Following up on my last post about renunciation rates in Asia, here’s some extracts from EuroStat’s loss of citizenship table, which I ran across recently. (Like last time, all diaspora population figures are taken from the Global Migrant Origins Database, and don’t include ethnic descendants with other citizenships). The EuroStat data is not very good for longitudinal comparisons, since it only shows one or two years, but there’s still some interesting things to be learned from it. One of many instructive cross-sectional comparisons:
- Diaspora population: 2.2 million
- Homeland population: 310 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 1,781 (2011; including former green-card holders)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 81
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.53
- Diaspora population: 300,000
- Homeland population: 9.3 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 5 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 1.66
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.032
- Diaspora population: 930,000
- Homeland population: 11 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 27 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 3.00
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.25
- Diaspora population: 990,000
- Homeland population: 4.6 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 24 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 2.42
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.53
- Popular new citizenships: United States (15)
Renunciations due to prohibitions on dual citizenship
- Diaspora population: 2 million
- Homeland population: 38 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 354 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 17.7
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.93
- Popular new citizenships: Austria (151), Netherlands (73), Denmark (65), Germany (25)
- Diaspora population: 190,000
- Homeland population: 1.3 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 122 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 64
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 9.4
- Popular new citizenships: Russia (121)
- Diaspora population: 610,000
- Homeland population: 4.3 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 1,231 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 200
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 29
- Popular new citizenships: Austria (443), Germany (686), Slovenia (54)
- Diaspora population: 320,000
- Homeland population: 3.2 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 580 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 181
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 18
- Popular new citizenships: Russia (289), Germany (44), Sweden (44), Belarus (41), United States (26), Ukraine (23), Norway (19)
- Diaspora population: 790,000
- Homeland population: 16 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 361 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 46
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 2.26
- Popular new citizenships: Turkey (178), Morocco (63), Bosnia and Herzegovina (29)
Renunciants in some countries retain significant rights
- Diaspora population: 240,000
- Homeland population: 5.6 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 417 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 174
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 7.45
- Popular new citizenships: Sweden (157), Norway (45), Ethiopia (35), China (23), Afghanistan (18), Vietnam (15)
Though I’m still rather mystified why someone would give up the world’s best passport (at least in terms of travel freedom) for some of the worst, like Ethiopia and Afghanistan. It’s also worth noting: only four ex-Danes became Americans, despite the rather large population of Danes working in the country. U.S. citizenship is not as attractive as those in the Homeland would like to think.
- Diaspora population: 4.2 million
- Homeland population: 62 million
- Latest renunciation figure: 596 (2010)
- Renunciations per 100k diaspora population: 14
- Renunciations per 100k homeland population: 0.96
Contrary to what the U.S. media would like us to think, 1,780 renunciants is a surprisingly large number for a first-world country, even one the size of the United States. Normal countries do not attempt to criminalise their overseas citizens’ ordinary daily activities, and thus renunciation of citizenship is generally an extremely rare phenomenon in those countries. As we can see from the European example, the vast majority of renunciations are undertaken the purpose of gaining citizenship in another country which does not permit dual citizenship.
The American diaspora is concentrated in Anglophone countries like Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Renunciation of citizenship is not a requirement for them to naturalise where they live, but they pursue it anyway, even against the threat of being permanently exiled by Congressional demagogues.
@victoria, interesting blog. It looks like they have some serious problems (real fubar incidents) deporting US Citizens. I think the hysteria and craziness is going to rip that place apart.
@geeez, Hi there! Isn’t it wild? I had no idea. Guess that U.S. citizenship doesn’t do homelanders much good AT HOME either.
@victoria and @all
Thank you for the link to Ms Steven’s blog. Indeed very interesting. A huge thanks to all the Brockers. I have learned more about the USA in the past few months than in the past 40 years. Eyes wide open.
@geeez, deporting US citizens? I guess I missed that one. What are the details? Obrigado!
Thanks to everyone in this thread (in particular, Tim), I’ve now figured out the reason why so many Americans were reported to have expatriated in 1997. http://www.overseas-exile.com/2012/06/1997-renunciation-data-anomaly.html
Pingback: 2011, not 1997, had the largest number of reported expatriates | The Isaac Brock Society
Where do they get the diaspora population figure of 2.2 million? I thought the figure was 6-7 million
@Jefferson — you can read about all the guesswork that went into the data here. Basically it comes from mostly from national censuses between 2000 and 2007; where citizenship data wasn’t available for a given country, they used country-of-birth data instead, and where that wasn’t available, they basically guessed. One likely consequence of all that guesswork was that the vast majority of dual citizens probably were not included (both the ones living in their country of origin who just get counted as local people by their national census, and the ones living in a third country which they entered on their other passport).
