Mexico says net migration has slowed to a trickle

Liz Goodwin

Mexico lost only about .09 percent of its population to migration from 2010 to the first three months of this year, down considerably from the .58 percent lost over the same period in 2006.

Mexico's National Statistics and Geography Institute says that in the first three months of 2011, .36 percent of Mexicans left the country; meanwhile, .31 percent of the population immigrated to Mexico from other countries, resulting in a net immigration loss that's almost negligible.

The New York Times' Damien Cave wrote in July that growing economic opportunities in Mexico have produced a slow-down of illegal immigration to the United States. Mexico's per-capita gross domestic product and income have both risen 45 percent since 2000, even as the average birth rate continues to fall, and now stands at about two children per family.

Meanwhile, the recession in the United States has narrowed the gap between what an undocumented worker could earn here and what he or she could earn by staying in Mexico. Also since 2000, drug gangs have gained a stranglehold over illegal migration routes, making crossing the border more dangerous and expensive.