Send My Bag Releases USA Expat Index

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Send My Bag Releases USA Expat Index

Following the launch of our UK expat index, we have also researched the top destinations for US expats and ranked them according to the same liveability scale.

The country’s analysed for the USA Expat Index are as follows: United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and France

As a reminder, we calculate a country’s liveability score by analysing a range of factors including the cost of rent, the cost of a pint of beer, happiness, pollution and so much more. Each country is given a score out of 15 with a maximum of 1 point for each category (there are 15 categories or factors in total).

If you’re living in the United States and thinking of starting a new life elsewhere, you’ll want to read on to find out which countries performed the best and worst in each country.

Average House Price

Mexico has the cheapest property to purchase at $755.85 per square metre.

The most expensive property to buy is in South Korea, where you would be spending $6504.76/m2.

Cost of Rent 

Mexico has the cheapest rental accommodation market on our list of expat destinations costing approximately 74.1% less than the USA.

Australia has the most expensive property to rent but is still 11.34% lower than the rental market in the United States.

Unemployment Rate

COVID-19 has impacted each country’s economy severely. Therefore, career opportunities in a particular country are likely to be a big draw. 

Based on pre-COVID-19 conditions, Japan has the most job opportunities with an unemployment rate of only 2.29%. 

France scored the worst on our list with an unemployment rate of 8.43%.


The weather in the USA is, for the most part, nothing to complain about. For those wishing to still enjoy the sunshine when they move abroad, Israel could be the perfect destination with an average of 3311 hours of sunshine per year. 

The UK may not be the most attractive destination for sun seeking US expats with only 1530 average hours of sunshine over the course of a year.


Each of the 10 countries on our list were assessed across a range of variables including but not limited to: citizens access to social support, healthy life expectancy and freedom to make life choices.

We found Canada to be the happiest country while Japan sits at the bottom of our list.

Cost of Living

In this category we analysed common activities such as going out for dinner or a trip to the grocery store.

We discovered that the cost of living in Mexico was approximately 57.15% cheaper than the USA. 

Meanwhile Japan is 20.84% more expensive.

GDP per Capita

Australia appears to be in the strongest position here with GDP per Capita sitting at $53,825.

Mexico currently sits at $10,118.

Average Annual Wage

The most lucrative country on our list appears to be Australia with a purchasing power parity (PPP) of $53,349.

The PPP in Mexico is the lowest of our expat destinations at $16,298.


The crime index from our source Numbeo provides an estimation out of 100 of overall level of crime in a given city our country based on survey of visitors to the website.

The destination with the lowest amount of crime on our list was Japan which has a rating of 18.48, a ‘very low’ crime rate. 

Puerto Rico has a ‘high’ crime level due to its score of 73.54.


The pollution index is an estimation out of 100 of the overall pollution in each country with the biggest weight given to air pollution. 

Our research found that Australia had the lowest levels of pollution with a score of only 23.33.

South Korea had the highest level at 62.25.

Difficulty of Language

Here, English speaking countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico scored highly. 

While countries such as Israel fared worse. With high levels of sunshine every year however, one may consider this a destination worth the difficult initial language barrier. 

Average Flight Time from Capital to Capital

A shorter flight time may be especially important if you’re looking to travel between the USA and your new home on a regular occasion.

Here we found the shortest flight was from the USA to Canada at only 3 hours 40 minutes.

The longest flight duration was from the USA to Australia at 31 hours 35 minutes. With that lengthy journey, you best make sure you have all your travel essentials

Cost of McDonald’s Meal

The lowest costing McMeal or equivalent combo meal was in Mexico for only $4.48.

Israel was the most expensive at $14.69.

Cost of a Pint of Beer

It’s great to know the cost of some things before moving to a new home and the cost of a pint of beer is surely one of the things most people will want to know before making that big step.

We found Mexico to have the lowest costing 500ml of domestic beer at only $1.34.

Israel has the most expensive offering at $8.81.

Cost of Shipping Luggage

If you’re considering moving over the border to Canada, it will only cost $98 to ship 66lbs of luggage from the USA using our express service.

For those looking to venture a little further, it costs $258 to ship the same amount to Israel.

Are you interested in moving abroad? If you’ve come this far you probably are. You can find the cost of shipping luggage to other destinations on our list using our handy quote tool.

What do you think of our US Expat Index? Let us know by joining the conversation on our Instagram Page or LinkedIn.

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