, educated and affluent and ready to start businesses and ventures. This is a trend that we didn’t see a few years ago but we expect to continue.

International Movers – Retirement Relocation

While retiring abroad is nothing new, we expect that the trend move abroad for retirement will increase. There are regions in the USA that are pretty hard to live in, at least a good portion of the year. While Florida and Arizona continue to be places where Americans choose to move to, many are also making the decision to retire move internationally and retire abroad.

Retirement in the United States can be expensive. Even people who have saved prudently and invested their entire lives find it difficult to maintain a high standard of living once their regular income ends. Even more want to live in a more pleasant climate. There are also many people who want full time help in their homes once it becomes difficult for them to do everything like shopping, cooking and cleaning themselves, but the cost of a full time employee in their home in addition to their already high cost of living.

Retirement relocation is a good option for many people like this. There are some destinations that are relatively close to the USA, safe and affordable, like Cabos or Belize. Some more affordable locations are further away, like Thailand and Portugal. Each has its own distinct advantages and reasons to retire to that specific location. If you love water, you might want to retire somewhere like the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas.

Almost all of these countries have special rules that allow you to retire to move to them with a permanent residence visa. They almost always require that you purchase a home or move a minimum amount of assets to the country, and be able to show a monthly income sufficient to support your family. There are a few countries that dictate that you must employ a citizen in addition, but in the same countries that demand this, the cost of employing someone is quite affordable.

In the Philippines, for instance, there are well established communities of expats. Not all of them come from America, but if you move to places like Subic Bay or Tagaytay, you can expect to meet people like you who have moved from the UK, Australia and some other Western countries, moving there to live in a pleasant climate, with a comfortable life style that they can easily afford on their pension.

If you are considering retirement relocation, we know that you will only do so after visiting the area several times. We suggest that you even go so far as to try living there full time for a few months before making your final move.

International Movers – Coming Trends

As these lines are written, the entire globe is at the height of the coronavirus epidemic. Every country in the world, from the United States to the smallest, most isolated islands are in the midst of an outbreak, the likes of which have been unknown to the world for over a hundred years. International travel has ground to a halt, and the map of international businesses will be forever changed. New businesses will be founded and some will forever vanquish. However one coming trend has become very evident to us – more people will be moving internationally, not less. Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, we have received many inquiries from people interested in reuniting with family overseas.

The difficulty of dealing with the virus has shown that even the world’s strongest, most robust economy is not immune, and that perhaps being close to family means more than working in the best country. Many people who have moved to the United States, intending to stay here many long years, are now contemplating returning to their home country as soon as they will be allowed to do so.

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By Kfir Cohen

Kfir Cohen is handling global operations, cargo shipping, negotiation, and management of different suppliers around the world. He has more than 15 years of experience in the avant-garde of relocation and the sea/air freight business.
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