The map shows the ten states which receive the highest remittances (funds sent home, primarily from the USA, by Mexican migrant workers) on a per person basis in 2005.
Many factors help to explain why some states receive high amounts of remittances, on a per person basis, while other states receive much less.
- the number of migrant workers from that state working in USA
- the poverty levels in the state
- unemployment rates in the state
- whether or not that state has a long history of supplying migrant workers
Perhaps surprisingly, there is no correlation between distance from the USA and the per person remittances sent back by migrant workers. On the contrary, it is clear that more remittances are received per person in several southern states. No northern border state is in the top 10 receiving states for remittances.
Why might this be? Perhaps workers from states nearer to the border return funds by non-official channels, such as with friends or relatives returning home. Perhaps life is so good in the northern states that fewer workers migrate.
(a) What other factors can you think of which might be relevant?
(b) Try to find data to help support (or refute) your ideas.
“Migration to the USA” is the title of chapter 26 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. This chapter provides a good introduction to the geography, history and impacts of migration and remittances. Buy your copy today!