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Moving To Canada, Eh? Or Maybe Ireland?

The view from a peak in County Mayo, Ireland. An island off the coast is inviting any Americans afraid of the election results to move there, and grow their population.
The view from a peak in County Mayo, Ireland. An island off the coast is inviting any Americans afraid of the election results to move there, and grow their population.

It seems every four years, Americans threaten to move to Canada if their preferred presidential candidate isn't elected. But with two of the most unpopular candidates in history on the ballot, 2016 might be the year some people actually go through with it.

As Mashable reported back in March, Google searches for "how to move to Canada" spiked in the hours after results from the Super Tuesday primaries. By the next day, @GoogleTrends announced on Twitter that searches for "move to Canada" were higher than any time in Google history.

How easy is it to actually jump ship if your candidate of choice isn't elected Tuesday? Some places are taking advantage of the American election-induced panic. One underpopulated Irish island called is inviting U.S. citizens to consider relocating.

The island's development officer, Mary Heanue, told Irish Central, "I've heard there are quite a few people in America looking to move to Ireland and other countries if Donald Trump becomes president. I'd like them to know that we'd love to see them consider moving over here."

She noted that, given the island's current population of just 58, immigrants' children would receive lots of attention in the local public school. "The teacher to pupil ratio is nearly one-on-one," she said.

Cape Breton, an island off the east coast of Canada, is also offering a warm welcome. A website called popped up earlier this year and went viral, but residents promise that they don't really care about your politics: "The truth is, we welcome all, no matter who you support, be it Democrat, Republican, or Donald Trump."

The site has photos of the island and helpful links to immigration resources, as well as information about local attractions, and the message is an earnest plea: "We always rank high on travel magazine lists of beautiful islands. But we are experiencing a bit of a population problem at the moment. We need people. We need you!" Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked that "Cape Breton is lovely all times of the year," in response to a question about the American election.

Now, this one doesn't seem driven by politics, but the government of New Zealand also offers a website that caters to Americans looking to move abroad. They promise, "We speak the same language and share a lot culturally, which will help make you feel at home." If you register your interest in moving to New Zealand, the government will email you tips about job openings in your field and how to choose the right visa.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: November 4, 2016 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this post misspelled the name of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's name as Justine.
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