This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Destination Mexico, or As the World Turns

Damien Caves has a very lengthy and interesting article in today's New York Times in which he lays out the case for Mexico as a new migration destination. I cannot do it justice, but here are some highlights:
Here in the capital, too, immigrants are becoming a larger proportion of the population and a growing part of the economy and culture, opening new restaurants, designing new buildings, financing new cultural offerings and filling a number of schools with their children. Economics has been the primary motivator for members of all classes: laborers from Central America; middle-class migrants like Manuel Sánchez, who moved here from Venezuela two years ago and found a job selling hair products within 15 days of his arrival; and the global crème de la crème in finance and technology, like Mr. Pace, 26, whose first job in Mexico was with a major French bank just after graduating from the University of Reims.
Europe, dying; Mexico, coming to life. The United States, closed and materialistic; Mexico, open and creative. Perceptions are what drive migration worldwide, and in interviews with dozens of new arrivals to Mexico City — including architects, artists and entrepreneurs — it became clear that the country’s attractiveness extended beyond economics.
The numbers are not yet huge, but they seem clearly to be on the increase:
Mexico’s immigrant population is still relatively small. Some officials estimate that four million foreigners have lived in Mexico over the past few years, but the 2010 census counted about one million, making around 1 percent of the country foreign-born compared with 13 percent in the United States. Many Mexicans, especially among the poor, see foreigners as novel and unfamiliar invaders. 
The shift with Mexico’s northern neighbor is especially stark. Americans now make up more than three-quarters of Mexico’s roughly one million documented foreigners, up from around two-thirds in 2000, leading to a historic milestone: more Americans have been added to the population of Mexico over the past few years than Mexicans have been added to the population of the United States, according to government data in both nations.
Mexican migration to the United States has reached an equilibrium, with about as many Mexicans moving north from 2005 to 2010 as those returning south. The number of Americans legally living and working in Mexico grew to more than 70,000 in 2012 from 60,000 in 2009, a number that does not include many students and retirees, those on tourist visas or the roughly 350,000 American children who have arrived since 2005 with their Mexican parents.
Will this be a long-term trend? That's hard to tell, obviously, but it does show how perceptions of migrant opportunity can change in a heart-beat. It is probably sound demographic advice that if you want to know what's going on in the world, follow the migrants.

2 comments:

  1. Can't remember when Europeans or Americans wanted to go there that much. Usually its senior Citizens but many Mexicans that live in the US got legalized in 1986 act under Reagan about 3 million, and many can get Social Security, a Social Security check goes further in Mexico, Instead of your white Anglo retiree I predict this group of Mexicans that live in the States and are 40's to 50's start returning home in the 2020's and 2030's. Also, I think its interesting that French and Spaniards are also going to Mexico.

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  2. Also, the new pope is still against birth control and abortion but less condemning than the previous pope as the article stated Mexico will go below replacement. I also predict that Mexican immigrants instead of the big family in California and Texas that they have in the past will changed their minds to having less kids and many Mexicans even in Los Angeles and Santa Ana by 2025 will be the children of immigrants which will have less kids than their parents.

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