Feeling Homesick? Here Are The Countries We Miss The Most

Moving somewhere abroad for a new job, to study, or to experience a different culture can be life-changing, with different people to meet, local food to try, and completely new surroundings to immerse yourself in. While being somewhere new does bring a lot of positives, it’s also normal to feel homesick, as you’re away from your loved ones and the place you probably know best.
As social media is often an outlet to vent about our feelings, and is where many will openly discuss their homesickness when moving away or simply returning from a vacation they loved. With that in mind, we wanted to leverage this to find out which countries and cities around the world people were missing the most.
To do so, we analysed over 1.5 million tweets on Twitter posted over the last five years, that feature various phrases relating to missing a particular country, city, or state, to see which location was mentioned most frequently. Phrases included the likes of ‘i miss [location]’, ‘missing [location]’ and ‘want to go back to [location]’. From this analysis, we’re able to officially reveal the most missed places in the world!

Which Countries Do We Miss The Most?

With over 68,300 mentions in tweets, making up a whopping 13.6% of the country-related tweets we analysed, Japan is the most missed country in the world by quite some margin.
With a worldwide reputation for being friendly and polite, it’s not hard to see why this country could top the rankings. Along with its welcoming culture, there are many perks to living in Japan from more universally known facts such as fantastic, high-quality food (which is a huge part of day-to-day life in Japan), to other benefits such as efficient transport – meaning you don’t need to rely on a car to make your way around, local convenience and high quality healthcare – a factor that could influence many people to make a move to Japan.
With almost three times as many tweets posted about Japan than the majority of the top ten countries, it’s clear that its residents have formed a strong connection to their home country, in addition to those that are simply visiting. This is echoed by the fact that Asia was the most-missed continent overall, with its countries mentioned in over 30% of the tweets analysed.
Mexico was another country that leaves people feeling homesick, with 9.5% of tweets about missing the South American country. As Mexicans are the largest group of immigrants in the USA, roughly making up 24% of immigrants in the country in 2021, there are undoubtedly a lot of people missing home. With its ancient architecture, vibrant lifestyle, and fantastic food, there are plenty of things to miss about the country, with over 47,600 homesick mentions in Twitter users' posts.
European countries also fared well in the top rankings, with seven countries in the top 20 revealed as being particularly missed by natives and visitors alike, with Italy, Spain, Germany and France all featuring.

The Top 20 Most Missed Countries

RankCountry% of total tweets relating to people missing X country
4South Korea3.9%
While Asia was revealed as the most missed continent overall, Europe came out in second place, accounting for over 25% of Twitter users posting about missing the continent. A popular destination for tourists and immigrants alike, countries in the European Union see around 800,000 immigrants move from the USA each year. This makes the continent the second highest emigration location for Americans, with new job opportunities, a higher standard of living, and better government support cited as key reasons for moving to European countries.
Which Cities Do We Miss The Most?
With a staggering 91,681 tweets about missing the city – more even than Japan as the most missed country – New York City stands tall as the most missed city on Earth, accounting for one in ten (10.5%) of all city-related tweets. A truly iconic place with countless films and TV series about life in the big city and famed to tourists who flock in their millions to experience it for themselves, people clearly have a deep attachment to the Big Apple.
Known for its vibrant, social lifestyle, excellent variety of eateries on offer, and no shortage of tourist attractions, there’s a multitude of reasons people miss New York. The city is also a hub of US business, with many companies choosing it to host their headquarters. This draws many people to the city for work (and play!), before leaving for a quieter lifestyle in the suburbs in the long term, while evidently still missing the draw of the Manhattan skyline.
New York and the likes of Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, all help the United States of America to play home to the most missed cities worldwide, with 10 cities in the top 20, more than anywhere else.
Across the pond, London also made the grade as one of the world’s most missed cities, securing third place. Another popular tourist destination, it’s clearly won the hearts of many and while a rite of passage for many Brits, the allure of the city life and high salaries isn’t always a long-term living option. Due to the rising cost of living, many people are now moving further afield to commuter belts, all whilst pining over their favourite city online.
The most missed country, Japan, also has two of its cities in the top 20 most missed, with Tokyo taking the fifth spot and Osaka in 15th. Lovers of Tokyo have a lot to miss, with its striking scenery that includes Mount Fuji overlooking the city and the beautiful Himeji Castle framed by cherry blossoms making it hard to forget. With over 13 million residents living in the city alone, it’s known for being another global hub of business. With efficient transport links via a metro service, cheaper tax for residents, and beautiful historic sites, it’s no wonder that Tokyo made the rankings.
Other cities that make the global top 20 included Seoul, Lagos, and Dubai. Dubai in particular draws in many tourists and workers seeing an estimated 200,000 new arrivals each year, with higher salaries, a luxurious lifestyle, and modern housing all being part of the appeal. The requirements of permanent residency however are reliant on renewing your visa every three years, or purchasing property worth a minimum of 5 million AED, meaning that long term stays in Dubai are not always accessible to all.

