New Research Unveils Population Patterns of U.S. Immigrants from Mexico

New Research Unveils Population Patterns of U.S. Immigrants from Mexico

Mexican immigration dwarfs migratory flows into the United States from other countries. Studies of Mexican immigrants in the United States have emphasized their low average level of education compared with other immigrant populations as well as with Mexicans who remain at home.

A new study published in Population and Development Review, “Two Decades of Negative Educational Selectivity of Mexican Migrants to the United States,” by Michael S. Rendall, professor of sociology and director of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland and Susan W. Parker, professor of economics, Centro de Investigation y Docencia Economicas (CIDE), Mexico, helps to explain this phenomenon.

“Immigration has commonly been considered to be selective of healthier more able individuals with higher levels of schooling than the population as a whole, motivated by greater opportunities in the destination country,” according to Rendall. “Yet in this case, Mexican migrants have lower education, on average, than Mexicans who remain at home. Why? By looking carefully at place-size data we find that a disproportionate share of Mexican migrants came from rural and small-urban areas (population less than 20,000) through the 1990s and 2000s. Because these areas have lower schooling levels than medium- to larger-sized urban areas of Mexico, the result is that migrants have lower education than the overall Mexican population at the most common migration ages.”

Migrants who completed primary school are the most over-represented group relative to the Mexican population aged 18-54, and migrants who completed any upper secondary education are the most under-represented group. The study concludes that the geographic factor is the major cause of the apparently anomalous negative educational selectivity of migration from Mexico to the United States.

This phenomenon is significant not only because education affects migrants’ labor market prospects and impacts in the United States but because it also affects outcomes for their children, i.e. second-generation immigrants.

Rendall adds, “The restrictive U.S. immigration policy that has been in place throughout the 1990s and 2000s does not appear to have had the intended effect of deterring unauthorized migration overall. It may, however, have had a greater deterrent effect on higher-educated migrants than on lower-educated migrants.”

Related Articles:
UMD Astronomers to Analyze Surface of Comet as Spacecraft Drops Robotic Probe on It
Dr. Puett’s Research Examines How Exercising Outdoors or Indoors Influences Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Can Diseased Lungs and Positive Thoughts Deter Smoking?
Diversify the Faculty, Transform the University
UMD, NIST Announce Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science
Emerging Disease Could Wipe Out American, European Salamanders
Campus boosts support for Open Access Publishing Fund
UMD Researchers Formulate Cyber Protection for Supply Chains
UMD Professor Receives $1.9M to Study Cell “Glue” Important in Disease
UMD Alumnus and CEO, Brendan Iribe, purchases liscensing rights to UMD-founded Company

September 17, 2014


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

UMD Names Laurie E. Locascio Vice President for Research

Unexpectedly Primitive Atmosphere Found Around Distant "Warm Neptune"

Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center at the University of Maryland Will Transform the Classroom Experience

UMD Researchers Receive DARPA Funding to Study Language Learning

UMD Study Finds that ACA Eased Financial Burden for People with Individual Health Insurance

UMD-led Exercise Study Offers Hope in Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease

Message from Interim Vice President for Research Amitabh Varshney

Gov. Hogan Signs into Law $7.5M Maryland Energy Innovation Institute at UMD

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts

Connect

social iconstwitterlinkedinrssYouTube
Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541

Email: vpr@umd.edu
© Copyright 2017 University of Maryland

Did You Know

UMD is a member of the Association of American Universities, comprised of 61 leading research universities in the U.S. & Canada.