Using the American Community (ACS) to study declining Mexican migration over the past eight weeks has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the industries and locations across the United States that were most impacted by the change in migration patterns from Mexico following the 2008 financial crisis.
Beginning with a literature review, I learned about the known patterns of Mexican-born workers, and what factors affect their decisions to move to and within the United States. Economic literature analyzing migration patterns from Mexico has drawn attention to the tendency for immigrants to move to areas in which migrant communities already exist. Knowing a network of workers allows immigrants to learn about job opportunities and lowers the costs of migration through information sharing.
Creating maps using data I observe changes in the population density of new Mexican immigrants across the Sun-Belt and Midwest regions.
I then used data from the Mexican Migration project to track the prevalence of migrants within the average migrant community in each state. The prevalence ratio provided an indication of migrant community depth that I could use to run a regression exploring the driving factors behind the variation in migration patterns across states in response to the great recession.
Over-all this summer has provided an insight as to how to use large surveys such as the American Communities Survey and Mexican Migration Project to draw conclusions on how specific populations respond to changes in the economy. I enjoyed working with maps, data, and literature to explore these questions and discover ways to identify trends within data and explain specific behaviors among a specific population.