On the 9th of November, Donald Trump shocked the political world by winning the US Presidential Election, beating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to the White House. Mr Trump’s victory came despite a controversial Election campaign that saw him making comments many deemed offensive and proposing policies that led to divisions amongst voters and even members of the Republican Party.
While Mr Trump was victorious, he did only win with 47.4% of the vote – the 290 electoral college votes for the Republicans gave him the majority – so it’s fair to say he didn’t win by a landslide. This also means that there’s a large number of US citizens who voted for the Democrats, and based on recent findings, it would appear there’s also a large amount of discontent amongst these jaded supporters as there have been spikes in the amount of emigration applications.
Here we take a closer look at these findings and discuss what this could mean for the United States, should migration away from the States rise to these potentially dramatic levels.
Immigration Searches on the Rise
Almost immediately after the Election result had come through, one of the biggest news stories that broke was that the Canadian immigration website had crashed due to a surge in demand.
This BBC article reported on the matter and said how Canadian officials had ‘confirmed that the cause was a higher than normal level of traffic’ with many speculating this was caused by citizens ‘exploring their options’ after Trump’s victory.
This was not an isolated incident either, studies into the search volume behind certain phrases showed that there were spikes in people looking for information on how to emigrate and move away from the United States.
Source: Google Trends
Furthermore, this example from Google Trends which looked into the amount of American searches for ‘how do I emigrate’ shows a clear rise just before and immediately after Trump was declared the winner in the Election race.
Source: Google Trends
There was also a lot of traffic around specific countries. This example shows a significant amount of interest in ‘emigrate to Australia’ specifically around the time of Donald Trump’s election. As well as Australia, other popular destinations were England, Dubai and somewhat ironically Mr Trump’s maternal home of Scotland.
The Possible National Effects
So, what could happen if the United States saw significant numbers of its population moving abroad? What follows are a few examples of potential effects on the nation:
A Struggling Workforce?
On a general level, a mass exodus of people would lead to potential gaps in the employment markets. Some of the hardest hit areas could be those which employ a millennial workforce, as it’s more likely this demographic – who are predominately Democrat – would be looking to relocate.
Growing Support for Trump?
To build on this, a loss of Democratic voters – and a liberal voice – could have knock-on political effects in that there would be less opposition to contest and challenge Trump’s tenure as President; possibly leaving the door open for Trump’s popularity to grow even more. This will of course also be affected by how successful the implementation of his policies turns out to be.
Fluctuating Financial Markets?
There’s uncertainty surrounding the strength of the US dollar, particularly when compared with how the British pound dropped to record levels following the Brexit vote. While many expected a crash, reports like this from Sky News showed how the US markets in fact closed 1.2% up on the Thursday after the Election.
There was a belief that this stemmed from the positivity behind Mr Trump’s victory speech and his policies on taxes played a part in this positivity. Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA commented how Trump’s speech ‘was hugely influential in yesterday’s sudden U-turn [the result], as he focused more on unity and the need to spend to get the economy growing again. These policies combined with his desire to deregulate and lower taxes are all very market-friendly’.
Mr Erlam did end with a note of caution though, stating how the ‘stance he takes on trade will likely determine how vulnerable the markets are’.
A Final Thought…
At this point, we can only speculate on what will happen but what’s certain is that the coming years of Donald Trump’s presidency will provide plenty of interesting events and developments. Whether or not these will be met with support or backlash remains to be seen.