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Top 3 States For Expats In The U.S.

Top 3 States For Expats In The U.S.

What are the top 3 states for expats in the US?

As the fourth largest country in the world (by land area), it can be difficult for expats to choose where to live in the United States, especially if they really don’t know where to start.


Deciding which location has the most to offer for you and your needs can be an extremely difficult task, especially since there are such a wide variety of cities, towns and states to choose from.In fact, with 50 states, the country is diverse as it is vast – so whether you’re looking to enhance your career, find a friendly neighbourhood to settle down with your family, or seeking a beach-side paradise to retire, this article explores a few diverse states and locations to suit expats in any situation.



Famously known as the ‘Sunshine State’, Florida is typically popular with retirees, holiday makers and fellow Americans seeking a warm retreat for the winter. This doesn’t mean expats should disregard Florida as a place to call home, however. One of the many cities in Florida which expats should seriously consider is Jacksonville.

As Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville is home to an array of expats from all over the globe, as well as locals. Situated just off of the North Atlantic coast and connected by impressive sweeping bridges over three rivers, Jacksonville is a true seaside city, boasting 22 miles of soft sand beaches and world-class fishing. A beautiful blend of urban and green spaces, Jacksonville is home to flashy high-rises, corporate HQs, historic neighbourhoods, state parks, nature preserves and more.

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, then you’ll simply adore Jacksonville. With endless stretches of untouched woodlands, marshes, beaches and waterways, you’ll never run out of things to experience, whether it’s hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking or bird watching. You’re also sure to be impressed by the city’s vibrant art and music scenes. As a melting pot of cultures and races since 1564, Jacksonville hosts an array of concerts, festivals, street fairs, craft markets, museums, exhibitions and more.

 Compared to Miami, or The Magic City as it is famously known, Jacksonville offers an overall lower cost of living. In fact, rent prices are a whopping 72.70% higher in Miami than they are in Jacksonville. So if you still want to experience the ‘big city’ feeling but at a lower price, Jacksonville could be the place for you.

 Another place expats may want to consider in Florida is Sarasota. A polar opposite to Jacksonville, Sarasota is a small city, home to less than 60,000 residents. That said, it’s no less desirable. Located on the west coast, Sarasota breathes a big city vibe, while providing the charm of small-town America. Similar to Jacksonville, Sarasoata’s outdoor spaces are simply stunning, with beautiful white sand beaches and grass green trails there’s plenty of opportunity to embrace the outdoors.

As such a small city, Sarasota surprisingly features more than 1,400 diverse restaurants and eateries. Seafood is one of the city’s specialities thanks to its perfect coastal location. As well as experiencing delicious local cuisine, Sarasota boasts a blossoming arts scene, great shopping opportunities, a welcoming community and warm temperatures all year-round.

When it comes to economic opportunities, Florida’s tourism industry is booming as it is one of the state’s key industries, which is perhaps no surprise, with almost 127 million tourists visiting the state in 2018.

Florida’s economy also relies heavily on international trade, agriculture, aerospace and aviation, and the life sciences. As well as finding career opportunities within Florida’s key industries, you’ll find an array of job prospects in many different sectors, such as healthcare, public affairs, education, finance and more.

Even more promising, Florida’s current unemployment is lower than ever with just a 3% unemployment rate as of December 2019, compared with the long-term average of 6.19%. So no matter where you choose to live in Florida, you’re likely to find the right job for you.



 Nestled between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers sits Iowa, a land of rolling hills and cornfields. Here, beaches are substituted for picturesque towns, Effigy Mounds, historic villages and state parks. Historically home to European settlers, Iowa has always welcomed those from overseas, which should make moving here as an expat all the easier.

One place to consider is Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature and university town. As its name suggests, Iowa City was the previous capital of Iowa, but it soon transformed into a thriving hub of culture and art, boasting live music, performance art, museums and galleries. If you’re moving here as a family, you’ll adore the array of family-friendly neighbourhoods and plentiful education options.

Another awesome location for expats in Iowa is Des Moines, the capital city, which boasts 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. With a culture as diverse as the people who live there, Des Moines attracts millennials and young families alike, thanks to its family-friendly neighbourhoods, unique shops, independent restaurants and retro bars.

With a low unemployment rate and a variety of key industries, there are a good range of career opportunities for new arrivals to pursue. Some key industries to note are agriculture and food, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, IT, and services which include wholesale and retail trade, insurance and healthcare.

Iowa is also known for its incredibly affordable healthcare system – something that is difficult to find in the U.S. as the country’s healthcare system is not universal. In fact, most U.S. citizens are covered by a combination of private insurance and various federal and state programs so they don’t incur excessive out of pocket fees. This is why many expats moving to the U.S. choose private health insurance or a similar insurance policy that will cover them internationally, wherever they go.



As the second largest state in the U.S. by both area and population, Texas is a truly vast and diverse location featuring large dynamic cities, small rural towns, white sand beaches, barren deserts and so much more. Home to seven beautifully diverse regions, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the most popular locations for expats is Austin, the capital city, which is the 3rd largest state capital in the U.S. and home to more than 950,000 residents. Austin is most famously known for its established and ever-growing music-scene, and is host to some of the country’s largest music festivals, including Austin City Limits and SXSW. That’s not all Austin has to offer expats, however.

Packed with world-class museums, unique shopping opportunities and beautiful outdoor spaces including natural pools and swimming holes, there’s so much for expats to experience here. Along with a welcoming community, expats, especially those with families, are sure to enjoy the sheer amount of family-friendly activities and leisure options available in Austin.

The nightlife is notoriously good, with more than 250 live music venues offering rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk or Latino shows nightly. You’ll also find sophisticated cocktail bars, late night comedy clubs, drive-in theatres, cosy karaoke dens and more. Austin also offers a lower cost of living than some other destinations on this list, including Jacksonville, Florida and Miami, Florida.

Another location for expats to consider is San Antonio, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., making it a multicultural hub to a beautiful blend of people, cultures and creeds. Featuring historic architecture, picturesque neighbourhoods, museums, sprawling state parks and a nightlife to be envied, San Antonio offers something for everyone.

Home to one of the largest military bases in the country, known as the Joint Base San Antonio, the people of San Antonio are incredibly proud of their history and commitment to the military. You’ll also find that the people are wonderfully welcoming and friendly, so you should find settling in pretty easy when it comes to meeting new people and making friends.

 Work-wise, expats should take a good look at Texas’ major industries which include agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers, aerospace and biomedicine. You’ll also find plenty of career opportunities in the education and health sector, the leisure and hospitality industry, and the financial services sector, to name a few. As an added bonus, the unemployment rate in Texas currently stands at 3.50%, which is considerably lower than the long term average of 5.97%.

While there’s still a whopping 47 states to be explored, hopefully this small list expresses the incredible diversity that the U.S. has to offer. Whether it’s a coastal retreat, a bustling city or a picturesque American town, there are plenty of potential homes for expats in the U.S.