Elite Expatriates? The Diminishing Occupational Prestige of Americans in Mexico

Samuel C. Mindes, Michigan State University

Using Mexican Census data from 1990, 2000, and 2010, I investigate the social position of the US-born population in Mexico. I argue that the type of migration from the US to Mexico has changed. Typically, emigration from the US is considered ‘elite’ or ‘privileged’ migration; however, migration to Mexico has fallen out of this category. Using multivariate regression analysis, I investigate the research question “Are native-born Americans in Mexico that were living in the US in 2005 ‘elite migrants’?” I argue that recent US émigrés in Mexico, those that lived in the US five years prior to the 2010 census, are different in terms of social position than the US-born population that crossed this border before the 1990 and 2000 censuses. I use Standard International Occupational Prestige (SIOP) to measure social position. This study finds that the occupational prestige of the American-born population of new migrants to Mexico is diminishing.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment