WASHINGTON – More Mexicans are returning to their homeland than are emigrating to the United States, with a net outflow from this country of 140,000 between 2009 and 2014, according to a report released on Thursday.
The report, prepared by the Pew Research Center, says that more Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here since the end of the Great Recession.
The study analyzes data from the Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID) and U.S. census data.
Between 2009 and 2014, about 1 million Mexicans and their families left the United States to return to Mexico, while during the same period 870,000 Mexicans traveled north from their country.
As motivating factors for their journeys, 61 percent of the returnees said family reunification was their prime consideration, while 14 percent said that they returned to Mexico because they were deported from the United States.
Another element in the trend is the decline in the number of Mexicans who say that they are in contact with friends and relatives in the United States, a figure that declined from 42 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2015.
From a broader perspective, the Pew data show that the total flow of Mexican immigrants between the two nations is at its lowest level since the beginning of the 1990s.
Between 1995 and 2000, the net flow of migrants from Mexico to the United States was 2.2 million, but between 2005 and 2010 that figure was in negative territory with 20,000 more Mexicans returning to Mexico than made the journey north.
The population of Mexicans in the United States shot up at the end of the last decade and beginning of the current one, rising from 9.4 million in 2000 to a record 12.8 million in 2007, but at that point the figure began to gradually decline and by 2014 it stood at 11.7 million.
Traditionally, Mexico has been the main immigrant-sending nation to the United States, but with the decline in migration in recent years and the sustained rise in immigrants from China and India, our southern neighbor could be surpassed by the two Asian giants as the source of new immigrants, the researchers say.