During one of the most controversial US presidential elections ever, many said they would leave the country if things didn’t go their way. We conducted a survey to find out how much truth these claims actually contain.
2016 has featured a few extremely important and polarizing political events, including Brexit and the recent selection of the next President of the United States. We’re curious about how these events actually influence the movement of people, leaving aside memes, gossip and irrational outbursts.
How do knowledge workers in the US really feel about the results, and if, then how does it affect their future location plans? We asked 942 Teleport users in the US to share their thoughts.
The survey was sent to users who have marked the US as their current location—most of them US citizens (91%), some citizens of other countries who reside in the US (9%). We asked them about their location plans after the election results, their job type, how they voted (if they did) and if they do want to move, where would it be.
It should also be mentioned that our users are generally a very mobile group of people open to relocation, so they might be more biased to do so.
To start off, let’s look at how many people are actually thinking of moving:
The majority of the respondents (51%) said they are not planning to leave the US as a result of the election. However, 12% said they are definitely planning on moving, and 29% stated that they’re still unsure. That makes 41% of our respondents at the very least considering leaving the country.
The “other” option in the answers was mostly compiled of people who were planning to relocate anyway, and not as a direct result of the elections.
Here are the main job types of our respondents:
53% of the respondents are knowledge workers listed above—developers, designers, marketers, etc. The remaining 47% of people come from a wide range of occupational backgrounds, from healthcare to science to education.
We also asked how our respondents voted in the elections, to see if there is a correlation between political preferences and the willingness to leave the country considering the election results:
If we subtract the respondents who didn’t vote because they’re not citizens of the US, it leaves 3% of respondents who didn’t vote at all.
Out of the people who voted democrat, 49% consider leaving, as well as 47.6% of those who did not vote, 4.7% of those who voted republican, and 52.6% of those who chose not to say who they voted for.
Also, 60% of the non-citizens who responded are considering leaving the country, versus 43% of US citizens.
There was also a question of having the opportunity to relocate—15.5% of the people who said “yes” to wanting to move, also mentioned that it’s complicated and unlikely to happen due to financial/family/logistical reasons.
We left an open comments field in the end for free-form thoughts and location plans. Here are some outtakes:
“I am seriously considering a move to a swing state. My non-republican vote is wasted in my home state of Kentucky. I am actively encouraging others to do so.”
“Vancouver would probably be the most realistic option, but there are many places on my list! Stockholm or Copenhagen would be ideal, but I do not speak either language.”
“We discussed relocation but have decided to stay and fight.”
“Not planning on relocating. We need to stay and make sure we work together to build our country as a land of equality, love, respect, inclusivity and unity.“
“I want to move away from Boston. I have considered Canada if the immigration processes were clearer, or Denver.”
“I am a senior college student, so I cannot leave immediately. However, in light of the election results, I no longer see the United States as “my” country.”
“I’m now potentially considering a temporary contracted position, or teaching English abroad. Ideally Europe, potentially South America.”
And, finally, even though emotions are running high and many are disappointed to the point of leaving, here’s a quote by a respondent as a reminder to not make rash decisions:
“After the election results came in, my knee-jerk reaction was “let’s move”, because I felt like we didn’t belong here in the US anymore. Once I gave it a little more thought, I realized that I don’t want to move just because the results didn’t go the way I had hoped. I love my city and the people in it. I love our home. I’m not going to abandon all of that because of this election.”