More Mexicans Are Leaving the U.S. Than Entering

November 19, 2015, 10:20 PM UTC
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents Work At Border Ahead Of Possible DHS Shutdown
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent waits as a group of undocumented men, not pictured, are deported to Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is nearing a partial shutdown as the agency's funding is set to expire Friday -- something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said wouldn't happen on his watch. Photographer: David Maung/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by David Maung — Bloomberg via Getty Images

A study by the Pew Research Center has found that in the last 20 years migration flow from Mexico to the U.S. has been cut down significantly, and in the past decade more Mexican immigrants have been leaving the country than coming in.

Between 1995 and 2000, nearly 3 million Mexicans crossed the border into the U.S.; that number was slashed to about 1.37 million from 2005 to 2010, and then to just 870,000 from 2009 to 2014. In those last two time periods, the number of Mexican immigrants who returned to Mexico exceeded those entering the U.S. — 1.39 million from 2005 to 2010, and 1 million from 2009 to 2014.

The vast majority of Mexican immigrants who returned to their home country did so of their own accord. About 61% cited family reunification as their main reason for leaving while 14% left because they were deported.

Perception of life in the U.S. has changed among adults living in Mexico, which could be another reason why less Mexican residents are migrating to the country. The number of Mexican adults who believe life in the U.S. is neither better nor worse than life in Mexico has steadily increased from 23% in 2007 to 33% in 2014. The number who believe that life in the U.S. is better than life in Mexico has fluctuated over the years, but as of last year was measured at 48%, a slight decrease from 51% seven years earlier.

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