We tend to think that the United States–Mexico border is a one-way street, with the majority of migrants streaming across from Mexico to the US. According to recent data from the Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics, however, it’s actually the other way around.
Between 2009 and 2014, one million Mexicans left the US for Mexico, and census data shows that during the same period, just 870,000 Mexicans migrated to the US. Mexico’s statistics institute has also estimated that there are at least 799,000 US-born people living in Mexico, four times as many as in 1990.
The trend is encouraging, as it shows that there is an increasingly optimistic view of life south of the border. According to the Pew Research Center, one reason for this trend is the US economy’s slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. In a 2015 Pew survey, 33 percent of Mexican adults said they believed life in Mexico would be no better or worse than life in the US — a full 10 percentage points higher than when the same survey was conducted in 2007.
Ironically enough, many Americans now living in Mexico are undocumented, or are there without the proper papwerork. The expectation to possess the proper paperwork, however, is quite different in Mexico than it is in the US. “We have never pressured them to have their documents in order,” said Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister.
H/T: Business Insider