The Top 20 Most Missed Cities

RankCityCountry% of total tweets relating to people missing X country
1New York CityUSA10.5%
2Los AngelesUSA6.8%
3LondonUnited Kingdom6.1%
10Washington DCUSA1.6%
19SeoulSouth Korea1%
20DubaiUnited Arab Emirates1%

How can you overcome homesickness?

Homesickness when moving to a new location away from your family, friends, and home comforts is inevitable. But while homesickness is unavoidable for many people, there are ways of making your move to a new country easier, to help you settle into the place you now call home.
With that in mind, and as our data shows just how many people experience it, we’ve put together some tips for combating homesickness.
1. Join an online forum or club with people from your home country
The chances are that there are people experiencing the same thing as you in your new city. While that doesn’t make it easier to settle in, finding people from your home country or even city can provide an element of home comfort, as you immerse yourselves with people who understand. There are social media groups and online forums that you can join to post about and discuss your experiences. The individuals here may be able to offer advice for how they dealt with homesickness and provide suggestions on how to stay connected to home.
Joining a club such as a book club, or sporting team with people from your home city is also a great way to meet similar people in your new location. While you should try to branch out beyond your home-centric social group, having people that remind you of home can make the move easier.
2. Dedicate time to do something that reminds you of home
If you have moved to a new country with a completely different culture – for example, food, social etiquette, even driving on a different side of the road – it can be a culture shock when you move. Getting involved in activities or visiting places that remind you of home can be a source of comfort to draw on happy memories. For example, why not invite your friends around to cook them a traditional meal from your cuisine? Specific ingredients may be harder to find in your new location, but it makes it all the more special when you track them down and get to share the experience with new friends.
If you lived in a rural location previously, moving to a city can also be a bit of a shock. So, take time to schedule in ‘breaks’ from your surroundings, visit a park or take a trip out of the city to visit more familiar green spaces.
3. Bring your home comforts
While our home comforts can sometimes make us feel sad about what we may be missing, your home should be your safe space, so you have the opportunity to fill it with things that spark joy and remind you of home. Decorate your new home in colours and styles reminiscent of your original – whether that is prints, fabrics, textures or photographs.
4. Teach your new friends about your home
Making new friends is one of the best parts of moving to a new area, but they sometimes may not understand the homesickness you are experiencing, especially if they have never lived in a new country. While engrossing yourself in your new country’s culture can be a good way to adjust to a new lifestyle, teaching your friends about your life back home is a great way to feel closer to your home country. This could be showing your friends your favourite film or TV series from your home country, taking them to a local café or restaurant serving your local cuisine, or involving them in certain celebrations, such as Thanksgiving or Ramadan.
5. Make time for video calls with family
While it may seem obvious, making time to call your family or friends who are still living back at ‘home’ can often be a great mood lifter. If you are in different time zones, this can sometimes make it harder to stick to a call, meaning it can sometimes fall through the cracks, but it is well worth the early start or late night to fit in. Scheduling in a regular catch up with your family or friends can be a comfort, and you’ll be able to update them on your life in your new location too.
6. Take some time to yourself
When you move to a new country or city, it can be tempting to schedule lots of activities to help you not to think about home, or to settle in, however this can often be overwhelming and end up with you feeling burnt out. It’s natural to feel this way, so ensuring you have time to yourself to unwind from a busy schedule in a safe space is important. Giving yourself time with a book, to watch your favourite series, or even take yourself for a stroll or for a meal on your own, can do wonders for adjusting to your new surroundings.
Remitly analysed 1,572,579 tweets posted between 11/11/2017 and 25/11/2022, that feature various phrases relating to missing a particular country, city or state, such as ‘I miss [country name]’ or ‘wish I was in [city name]’. The tweets were then ranked by the percentage of tweets posted relating to each country, city or state.
Tweets analysed included tweets posted in the four most commonly used languages on Twitter: English, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese.
Data correct as of December 2022.