Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Net zero migration

It can be frustrating to read stories like this one in the Christian Science Monitor. The topic is "net zero" migration from Mexico, which means the number of Mexicans going to the United States is roughly the same as the number of Mexicans returning from the United States. The problem is that this is too often conflated with a massive exodus, but they are not the same thing.

There remains no evidence of any large scale exodus. Instead, as readers of our book will know, the demographic fit between the United States and Mexico is gradually disappearing. Young Mexican migrants came in large numbers, and now we see not an exodus, but rather a demographic equilibrium. The U.S. economy no longer needs so many young workers, and there are some more economic opportunities in Mexico than there were in the past, which means fewer Mexicans are prompted to emigrate. Of course more Mexicans came back when the economy crashed--the article notes an increase from 2005 to 2010--but there is no tsunami. Even that increase can be attributed in no small part to the Obama administration's commitment to deportation. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of deportations increased by about 150,000.

In short, I am hesitant to proclaim, as is now fashionable, that there is a remarkable transformation going on. If you view the situation from a demographic perspective, it seems more a gradual and inevitable shift. This also means it can last quite a while, but is not permanent.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP