Why millions of Americans are flocking to Mexico

Migrating Americans are saying Viva la Mexico.

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Some (talking mostly about me here) would be surprised to find out that fewer than 100,000 Americans move outside of the United States each year. About half of those who move, do so to Mexico, the UK, Canada, or Australia, with Mexico representing about 15% of those making the move.

Mexico’s cost of living is about 50% lower than the US, so people unhindered by family or in-office work can live comfortably on modest incomes just across the border, particularly retirees looking to maximize their income. 

In the US, immigration rhetoric has focused on returning migrants to Mexico, overlooking another growing trend: the influx of migrants from the US to Mexico. The number of US citizens becoming temporary residents in the Spanish-speaking country has reached an all-time high as of 2022 and is expected to be worse in this new year. 

Why are people migrating?

The ease of moving to Mexico compared to other countries is a major draw for American citizens. Many ex-pats who migrate south work for US-based companies, earn US dollars, and benefit from favorable exchange rates. Visas also aren’t required for visitors spending less than 180 days in the country.

What problems can this create? 

Mexican neighborhoods such as Roma, La Condesa, and Coyoacán are beginning to mirror gentrified neighborhoods in the US, such as Austin, Texas, Brooklyn, and Wynwood in Miami.

The migration of US citizens to Mexico isn’t at all new but with a high influx of digital nomads and retirees, there is fear that the culture shifts in the country will drive Mexicans out of their homeland due to rising costs on property, shops, entertainment, and much more.

Last week, President Joe Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City to discuss preventing migrants from entering the US illegally, but there was no mention of American migration to Mexico and how the trend will do more harm than good for the country in the long run.

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