I've seen an article shared a few times on social media entitled "Here's a twist: 91% of Americans living in Mexico are 'Illegal'". It claims:

According to a study by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics, around 739,168 thousand American citizens lived in Mexico in 2015 and, according to the National Institute of Immigration, of those only 65,302 were legal residents.

The article cites a new article in Spanish which in turn references a government poll, the Encuesta Intercensal 2015. This article does not provide any links, but I did find a summary of findings from that poll (also in Spanish). I'm not finding these figures though.

Are these actual, official Mexican government estimates regarding United States residents in Mexico with and without legal permission from 2015?

  • 4
    I'd be worried about apples to apples comparison. Americans aren't clamoring to get into Mexico as Mexicans are too get into America, so enforcement may be basically non-existant. Also, Mexico's immigration policies may be opaque and easily done incorrectly or too difficult to understand. The two together can easily make this true, and neither are really true of the us, which would make this ironic, but not really meaningful. – fredsbend Oct 6 '19 at 23:43
  • 1
    define "lived in". If you include vacationers who don't need a visum to enter Mexico, I'm sure you get a pretty high number. And some of those no doubt, inadvertently or not, overstay the limits of their stay (ending up in hospital for a few weeks for example, can easily cause that). – jwenting Oct 7 '19 at 6:40
  • I an extremely skeptical. First, because I did not find any such statement in the linked census document (which may not be the one intended by the newspaper quoted by the OP), and secondly because no attempt seems to be made to correct for the large number of dual citizens, in particular children born in the USA to Mexican parents (legally present or not) who live in Mexico. – Andrew Lazarus Oct 7 '19 at 7:09
  • Question: How many of these could change their status to “legal” without problems if they wanted to? – gnasher729 Oct 7 '19 at 13:22
  • 3
    "739,168 thousand", LOL that's more than the entire US population. – DavePhD Oct 8 '19 at 13:26

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