Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Who are Mexico's border-crossers?

The typical undocumented Mexican worker is not the poorest, least educated, Mexican.

Sex: Eight out of 10 are men.

About these ads

Age: Half are 30 or younger; 80 percent are 40 or younger.

Marital status: 55 percent are married.

Education: Average of five years' schooling - slightly higher than the average for Mexico.

Origin: About two-thirds come from rural areas, mostly in central Mexico, about one-third from urban areas. Only 11 percent come from border regions of Mexico.

Destination: California, 47 percent; Texas, 27 percent; Illinois, 7 percent; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico combined, 6 percent; the rest go to other US states.

Employment in Mexico before coming: 80 percent had some kind of job - 60 percent in agriculture, about 8 percent in white-collar jobs. But they earned much less than they did in the US.

Jobs they held in the US: White-collar, 4.5 percent; blue-collar, 36 percent; service, 23.5 percent; farm, 36.1 percent.

About these ads

Source: 1978-1979 study by the National Center of Labor Information and Statistics, an agency of the Mexican federal government.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.