Most Popular Cities and Jobs for Americans Working Abroad

July 29, 2016

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Have you ever thought about doing your job in a completely different part of the world? Many of us have fantasized about adding global work experience to our LinkedIn profiles, but typically talk ourselves out of the idea with questions like “How can I afford to pick up and leave?” or “Will it have negative consequences on my career?” With more companies expanding their operations abroad, employment opportunities overseas are becoming increasingly prevalent. This means you now have more opportunities to pursue your globe-trotting dream while adding valuable experience to your professional toolkit.

To help you kick start this journey, we took a look at LinkedIn data of US LinkedIn members working internationally* to uncover the most popular cities among American expats and what types of work they’re pursuing. Here’s what we found:

Where American expats are working: London reigns supreme

When looking at which international cities are attracting the most US talent, London is the indisputable leader of the pack, representing 18% of all international assignments. If, however, it’s a little bit of sunshine you’re after, Australia has two cities securing top spots on the list, Sydney and Melbourne.

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Top jobs for Americans working abroad: teaching takes the cake

As you’re contemplating a possible relocation abroad, you may be curious to know whether peers in your industry have made a similar move. Are there ample opportunities in your field? Can you tap into your professional network here to help secure work there? If you’re in an educational field, the answer is most certainly yes - teachers, translators and language instructors are the number one occupation of Americans working overseas. Sales, marketing and public relations roles also ranked at the top of the list.


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US springboards for global careers: international aspirations bloom in Bloomington

We’ve looked at where they’re going, but what about where most American expats are from? We’ve uncovered which small, mid-size and large US cities are their most prominent springboards. DC led the pack among the largest US cities, while a dark horse emerged in the small city category: Bloomington, IN!

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Large Cities

Mid Size Cities

Small Cities

Washington D.C.

Tucson, AZ

Bloomington, IN

New York City

Buffalo, NY

Urbana-Champaign, IL

Austin, TX

Providence, RI

Santa Barbara, CA

Boston, MA

Rochester, MN

Lawrence, KS

San Francisco, CA

New Orleans, LA

Gainesville, FL

IIf you’re eager to pursue your global career aspirations, be sure to check out the many job opportunities available to you on LinkedIn.

This data was powered by our Economic Graph - a digital representation of the global economy.


*The results of this analysis represent the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis. The sample is comprised of 25K LinkedIn members that completed a 4-year degree in the US, had their first job in the US, and went abroad for an international experience sometime after January 1st, 2010 for longer-term experiences (i.e. not summer / student internships). Nationality and visa status are not fields included in the LinkedIn profile. Therefore, we cannot make any inferences on the citizenship of our members who were included in this analysis. For the regional analyses, we used total LinkedIn membership to segment the cities into small, mid-size, and large, as LinkedIn membership is correlated with actual population.