More Americans Renounced Citizenship in 2016

User Written by Joseph Regan on February 21, 2017.

More Americans Renounced Citizenship in 2016

About a year ago, I wrote a very similar article. Not much has changed; as predicted, the amount of people renouncing US citizenship keeps going, going and going.

More Americans renounced citizenship in 2016. Actually, it’s the most ever, weighing in at a whopping 5,411 individuals. While this figure derives from the US Treasury Department, there have been accusations that this number could be a lot more, since there are accusations that the Treasury Department has left many people off the list intentionally (perhaps to cover up the true amount of renunciations?).

Nonetheless, the stats point to a clear trend – the number of Americans renouncing US citizenship has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. Here are some simple facts to take into account:

• 2016 breaks the all-time record of US citizenship renunciations.
• Previously, 2015 was the all-time record breaker at 4,279.
• Before then, 2014 was the highest ever with 3,415,
• The increase in US citizenship renunciations from 2015-2016 is about +26%.
• From 2014-2016, it’s about a +61% increase.
• From 2006, it’s increase by nearly 2,000%.
• By using the current 10-year trend as data, in 2026 the number of renunciations will rise to more than 108,000 individuals.

Huge increase in Americans renouncing citizenship

Generally, most of the people renouncing are A) accidental Americans, B) those who have US passports but live abroad and have no ties with the US anymore, and C) those who are honest, hard-working Americans that live abroad and have no other choice but to renounce because life overseas has become too difficult since the passing of FATCA. As you can see with the latter group (as shown by the illustration), the number of people who’ve relinquished US citizenship after 2010 skyrocketed. Why? Well that’s when FATCA was implemented by US government.

At the end of the day, don’t let the statistics scare you. If you are an American living abroad and cannot open a bank account, or have a frozen pension, or cannot invest for the future, or are uninsured all because of FATCA, renouncing your passport isn’t always the right answer. With the right advice, you can live happily abroad and still have you nest egg comfortable in place.

If you are an American living abroad affected by FATCA and are looking for solutions that don’t involve giving up the stars and stripes, feel free to shoot me an email at, or give me a ring at +86 152 2182 4499. I’m more than happy to help.

Joseph Regan

Joseph Regan

Posted on February 21, 2017 in American Expatriates.