Four facts you may not know about Mexican Immigrants

In the United States there is a lot of talk about Mexican immigrants…and a lot of assumptions about who they are, and what that means.

According to the Migration Policy Institute there were approximately 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in the United States in 2015, representing just about 27% of all immigrants in the united states. There is an interesting chart here that shows the historical data on levels of immigrants in Mexico…numbers have actually been dropping since 2011, and also numbers of immigrants from Asia and Africa have been rising in comparison.

Some people think that the US has been flooded by poor uneducated Mexican immigrants who have no prospects at home. They imagine “lowly” fruit pickers, or desperate young men coming to the states to take advantage of our country, but statistics actually paint quite a different picture.

Here are four facts about Mexican immigrants that most people don’t know

1) It’s not lack of opportunity at home that pushes Mexicans to leave; it’s a hungry job market in the US

Researchers compared migration patterns to unemployment rates and wage differences in both countries over two decades. The results: while immigration weakly correlated to high unemployment rates in Mexico, it very strongly correlated to low unemployment in the US. Wage differences between the two countries, meanwhile, have been growing steadily for two decades, but migration has ebbed and waned. Migration from Mexico is driven 71% by the U.S. economy, 15% by Mexico’s, and 14% by higher U.S. wages.

2) Immigrants—Mexicans in particular—keep the U.S. workforce young(er)

On average, Mexicans are younger than other immigrant groups, and for every Mexican working in the US, there are four retired Americans. If all immigration to the United States ceased today, by 2050, a full 40% of the working-age population (over age 15) would be 65 and older.

3) Mexican immigrants to the US are, on average, more educated than those who stay in Mexico

Over the last 2 decades, the average education level of Mexicans workers (over age 15) who immigrate to the US has been rising. They’re now overall more educated than those that stay at home. While the average Mexican worker has slightly more than 8 years of school, those who go north have almost 10.

4) 20% of Mexican-born PhDs are currently living in the US.

A Mexican with a doctorate degree is 4 times more likely to move to the States than one with elementary schooling, and 3 times as likely to head North as one with a high school education. (Fox)

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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