I used the GMOD anyway because even if it undercounts, it probably makes similar kinds of errors between countries, so that the ratios of renunciants to diaspora population are comparable for their magnitude (even if not for their actual number). At some point I will compare the GMOD data to national estimates of emigrants (South Korea and Japan have very good estimates, I’m not sure about other countries) to try to figure out whether the proportion of undercount is actually similar by country.
I bet that the US officially favours the lower 2 million number. Judging by the way that they treat their citizens overseas they are probably embarrassed enough that over 2 million have left the ‘number one country in the world’ for whatever reason 😛
@Don Podormo, All the numbers on how many US citizens are guesstimates, since with US Citiship based taxation many who have US citizenship chose not to reveal it and unlke countries which nurture and go out of their way to maintain ties with their Daspora, fear is the factor that dominates in the lives of US citizens living abroad. One error on your hand calculator total and yoiur FBAR could be classed as intentional mispepresentation of the facts by the IRS and you could face a $500,000 penalty that would wipe you and your out financially.
The 7 million figure, however, is the latest estimate of none other than the IRS. Weigh this against the 334,861 Form 2111 reports on excuded forieign income submitted by US persons with foreign addresses for tax year 2006 (the latest IRS information available) and you will get a sense of the magnitude of the problem crearted by Cizenship-based taxation.
Yet unlike several other industrialized countries with re4presentatives in their legislatures directly electred by and representing their overseas citizens, the US has none of that. The websitres of US Congressman and Senators will not even accept email messages from their constituents abroad who do not have US addresses. That gives a pretty good clue as to the total disdain for US citizens with the “traitorous audacity” to live outside of the US which totally permeates the US Congress and the Administration.
I am even surprised that when a US citizen makes a phone call from abroad to a Washington legislator that they don’t just hang up on them when they learn where the person is calling from. Maybe the next step in Washington will be to use caller ID information to automatically block phone calls from outside of the US. I suspect they have just not realized they can do that and simply route such calls to a redording which says “we’re sorry, this number does not accept calls from telephones outside of the United States.”
@Roger Conklin, sending US Congressman and Senators email is free and makes sense even though one will get the “I won’t talk to you” notice. The problem with calling is that one will have to pay the 1 penny per minute voip fee out of one’s own pocket, causing it to not be worth the effort.
@Roger, It was so nice to read your comment this morning. That is exactly the impression I am getting from my elected representatives – I live abroad therefore I am not worthy of their time and attention. I decided to test this hypothesis recently. I have been sending mail to one of my senators on topics other than FATCA and citizenship-based taxation. As the AARO told me to do I preface every mail with a note that says I live abroad (though I must give a Washington address to send the mail through their system). Now I’m waiting for a reply or even just an acknowledgement. Thus far, I’m still waiting. 🙂
@Victoria, Americans abroad should work better together and document each effort to contact a politician on a web site. This would create visible evidence of our current representation situation. In my view, the system should be changed so that we are treated as if we are the 51st State, or we should vote on all matters related to our embassies, such as electing an ambassador, and finance those embassy maintenance costs that we voted for.
