By: Everett Numbers / AntiMedia President Donald Trump's short tenure has not only affected immigration, but emigration, as well. Since election day, a record number of Americans have plotted their escape to New Zealand and applied for citizenship in the island country.
Statistics obtained by the Associated Press show a spike of 70 percent in Americans asking New Zealand for a grant of citizenship when compared to the 12 weeks following Trump's November election victory and the same time period the year prior.
"It's an extremely livable place," said Alanna Irving, who moved 6,700 miles from San Francisco to New Zealand.
"You can see and palpably feel the difference in how society is organized, and what people prioritize," the 33-year-old technology startup entrepreneur added. "New Zealand is a place that cares about equality, I think more. It's less individualistic, more community-minded."
In New Zealand, citizenship is granted through this application process when the foreigner has no family ties to the country. One must also live in New Zealand for five years before citizenship is earned. Last year, 100 U.S. applications were received, while in recent weeks, that number grew to 170. It's a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, but it goes to show that some people were, in fact, serious about leaving the country if Trump became president. And the number may still grow.
Two days after Trump was elected, 4,146 Americans sought information about New Zealand citizenship from the country's Department of Internal Affairs website, the AP reported. This was quite a jump from the same two weekdays in October 2016, when only 305 Americans did so.
Dairy and sheep farming are the top economic drivers in the country, where the sheep population was 27.6 million in June 2016, according to the New Zealand Agricultural Production Survey. That is a far drop from 1982, when there were some 70 million sheep. But for today's human population of 4.8 million, there are still roughly five sheep for every person.