Eric has been doing a great job of finding information about the real number of Americans giving up their citizenship, so much so that in my last Overseas Exile post on this topic, I was amused to discover that he had (as usual) already found the information I was researching and posted it here with much more analysis than I had the time to do. So my apologies if this has already been posted here.
Interestingly, though, expatami posted a link to this FATCA discussion (pdf) posted by an investment firm in Switzerland. Near the top of page five is the following:
Of the almost 40,000 US citizens who are estimated to live in Switzerland, [Minus the over 900 of whom have renounced their US citizenship in 2012 alone according to Ambassador Beyer]
Can anyone help to verify those numbers? If true, that implies that over 2% of Americans living in Switzerland are giving up their US citizenship. If you consider that it takes 12 years of residency to get Swiss citizenship and renunciants are unlikely to renounce without another citizenship, than we have some shockingly high numbers here.
With those numbers correct (I’m suspicious) and were the renunciation rate constant around the world (a bad and, I assume, incorrect assumption), we would have had over 141,000 Americans abroad renouncing last year (assuming a 6.3 million world population of Americans abroad). I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that number, but if the above quoted numbers are correct, the Swiss would have to be renouncing at a rate of 150 times greater than the rest of Americans abroad were the 932 number to be correct.
There is a now well-known newspaper report stating that over 400 Americans renounced in Switzerland in the first 9 months of 2012.