Showcasing the journey of the mass migration of ex-pats rapidly fleeing the west for a better life.
Around the world, the wealthy and poor alike are traveling around the globe in search of better opportunities. After the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, many Americans said that they would leave the country. So where are American ex-pats going?
According to the American Resident Overseas Association, around 9 million Americans (excluding the military) live in 160-plus countries. The number of ex-pats has more than doubled in the last fifteen years — a number growing faster than the rate of the U.S. population itself.
In 2019, Ghana opened its arms to African descendants living in the Diaspora. Ghana’s president marked the “Year of Return,” commemorating 400 years since the first Africans arrived in the colony now known as Virginia on a slave ship.
This invite prompted record tourism to Ghana and the country saw an increase in Americans who applied for visas to stay. The mental and physical trauma from slavery and racism is beginning to take its toll on countless. “We don’t want to stay where we are not wanted. The deep trauma from police brutality and racial profiling is killing us!” said a sister who migrated to Africa before Covid.
Then came the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. Embassies saw a real surge in people looking to move out of America and into Africa. About 5000 African Americans have made the move since 2020 to Ghana. They have repatriated their families and also millions of their hard-earned dollars to the Motherland.
Please note, that the following numbers are an estimate since the U.S. government doesn’t formally track how many Americans leave the U.S.
According to the Association of American Residents Overseas (AARO), US ex-pats can be found in more than 160 countries:
- 40% opt for the Western hemisphere — Canada, Central, and South America.
- 26% move to Europe.
- 14% head to East Asia and the Pacific
- 14% head to the Middle East.
- 3% travel to Central or South Asia.
- 3% choose Africa.
So why are Americans emigrating?
Just like immigrants arriving in America seeking a better quality of life, millions of Americans are leaving for the very same reasons. For some, it may be for economic reasons. Many simply can no longer afford to live in the United States. The current US housing crisis and outlandish rent increases are causing families to budget wisely and move in together to share expenses. Many are opting out of purchasing overinflated homes when the American currency can stretch further in many countries, giving you more options for your dollars. The average American is one paycheck away from being homeless. And let’s not mention the current homeless crisis. That’s an episode for another day!
During the pandemic, many businesses began laying off non-essential workers. Other companies enabled employees to work from home. As if the pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, caregivers and parents had to homeschool their children with very little support. This was too much for many to handle and an increase in suicide, anxiety, and depression ensued.
Opting out of corporate life, many heads of households are choosing to work mobile, enabling them to work from anywhere in the world. Some escape the west to evade taxes, and others migrate for work opportunities. Today, many are leaving due to stress and being targeted by hateful racists and white supremacists. These homegrown terrorists are on the rise and carrying out random attacks on innocent citizens just for the color of their skin. Gun-carrying rebels and bloodthirsty thugs seek after innocent souls and carry out violent attacks on innocent civilians and most recently, innocent children in the ongoing school shootings.
Civil Unrest in the Land of Zion?
Ethiopia is knowns as the land of Zion, the breadbasket of Africa, and the promised land for many spiritual and Rastafari peoples worldwide. In 1948, Emperor Haile Selassie I gifted 500 hectares of land as a gift to all Black peoples of the world. The Sheshemene Land Development was granted by the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc. and hosted settlers from all over the world who began migrating from the west. These families have called Ethiopia home for decades and have faced many blessings and struggle over the years.
Now Ethiopia faces a travel advisory due to civil unrest, armed conflict, and communications disruption. Families pause their plans to relocate to Ethiopia and ask, “Where do we go now?”
African descendants living in The United States are choosing to return to their native lands or to migrate to the Motherland, Africa. Rastafari TV Network highlights families and individuals choosing to move or retire abroad. Some end up meeting and marrying partners while on assignment or traveling in foreign countries. Though some miss the conveniences of American life, they are now living liberated, experiencing authentic communal love for the first time. Others have a great relief and connection to their ancestors, who never made it home. Follow us on this incredible journey, documenting this Great Exodus.