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New Study Shows Big Expat Population Increase in Mexico

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A new study by the prestigious College of México shows that Mexico’s foreign-born population increased 120 percent between 2000 and 2015, as reported by the Mexico News Daily, a leading English-language daily newspaper based in Mexico City.

Researchers at the school’s Center for Demographic, Urban and Environmental Studies say the number of Mexico’s foreign-born residents reached 1.2 million in 2015, representing about 1 percent of the country’s total population.

Interestingly, the number of U.S. citizens, many of Mexican descent, moving to Mexico is larger than that of Mexicans going north, according to the newspaper. The College of México’s president, Silvana Giorguli, spoke with the Mexico News Daily and sees a new migration pattern developing.

“We see a very large increase in the north-south migration, a mobility propelled mostly by U.S. population traveling to Mexico. Given the sheer scale, visibility and demographic characteristics, this is a completely new phenomenon. This will be a population that was born in the U.S., many of which hold dual nationality and will thus be able to move freely between both countries.”

During the same period, Canada’s foreign-born population increased 42 percent and the U.S. increased 34 percent.

The research supports the findings in my “How Many Expats Live in Mexico” blog that was published last September. In the blog, I looked at data from the U.S. Department of State, the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO), the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Mexico’s 2010 Census and determined that there are more than 1 million expats living in Mexico. That number, though, does not include expats who live in Mexico just part of the year on tourist visas, which is a sizeable but indefinable number.

The 1.2 million figure in this report looks like it is a good number for foreign-born residents who hold temporary or permanent visas or have dual citizenship.

If you have anecdotal or research-based estimates of the expat population (both full-time and part-time) for your town or city, we would love to hear from you.