What Americans miss about home…

In this interesting infographic you can find out what Americans miss about home, and what they don't miss...

The research was carried out by Aetna International, a Fortune 500 company and leading provider of international healthcare, who aims to create a better understanding of how US expats view life abroad and their home country. 

The participants of this research came from the following states:

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois Indiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania Rhode Island, Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, NewYork.

21% were between 18 and 29 years old, 41% between 30 and 44, 25% between 45 and 59 and 13% 60+, and 60% were female and 40% male.


The research covers 10 aspects of American expat life including:

  • Friends and family
  • Food and drink
  • Shopping and brands
  • Stress and wellbeing
  • The ONE thing they miss most about home

– 37% of the US expats said that they “miss quite a lot” America’s diversity more than patriotism, faith and/or spirituality, and good customer service.

– 58% miss TV and radio stations between "quite a lot" and "all the time", which surprises me as the worldwide coverage of US channels is quite good compared to TV and radio stations from other countries.

– What surprised me was to see that US expats said that they didn't really miss US foods and drinks as food is usually something expats miss the most about their country of origin and many expats import food when they visit "home". 

– When asked about specific brands they miss when living abroad, the US expats in this survey listed:

  • retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree with 94.90%,
  • Snack foods (Cheetos, Goldfish, Twinkies etc.) with 93.88%,
  • TV channels and streaming services (Hulu, PBS, HBO etc.) with 92.86%,
  • Candy (Butterfinger, Twizzlers, Hershey's etc.) and Chain restaurants (Denny's, Del Taco, Olive Garden etc.) both with 91.84%,
  • non-alcoholic drinks (Mountain Dew, Arizona, Snapple etc.) with 90.82%, and
  • alcoholic drinks (Coors, Jose Cuervo, Pabst Blue Ribbon etc.) with 89.80%.

It would have been interesting to see which countries the participants of this survey were/are living in, but unfortunately this wasn't one of the questions. It is also not known for how long these expats were/are living abroad, if they were living abroad with their partner or family, and why they were living abroad: if they were sent by a company or for other reasons. It makes a great difference if you live in a country where the food and lifestyle is very different from what you're used to and the reason you live abroad and setting you're living in.

One of the first things expats usually do is to make sure they're covered by their insurance (international private medical insurance, travel insurance etc.) and as this survey was conducted by Aetna International, some questions were asked about insurances.

It surprised me to see that only 29.17% had travel insurance, 15.63% had international private medical insurance, 23.96% replied that they "weren't sure if they had it as the company dealt with it" (!) and 22.92% didn't have any insurance. When asked if they knew the difference between travel insurance and international private medical insurance, a surprising 56% replied that they didn't know the difference.

What I understand from this survey is that the expats interviewed lacked of information about insurances and most probably were not aware about health care system of their host country.

In fact, I observe that few expats – not only US expats – are not sufficiently informed about the host country, not only its values, beliefs and habits, but also its health care system, educational system and family law etc.. 


– Check out Aetna International's destination guides which offers expats insightful information about healthcare, cost of living, finding work, and more across a range of different countries. This can be found here: Aetna International.


If you are an American living abroad, do you agree with the responses? What do YOU miss about home?

– Please leave your comment here below. Thank you ~ Ute






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