We just wrapped up the 2018 reader study and some of our Expats In Mexico Survey results may surprise you.
For example, many of the articles written over the years about expats in Mexico often are mainly about the attraction of the country’s lower cost of living. While it is important to most expats, the lifestyle available in Mexico is most important to expats.
We asked the question, “What is the very best thing about living in Mexico” and one-out-of-four expats claim lifestyle as #1. Climate (20 percent), Mexican People (18 percent) and Cost of Living (13 percent) are also important to expats.
Responses to our question, “Why Did You Decide to Move to Mexico” very much reflect the composition of those readers who took our survey this year (and last year). Just over 27 percent say Retirement, over 21 percent say Better Climate and 19 percent think Lifestyle Change. Lower Cost of Living comes in at #4 with just 11 percent checking that box.
It is not very surprising that 78 percent of expats living in Mexico are American and nearly 17 percent Canadian. The U.K. and Australia each contribute another 1 percent each.
As for how they moved to Mexico, nearly one-third of expats sold all of their household goods and replaced them when they got to Mexico. Another 27 percent self-moved some of their household goods and 21 percent used an international moving company. The rest used a combination of methods.
Lake Chapala was #1 when it comes to the best place to live in Mexico with nearly 22 percent of expats voting approval. Puerto Vallarta was #2 with just under 17 percent, San Miguel de Allende #3 with 10 percent and #4 Mazatlán, 5 percent.
We also discovered that over 50 percent of expats have lived in Mexico for over five years and 3 percent are “old timers” who have lived in the country for more than 25 years. Just over 21 percent have been in Mexico for a year or less.
One of the questions that we hear often is “How many expats live in Mexico just part-time? This survey shows about two-thirds live in the country full-time and one-third are part-timers.
Do expats typically buy or rent a home? About 60 percent own and 40 percent rent, according to the expats who took this survey.
Given that a majority of expats has lived in Mexico for over five years you might assume that Spanish language skills were good to excellent. Well, 16 percent say they do not speak Spanish at all, but the majority (54 percent) classifies language skills as, “Enough to Be Understood.” Another 21 percent say they are at the “Conversational Level” and just 9 percent are fluent in Spanish.
Demographically, readers who took the survey are primarily retired, equally male and female, mostly over 55 years of age, have annual income below US$75,000 a year, are white and married.
But, here are a few interesting demographic tidbits to munch on. First, the readers who took this survey are very well educated, with 55 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (the U.S. average is less than 30 percent). In fact, nearly 37 percent hold a graduate degree. Second, close to 19 percent have an annual income above US$100,000 and 6 percent over US$200,000. And, third, about 7 percent are single but cohabitating with a significant other or in a domestic partnership or civil union.
Our annual survey next year will broaden to include that very large portion of our readership that we call aspiring expats, those of you who are thinking about or making plans to become expats in Mexico.
If you have any questions about the survey, be sure to post a Comment to this blog.