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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Migration to the US is Good for Mexico--For a While Yet

Remittances home have dramatically changed the dynamics of migration over time. Migrants don't just help the families in the place of origin by getting out of the way, they help the local economy back home by sending money. This is the not-so-surprising, but still important, lesson from a new report published by the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC. The authors of the study, Raymundo Campos-Vazquez and Horacio Sobarzo, are professors at the prestigious El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. Of particular interest is their insight that this pattern is unlikely to continue into the future:

The dynamics of migration from Mexico to the United States are rapidly evolving. Mexico’s population is growing more slowly than in the past and its youth are better educated than ever before. At the same time, US economic growth is slowing — in part due to the recent recession and preceding consumption bubble, but also due to shifting demographics and the exit of the large baby boom generation from the workforce. The US economy is expected to slow in the coming years and the flow of migrants from Mexico has responded to these more limited prospects. Individual migrants are likely to continue sending remittances to their families back home even after new inflows slow. But in the long term, as the Mexican population in the United States shifts from a population primarily born in Mexico to a population primarily born in the United States, these cross-border ties will inevitably weaken. The consequences of these changing migration dynamics for Mexico’s development prospects will be an important trend for the next decade.
In other words, the demographic fit between the US and Mexico is changing and it is dangerous to try to generalize from any short-term trends that we are seeing right now.

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