Photo: Mexico's Immigrants and Migrants
According to recent census data, between 2005 and 2010, the number of migrants leaving Mexico for the U.S. has dropped by about two-thirds, and the number of those returning is increasing.
The 2010 Census reportedly shows “a net outflow of about 145,000 Mexicans leaving the country per year” between 2005 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2005 however, the number leaving peaked at around 450,000 a year, and 240,000 a year from 1995 to 2000.
According to the Eduardo Sojo, the National Statistic and Geography Institute’s board president, the number of immigrants returning to Mexico has almost doubled over the last ten years, primarily in the second half of the decade.
Sojo estimated that about 31 percent of migrants who left Mexico in the last five years had returned, compared to 17 percent in 2000. He said it has a lot to do with the downturn of the U.S. economy, as well as the increase in U.S. border enforcement.
Sojo added that the slowing growth rate of the Mexican population likely plays a part in the decreasing outflow of Mexicans. In 2000, 34.1 percent of the population was under the age of 15, but in 2010, only 29.3 percent was, meaning that the number of children being born is declining.
“In effect, we have seen a decline in the population in some municipalities in the north of the country,” Sojo said. “We asked the census takers in the area what the reason was, and in many cases the reason was people migrating out of these townships ... we cannot venture a guess as to the reasons,” but it is widely assumed that the drug cartel violence in northern Mexico has spread the residents elsewhere.