Top 10 UK Expat Destinations in the USA

Matt Di Vincere (Chief Editor)
Last Edited May 16, 2023

Where are the top places for Brits to call home when relocating to the US? We have searched the Internet for answers, gleaned insight from other websites and created this top list for you. You can read all about these top ten locations to see what you might like what each has to offer and, pack your passport and, book your flight over the pond and settle into the good ole US of A.

These aren’t necessarily the biggest UK expat hubs in the USA but the best locations based on my many years of experience working in this sector. Enjoy!

Top 10 Places to Move to in US from UK:

1. New York (White Plains) Suburb, New York

Population within the city: 59,526

Population in the greater metro area 8,467,513

Unemployment rate: 5.3% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $75,157

Cost of living rank: 37/50

What to love about White Plains:

Beyond the skyscrapers of Manhattan, White Plains provides a suburban refuge with 33 public schools and an array of private and charter options. The White Plains Performing Arts Center and the Westchester County Center are top-tier venues for local arts and culture. For dining, there’s a mix of renowned restaurants like BLT Steak and casual eateries. For expats craving British comfort, The Brazen Fox offers a classic British pub experience. And don’t forget, Manhattan, with its world-class dining, entertainment, and shopping, is just a train ride away.

2. Austin, Texas

Population within the city: 964,177

Population in the greater metro area: 2,283,371

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $67,321

Cost of living rank: 14/50

What to love about Austin:

Austin boasts 129 public schools and a plethora of private institutions. The Texas State Capitol and Zilker Metropolitan Park are prominent attractions, and the city’s dining scene is acclaimed for its BBQ and Mexican cuisine. For Brits, try Full English, a cozy cafe serving traditional British breakfast. Austin’s vibrant music scene and warm climate could be a draw for those looking for a change from the UK’s cooler weather.

3. Seattle (Bellevue suburb), Washington

Population within the city: 149,440

Population in the greater metro area: 4,018,762

Unemployment rate: 4.6% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $82,400

Cost of living rank: 38/50

What to love about Seattle:

Bellevue offers 28 public schools and several private options. Bellevue Square is a popular shopping destination, and the Bellevue Arts Museum is a cultural cornerstone. For dining, try Din Tai Fung for Taiwanese cuisine or John Howie Steak for a traditional American steakhouse experience. Brits might appreciate Bellevue’s rainy, UK-like climate and its pubs, like The Pumphouse, which has been serving locals since 1978.

4. Portland, Oregon

Population within the city: 641,162

Population in the greater metro area: 2.51 million

Unemployment rate: 4.8% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $70,084

Cost of living rank: 40/50

What to love about Portland:

Portland has 85 public schools and a variety of private and charter schools. Powell’s City of Books, the Portland Art Museum, and the city’s many parks are must-see attractions. The food scene is diverse, with food trucks and restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. For a taste of home, Brits can head to the Horse Brass Pub, a traditional English-style pub. Portland’s dedication to sustainability and eco-friendliness might appeal to environmentally conscious Brits.

5. San Francisco, California

Population within the city: 815,201

Population in the greater metro area: 4.62 million

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $84,097

Cost of living rank: 50/50

What to love about San Francisco:

San Francisco has 133 public schools and many private options. The city is home to iconic attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Pier 39. The dining scene is globally acclaimed, and for British expats, there’s the charming and authentic English-style pub, The Pig & Whistle. San Francisco’s diversity, cultural vibrancy, and stunning bay views are alluring to many expats.

6. Boston, Massachusetts

Population within the city: 654,776

Population in the greater metro area: 4,941,632

Unemployment rate: 3.6% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $89,026

Cost of living rank: 47/50

What to love about Boston:

Boston has 128 public schools, many prestigious private schools, and world-renowned universities. Must-see attractions include the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, and the New England Aquarium. For dining, try Neptune Oyster for seafood or Giacomo’s for Italian. Brits might appreciate the city’s rich history, comparable to many cities in the UK.

7. Denver, Colorado

Population within the city: 711,463

Population in the greater metro area: 2,963,821

Unemployment rate: 2.8% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $80,184

Cost of living rank: 36/50

What to love about Denver:

Denver has 207 public schools and numerous private options. Top attractions include the Denver Art Museum, Denver Zoo, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. For dining, try Fruition Restaurant for American fare or Sushi Den for Japanese. Brits will enjoy the city’s vibrant sports scene, as well as the various British pubs scattered throughout the city, like the British Bulldog.

8. Sarasota, Florida

Population within the city: 54,764

Population in the greater metro area: 1,054,539

Unemployment rate: 2.6% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $61,777

Cost of living rank: 25/50

What to love about Sarasota:

Sarasota has 53 public schools and a variety of private and charter options. Key attractions include the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and Siesta Key Beach. For dining, try Indigenous for American cuisine or Selva for Latin fusion. Brits might enjoy the warm weather and the annual Sarasota British Club’s British Car Show.


