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7 Black Expat Friendly Cities You Should Know About

If you’re still thinking of a #blaxit, this list is for you.

So, we’re a year into this mess with 45, and many people are contemplating whether or not they want to stick it out for another three (hopefully that’s months because we’re always hopeful for impeachment). In any case, if you’ve been considering leaving the United States for good, we’ve developed this list of cities that are Black expat friendly, to help you in the decision making process.

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi is one of the hottest cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and also a largely popular “start-over” spot for Black expats around the world. It has become a business haven of sorts, for Black women especially, who are seeking opportunities to press that “reset” button and restart their lives.  One woman says of her experience as an expat in Abu Dhabi,  “With fully paid health programs, flights, and positions with higher salaries than many parts of the world, it makes it easier to thrive instead of surviving. Earning more while getting fantastic benefits is a great place to be in. This financial freedom, combined with the exotic surroundings, led to a complete epiphany about my own life: I was in complete control, and it felt glorious”.

San Jose, Costa Rica


photo: Nat Geo


San Jose has long been a fave for Black American retirees, but more and more millennials and xennials are making the move there as well. With a low cost of living and year-long beautiful weather, Costa Rica is a budding spot for Black American expats, especially those with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Many Black expats take advantage of the low cost of living while running online businesses based in the United States.

Accra, Ghana

photo: Nat Geo

Due to its history as a major port in the transatlantic slave trade, Ghana is one of the most popular relocation spots for Black Americans in the Motherland. With its English speaking population, stable government, and entrepreneur-friendly economy, Accra is often the go-to spot for Black Americans who are looking for a place to thrive that has the bonus of cultural significance. While a bit on the expensive side, Accra is definitely a place to consider if you have a hustler’s mentality and know how to make money via your own devices.

Panama City, Panama

photo: Nat Geo

Panama City is one of the easiest places for American expats to obtain residency abroad. Additionally, It’s lush and tropical climate, thriving middle class, and U.S. currency based economy makes it easy for Americans to adapt, boosting its attractiveness to African American expats. While there have been reports of discrimination toward people of color in Panama, there are communities of Black expats who say their experiences with discrimination have been minimal, and therefore don’t regret their decision to move there.

Bangkok, Thailand


photo: Nat Geo

It’s been reported that while skin color and racism is an issue darker hued people in Thailand deal with regularly, the negativity is rarely directed at Black Americans.  In fact, many Black American expats report getting the red carpet treatment in Thailand.  American educators in Thailand are well received, and on a monthly income of roughly $2000, an American couple can live comfortably. Many American expats are attracted to the multicultural appeal of Bangkok and the urban familiarity they were used to in cities like New York and LA when in the United States.

Stockholm, Sweden

photo: Nat Geo

With its breathtaking views due to its phenomenal architecture, eco-friendly communities, exceptional public transportation system, top of the line employee benefits (they have 480 days of paid parental leave), top-notch education, and welcoming attitude to expats of any color,  there’s no doubt Stockholm is a breath of fresh air for Black American expats.  In fact, almost a quarter of their population are immigrants. This is definitely a place where young Black American families can thrive.

Tokyo, Japan


photo: Nat Geo

Did you know “Black Tokyo” is a thing?  In fact, many younger Japanese people gravitate toward African American culture, so it should be no surprise that Tokyo would be one of the Black expat hot spots on this list. The cost of living is on the high side, but Tokyo is very much technologically evolved, so Americans should have no problems adjusting and finding suitable employment–or even starting businesses of their own.  While Black people do draw stares at times, most expats report positive experiences as expats in Japan, making Tokyo a decent choice for Americans to live abroad.

While there is no such place as the perfect place for Black people in the world, the cities on the list are great starting points to restart life, if you’re looking for more than what the United States has to offer to Black people today. Ensuring that the city you choose will work for your own personal goals and that it will be more of an asset than a hindrance is key to making a wise choice when relocating anywhere, so make sure you choose wisely.

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