9 Countries Where American Presidents Lived (Other than the US)

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: February 23, 2024
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American presidents have typically lived in the United States. Many have stayed in one state for their entire lives and others have moved around because of familial matters or because they were in the military. However, a select few American presidents have lived in other countries besides the United States. These presidents have experienced lives different from their counterparts because of their time abroad. Let’s take a look at the 9 countries where American presidents have lived (other than the US).

Great Britain

Big Ben and westminster bridge at dusk in London

Five presidents have been Ministers to Britain before being elected to the top job.


At the beginning of the United States’ history as a country, several men who would become presidents were assigned to ensure diplomatic ties between America and Britain. John Adams was Minister to Britain from 1785-1788, James Monroe was Minister from 1803-1807, John Quincy Adams was Minister from 1815-1817, Martin Van Buren was Minister from 1831-1832, and James Buchanan from 1853-1856. But that’s not all, two other presidents also lived in Great Britain. Herbert Hoover was a mining financier in London from 1901 to 1917 and Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in 1969 for a year.


Sunrise in Paris, with the Eiffel Tower

Four presidents have lived in France —  John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams (when his father was Commissioner to France).


Both Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe were Ministers of France for several years and lived in the French capital. Jefferson lived in Paris for five years and had come over with his daughter and two servants. He also maintained an affair with Italian-English musician Maria Cosway for several weeks. In 1787, Jefferson’s youngest daughter came to Paris with Sally Hemings, one of Jefferson’s slaves. Hemings became pregnant with Jefferson’s child and negotiated her children’s freedom while in Paris (where slavery had been abolished). As for Monroe, he served as Minister from 1794 to 1796, presiding over a tumultuous time in France with the French Revolution. Monroe staunchly supported republicanism. Adams was Commissioner to France for a few years before going to the Netherlands.


Amsterdam Netherlands dancing houses over river Amstel landmark in old european city spring landscape.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams are the only American presidents to have lived in the Netherlands.


George Washington appointed John Quincy Adams as Minister to the Netherlands in 1794. Adams lived there for three years before his father, President John Adams, appointed him as Minister to Germany. His father was also Minister to the Netherlands and lived in Amsterdam and The Hague for a few years. During his time here, Adams had bought a house, which became the first American embassy on foreign soil.


Aerial view of Berlin skyline with dramatic clouds in twilight during blue hour at dusk with retro vintage old Instagram style filter effect, Germany

Only one president has lived in Germany, and that was 6th President John Quincy Adams.


For four years, John Quincy Adams was the Minister to Prussia, which is where Germany is located today. Adams and his family lived in Berlin. During this time, he negotiated trade agreements between the United States and Prussia and tried to create relations with Sweden, as well.


Red sunset over Saint Petersburg, Russia panoramic aerial view

John Quincy Adams is the only president to have lived in Russia.

©Eshma/iStock via Getty Images

James Madison appointed John Quincy Adams as the first Minister to Russia in 1809. He served in this capacity until 1814. He lived in Saint Petersburg where he became friends with Tsar Alexander I and other Russian officials.


Aerial drone view over the downtown and international center of bogota at sunset

William Henry Harrison is the only president to have lived in Colombia.

©Santiago Robayo Escobar/Shutterstock.com

In 1828, William Henry Harrison was appointed Minister to Gran Colombia. Gran Colombia was a country that encompassed most of South America and a little bit of Central America from 1819 to 1831. Harrison lived in Bogota and had written to the Secretary of the State at the time that the country was veering into anarchy. Because of Harrison’s attitude towards Colombian politics, he left after three months in March 1829.


Kangaroo family on the beach of Lucky bay, Esperance, Western Australia

Only one president has lived in Australia, and that was Herbert Hoover.

©Hideaki Edo/iStock via Getty Images

Herbert Hoover was one of the few men who lived in other countries without working for the government. In other words, other presidents have lived in foreign countries because they had government positions there. Hoover got hired by a gold mine company and went to live in Western Australia. He lived down under from 1896 to 1899. During this time, he was single, but courting Lou Henry, who would become his wife.


Cityscape of Tianjin ferris wheel,Tianjin eyes in twilight time before night. Most Modern and popular landmark in Tianjin city.

Only one president has lived in China, and that was Herbert Hoover, the nation’s 31st President.


After living in Australia for 3 years, Herbert Hoover had a spat with his boss and was redistributed to China in 1899. He had just married Lou Henry, and she joined him in China thereafter. The Hoovers lived in Tianjin. It was there that Hoover started learning the language and learned about Chinese history, as well. During this time, the Boxer Rebellion happened and they were even present at the Battle of Tientsin. After several years, Hoover was reassigned to London so that they would not have to deal with diplomatic turmoil.



Only one president has lived in Indonesia and that was the 44th President, Barack Obama.


The only president who has lived in Indonesia has been Barack Obama. The nation’s 44th president moved there to join his mother, who had married Lolo Soetoro, a geographer. Obama moved there when he was six years old in 1967. He first lived in the Menteng Dalam neighborhood of Teber, which is located in Jakarta. In 1970, the family, along with Obama’s baby half-sister, moved to the Menteng district in Jakarta. Obama’s time in Indonesia was short, as he moved back to Hawaii in 1971 to live with his maternal grandparents.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Vacclav/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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