Overseas Voting Blog Series on FVAP Report

60% Surge in Total Overseas U.S. Citizen Population

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) report, A Model for Developing Estimates of U.S. Citizens Abroad: Final Technical Report, that presents a new model for developing estimates of American citizens living overseas. Among the report’s most eye-catching results, “the number of U.S. citizens living overseas has grown steadily from 2000 to 2010, increasing 60% overall during that period,” equaling a robust average annual growth rate of nearly 5%.

This is an incredible growth trend and points to the need for increased voter assistance to civilians as well as military members overseas. U.S. Vote Foundation notes that no equivalent increase in the rate of overseas civilians voting has been experienced, despite the improvements in online services that has occurred.

FVAP believes that this report, which informs them of where U.S. citizens overseas reside, will assist the agency to more effectively serve this key contingent. FVAP’s charge includes the administration of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Accurate figures of U.S. military members and their families living overseas are easily obtained, however, non-military citizens have long been difficult to tally since Americans living abroad are not officially counted in the census. FVAP’s new model builds upon previous attempts by the Overseas Vote Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, State Department, World Bank, and United Nations to gauge the population of Americans living overseas.

In the report, the FVAP made an effort to count and classify overseas Americans according to the following subpopulations: employed (government or non-government), volunteers (missionaries or other volunteers), travelers (business, pleasure, or family visitors), retirees, dependents (spouses or children), and students (enrolled in U.S. schools or foreign schools).

Results show the countries with the highest and lowest populations of American citizens, as well as regions and countries with the fastest-growing and slowest-growing American citizen populations. South and Central Asia experienced the strongest rate of growth, an increase of 224% U.S. citizens moved to the region between 2000 and 2010, followed by the Near East, with an increase of 96%.

Afghanistan was the fastest-growing country, with a 41% increase in American residents between 2000 and 2010. Jordan, Vietnam, Chad, and Libya followed, with growth rates of 24%, 24%, 22%, and 22%, respectively.

Conversely, Europe and Eurasia as a destination for U.S. citizens grew at a much slower rate, increasing 16% between 2000 and 2010. The countries with the slowest growth rates were Samoa (-3.83%), Zimbabwe (-3.75%), and surprisingly, the United Kingdom (-3.61%), and Hong Kong (-3.32%).

The new model is expected to help other federal and state agencies in allocation of funds and manpower for overseas citizen services. OVF is proud to continue to provide our voter services to and give a greater voice to overseas Americans, a powerful and growing voting bloc that FVAP estimates at more than 4.3 million as of 2010.

Are you an overseas American citizen? Use the tools and services on to request your overseas absentee ballot today!