Will there be a steady flow of Americans moving to Canada, Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else because Donald Trump won the election? Anyone who’s been on social media this week has probably seen the flood of comments from people saying that they will move. Canada’s immigration website crashed in the hours after Trump was declared the winner, possibly because of Americans looking into moving there.
But just how serious are they? It’s possible that after taking all into consideration, they will change their minds. Even Warren Buffett, who was a strong backer of Hillary Clinton, says he is “100% optimistic” about America after Trump’s win.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggests moving to New Zealand
According to The Washington Post, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg commented that she would move to New Zealand because of Trump’s surprise win. Whether she was totally joking, half-joking, or totally serious isn’t clear yet, but her comment reflects how half the country feels right now. She added, however, that her husband would be urging her to move there if Trump won.
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New Zealand might be a solid choice for Americans set on moving to other countries. It’s much smaller than the U.S., both in size and population, with only about 4.4 million people calling the country home. The Post describes the politics there as “socially progressive,” which means that Hillary supporters would probably find it to be quite a comfortable place to live. Also New Zealand frequently ranks either at or close to the top of surveys about the best place in the world to live.
Americans already make their home in New Zealand
The Legatum Institute, which is based in London, placed the country at the top spot in its global prosperity index. Those who like to keep to themselves will also find that New Zealand is rather secluded, at least compared to other countries. It takes 12 hours to fly there, not only from Los Angeles but also from Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. Also the countryside is pretty green.
Further, New Zealand welcomed a lot of rich Americans moving away from home in search of the last place on Earth where terrorists would rain down terror. Actor Billy Crystal also mentioned to Australian media the idea of buying a “nice little ranch” there.
According to the Post, Internet traffic from the U.S. to the websites operated by the New Zealand government, especially those dealing with immigration, soared this week. While the Immigration New Zealand site usually sees approximately 2,300 U.S. visits per day, on Thursday, it had received more than 56,000 visits from U.S. web surfers. And it was a similar story with other government travel- and immigration-related websites in New Zealand.
Google also recorded a huge spike in searches for “how to move to New Zealand” this week, with the bulk of the searches coming from California, Washington, Oregon and other blue states.
Will there really be millions of Americans moving away?
The fact that Canada’s immigration website crashed is a sign that Americans may be considering moving north as well. Australia has also been circulated as a possible place for American expats who are so angry about a Trump presidency that they will abandon ship. Americans moving to Australia would be helped by the fact that the population speaks English.
But just how serious are all of these Americans about moving? Will they go through with it? It will be a while before we know the truth, but there are many things to consider with a big move such as this. While wealthy Americans may find it easier to do so, the average Joe and Jane may realize after thinking deeply about the issue that for most people, it’s not realistic. It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to something we see as earth-shattering, but working out the logistics of something so drastic is a different thing altogether.
For now, we can hope that a Trump White House won’t be as bad as half or even most of the country worries that it might be. There are enough checks and balances in place that he won’t be able to do everything he claimed to want to do. He has already removed the comment about his intention to ban all Muslims from the U.S. from his website, and he wouldn’t answer a reporter who had asked him about this topic when leaving the White House from his meeting with President Obama.
He’s obviously going to have to dial things back quite a bit, so I think what people will find is a moderated Trump they don’t expect, much like what Alibaba’s Jack Ma said after Trump’s win was announced. The downside here is that we can’t know exactly what he’s going to do.