From a WSJ blog:
According to the latest Internal Revenue Service report, the number of Americans renouncing their U.S. citizenship (or terminating their long-term permanent residency) has increased nearly ninefold since 2008.
The numbers are tiny, under 500 people per quarter. But the rate of increase of expatriations is precipitous. Why? Here’s one possible explanation from the same post:
“There is growing concern, particularly among the wealthy, about the future financial direction of the country,” said Paul L. Caron, Charles Hartsock Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. “This President constantly demonizes the wealthy, who undoubtedly are concerned about the tax policy that would emerge in 2012 if a re-elected Barack Obama, unconstrained by re-election concerns, finally confronts the budgetary train wreck that he has done so much to exacerbate.”
The USA has unusual tax laws, though, which exert claims over the incomes of Americans earning and living overseas. I’ve a feeling it is mainly US expats renouncing citizenship.