Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Net migration from Mexico to U.S. appears to have halted

We typically reserve the information we present on this blog to Utah-specific data. However, a recent report from the Pew Hispanic Center seems to merit mention. In a recent report, the Pew Hispanic Center indicates that net migration flows from Mexico have stopped and may have even declined. These estimates include both legal and "unauthorized" individuals. (Click here for the entire report.)

According to earlier estimates, several mountain states experienced out-migration of unauthorized immigrants as early as 2009. Estimates for Arizona, Utah, and Colorado combined showed a net decrease of 130,000 unauthorized immigrants between 2008 and 2009. Alone, our neighbor Nevada's unauthorized immigrant population lost an estimated 50,000 individuals. (Click here for this report.)

Now, a few words from the data police. Since no one really wants to admit being in this country illegally, the Pew Hispanic Center must estimate "unauthorized" migrants. These estimates are primarily derived from a one-month supplement to the Current Population Survey. These estimates use a fairly complex methodology. In other words, they lack the gravitas of an actual survey. In the recent migration report, the Pew Hispanic Center did use data from Mexico also. In their favor, the trends in this report certainly seem to reflect what one would expect to see given the business cycle and also what casual observation suggests.

The report attributes this cessation in net in-migration to several factors:

  • Weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets
  • Heightened border enforcement
  • A rise in deportations
  • The growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings
  • The long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates
  • Changing economic conditions in Mexico.

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