9. Boulder, Colorado

Population within the city: 104,175

Population in the greater metro area: 330,758

Unemployment rate: 2.8% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $80,184

Cost of living rank: 36/50

What to love about Boulder:

Boulder has 56 public schools and several private options. Top attractions include the Flatirons, Pearl Street Mall, and Boulder Reservoir. For dining, The Kitchen Boulder offers farm-to-table American cuisine, and The Dushanbe Teahouse provides a unique dining experience. Brits who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle will feel at home here, and the British-style pub, Baker Street Pub & Grill, can provide a taste of home.

10. Phoenix / Scottsdale, Arizona

The population within the city: 242,753

Population in the greater metro area: 4,845,832

Unemployment rate: 3.8% (January 2023)

Median household income for the state: $65,913

Cost of living rank: 27/50

What to love about Phoenix:

Phoenix/Scottsdale offers 397 public schools and many private options. Must-see attractions include Camelback Mountain, Desert Botanical Garden, and Old Town Scottsdale. For dining, try FnB for farm-to-table dining or Kai Restaurant for Native American cuisine. Brits might appreciate the consistently sunny and warm weather, and the George & Dragon English Pub and Restaurant offers a traditional British pub experience.

Compare the Top Brits Destinations On Our List

For those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, the vibrant cultural scenes, and the diversity that larger cities offer, New York’s suburb White Plains, San Francisco, and Boston are great options. White Plains, while quieter than Manhattan, still has the advantage of proximity to one of the world’s most exciting cities. San Francisco, with its tech boom, is perfect for those looking to make strides in their careers, especially in the tech industry. Brits with a love for history and seafood would find Boston appealing with its rich past and the New England’s culinary delights.

For expats who prefer a slower pace of life with ample access to outdoor activities, Austin, Denver, and Boulder would be a perfect match. Austin’s live music scene and warm climate provide an upbeat, vibrant atmosphere, while Denver and Boulder, with their stunning mountainous backdrops, offer countless outdoor activities. Portland’s eco-friendliness and progressive culture make it a haven for those who value sustainability, and Sarasota’s warm weather and beautiful beaches offer a relaxing lifestyle perfect for retirees. Lastly, Phoenix/Scottsdale, known for its sunny weather and golf courses, is a great destination for those seeking a warm climate and a laid-back lifestyle. Seattle, with its UK-like climate and blend of nature and tech industry, could be a comfortable transition point for Brits moving to the States.

How Many Brits Live In The USA?

Determining the exact number of British expats living in the United States can be challenging, as the figures may vary slightly depending on the source. However, by examining some of the available data, we can still better understand the British presence in the country.

Back in 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimated that there were 678,000 British residents in the United States. This figure has likely grown since then, with a 2021 report from suggesting that the number of Brits living in the USA had risen to nearly 700,000. This increase could be attributed to factors such as the growing number of job opportunities, educational institutions, and overall quality of life that the United States offers.

British expats in the United States prefer certain destinations, with many residing in states such as California, Florida, and Texas. This trend was supported by a 2016 article published by Wise, which provided a breakdown of the country’s most popular cities for British expats.

According to a Wise article, New York City is home to the largest number of British expats, with approximately 20% of the total British expat population in the US. This vibrant city offers diverse career opportunities and an energetic lifestyle that appeals to many Brits. Los Angeles comes in at a close second, housing 9% of the British expat population, likely due to its sunny weather and thriving entertainment industry.

The remaining top five cities for British expats in the US include Houston (4%), San Francisco (3%), and Chicago (3%). These cities offer their own unique appeal, such as thriving industries, excellent educational institutions, and rich cultural experiences, attracting British expats from all walks of life.


In summary, the United States offers an appealing destination for UK expats, boasting various cities and states catering to various lifestyles and preferences. From the bustling metropolis of New York City to the sun-soaked shores of California, British expats have found welcoming communities and ample opportunities to build new lives in the USA. As nearly 700,000 Brits call the United States their home, they continue to enrich the cultural fabric of their adopted country, fostering stronger connections between the UK and the US. With such an extensive array of top expat destinations, it’s no wonder the United States remains a popular choice for UK citizens seeking new experiences and opportunities abroad.

Money-wise, you should prepare yourself by exchanging enough pounds for US dollars at home with a good exchange rate. Converting the currencies in the US might hurt your budget. Be smart and do it beforehand by knowing more about transferring money between USA and UK or using a money transfer service from UK.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided all unemployment stats.

Wikipedia city pages provided all city population data.

Median household income by state data provided by

Cost of living ranking provided by

Images produced with and edited via lunapic.

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