@swisspinoy, Yep, that’s my take on it. We need to get organized. This has been a lot on my mind lately. The fight for recognition is something that many diasporas have gone through. I think it would be very useful to look at their experiences and see what we could use. We are not the first to lack representation in the home country but that is not something that has stopped other diasporas. The fact that we haven’t done this basic task of organization says a lot about Americans abroad. Perhaps it was because before this we lacked a trigger (abusive treatment by either our home or host countries). I think other factors might be: lack of humility (I meet very few Americans abroad in my travels willing to admit that they are emigrants/immigrants), a desire not to be part of a “herd” (someone the other day told me how nice it was to be an American in France because there were so few of us and I replied, “What are you talking about? There are around 100,000 of us here!” He didn’t like that one bit) and a strong aversion to direct confrontation with the U.S. (present company excepted). If you look at the notes and minutes from our diaspora organizations when they visit Washington they are so respectful and polite. Okay that is one method and I respect them and their work. But times they are a’changing and I don’t think they are going to be effective unless there are other diaspora organizations (like Isaac Brock) willing to be a little more aggressive. Some days I want to scream, “This is not a cocktail party at the Embassy, folks.” Homelanders and their reps are doing real damage to us and to our families. We need better data to shove under U.S. politicians noses and to release to the media and we need (in my humble opinion) a more radical approach. Something I would love to kickstart but I’m just not sure I can fit it in with my chemo. 🙂
@Victoria, 20 years ago, it was fun to be a visible American expat. One could condemn and praise America while usually being respected for doing so. Yet, for the past 10 years, it has been safer to be an anonymous/hidden American expat, since we are unsure how strongly we are hated by whom, thanks to America’s foreign policy. Often one may find themselves walking on a very thin line, wanting to be a respected and equally treated local without terminating their relations with America. I feel safer with the fact that I lost my US accent, I’ve socialized in person with Americans abroad about 4 times in 11 years, I’ve criticized some for accusing me of being an American and others for accusing me of not being American, and I live in a small village with another American expat whom I spoke with once, at the US consulate while renewing my passport. So, getting us all together in one voice isn’t an easy task, but when US papers ignore our comments, US politicians delete our comments from their facebook page and block us from posting more while refuse to respond to our emails simply because they seek to drop the foreign earned income exclusion, then we become pressured to either become more local or vocal. I’d say, just do what you can and take it one step at a time.
Bit of a depressing conversation to follow about trying to change the system as I’ve given up – My renunciation appointment is this week.
I am from Belgium, accidental US citizen and I used to really respect the US when I lived there in the late 1990s for five years, but now sometimes I need to pinch myself to believe that the US of today is the same country. I stopped putting my US nationality on my CV a longtime ago and haven’t told any new contacts that I have made for the past few years that I even have (soon to be had…) US citizenship. I don’t even let anyone besides the border any my bank look at my passport because I’m so embarassed of the birthplace now…I usually claim that the photo is butt ugly! (Passport photos are always ugly though so hopefully people don’t find the excuse too strange). Like Swisspinoy my accent in English has also changed from apparently almost native English sounding to some sort of Belgio-German hybrid.
Is it sad that my favourite question nowadays is when I am asked at the border with my EU passport whether or not I speak English? It just gives me such a good feeling because it means that they don’t realise that I probably hold US citizenship due to the birthplace 🙂
Every renunciation is a finger jabbed into the eye of a tyranny that tries to disguise itself as freedom. Paradoxically, I think the higher the number of renunciations, the greater the chance for change to occur in the future.
It is the increase in renunciations that gets attention. It exposes the myth of Americans being free for what it has now become, only a myth.
Patrick – therein lies the problem. They only publish the names of the very wealthy people. If they published the names of everyone, even the small guys, that I believe, would be an eye opener for more than just us! But part of me thinks that they deliberately DO NOT publish everyones’ names because it would be a major contradiction to their belief that *everyone* else wants to move to the US.
Don – yeah, the US is not the same. I’m getting the feeling that this “brainwashing” has been going on for sooo long that even the people who were anti-Bush and anti-war now spew the same stuff about “bombing for peace” and “keeping the US secure through more and more laws and less and less freedom”. They just can’t SEE IT.
Pinoy – just curious, are you using Pinoy like the millions of other filipinos use it, or is it something else. When I saw your name, I thought, “Filipino naturalized in the US then moved to Switzerland”…I like the get local or get vocal. Sadly, I personally believe interacting with politicians is a waste of time. That’s one reason why I’ve never voted. I can’t recall a single US Politician that has actually *KEPT* his/her word after Clinton. I was perfectly happy being a US Citizen abroad till I discovered this FATCA. That’s when I said “Enough is enough”. I’m just waiting for my citizenship application to go further along because travelling as a stateless person is more expensive and a waste of time to get the visas, should I need to go to the US.
Victoria – tell that American to come to Brazil. There are very few of us here. He can feel “special” here. Hehehe.
@geeez, SwissAmi would be more accurate and SwiPinAmi has much potential, but SwissPinoy seems to be the mood of Uncle Sam, so I’ll stick with that for now. Personally, I’d favor SwiPinAmiTogoBrazOz, but that would require a lottery ticket, the black market and lots of tongue twisting. I seem to always vote for people who never get elected.
Roger Conklin –
The 7 million figure, however, is the latest estimate of none other
than the IRS.
Could you cite specific source? Thanks.