Past data and current trends indicate that Mexico is adhering to the demographic transition model (see post of 15 May 2010).Death rates first dropped precipitously and now birth rates are declining rapidly. By the middle of the 21st century, these will be roughly equal and natural population growth will drop to zero. Then birth rates will drop below death rates and the population will begin to decline. This is already happening in Russia, Italy, Germany and Japan.
Mexico is expected to reach this situation before 2050 when its population will be between 120 and 130 million. This is a rather wide spread for a demographic forecast because predicting the rates of Mexican immigration to the USA is very tricky. Net immigration was over 550,000 in 2006, but dropped to about 200,000 in 2009 because the employment situation in the USA was so bad. When the recession ends and jobs are again plentiful in the USA, immigration will jump back up, but how far and for how many years?
As Mexico’s population growth rates continue to decline and become negative, the new challenge will be coping with a rapidly aging population. Fortunately, Mexico will be able to learn from Europe and Japan who are already facing this challenge.
Mexico’s population dynamics are discussed in chapters 8 and 9 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico.