Top expat cities in the USA

The USA is a popular location for expats with many thousands spread out across the country. 1.3 million British expats live in the USA and Canada (the same number as in Australia) with close to 700,000 of that number in the USA. Expats are generally centered around the major cities and there is plenty of choice when picking the right place to call home. Here are five of the best cities for expats, particularly those moving with family.

New York

New York certainly has a strong reputation and it’s a popular place for British expats to make their new home. It’s incredibly diverse and a real melting pot of different cultures, which makes the transition quite straightforward. Anglophilia is still rife in New York which makes it easier to find home comforts from dedicated British shops and restaurants. The economy is booming and there are a lot of opportunities for inter-company transfers for businesses looking to expand their American operations. Plus, being on the East coast means that the flight back to the UK is relatively short for seeing family.

Washington D.C.

America’s capital is the powerhouse of government and the streets are lined with consulates, embassies and agencies concentred around the city centre. It’s incredibly welcoming to expats and is particularly good for ambitious workers to make huge career leaps. It’s also a solid choice for those moving with family; the outer suburbs offer pleasant houses, good schools (with the option to use public schools and save on costly private or international fees) and safe neighbourhoods. There is plenty of culture to take in at the weekends with some of the greatest landmarks and museums in the whole country.


Seattle, in the state of Washington, is right over on the West coast and is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest of America. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA and is attracting a lot of British expats, particularly those working in the technology industry. It’s home to many big-name companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing, which means its foreign nationals workforce is constantly expanding. It also offers a good work/life balance and is perfect for expats moving with family with high-standard schools, vast outdoor spaces and a reliable efficient transport system.

San Francisco

Being over on the West coast of the USA makes for a long journey to and from the UK but it more than makes up for it with the opportunities available. It’s famed for the Bay Area, the international hub of new media and technology. Over 300 well-known businesses are based out of this region including YouTube, eBay, Twitter, Uber and Pixar – the list goes on and on. It’s a major attraction for expats to be able to work for one of the many iconic brands. Outside of work, there are major attractions to visit such as the Golden Gate Bridge and there good transport networks, excellent healthcare and a choice of safe neighbourhoods to make home.


Austin, Texas, might not be the first city that pops into mind when thinking of moving to the USA but it is growing in popularity. It’s a vibrant city with cultural sights, live music, good restaurants and buzzing nightlife. The weather is hot – sometimes too hot – but good air-con and a dip in the pool can counteract that. It’s a very family-friendly location, with a low crime rate, good schools and affordable living. It also offers decent career opportunities with a strong high-tech industry including companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook.
Information correct at time of publication.
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