As lawmakers in the United States ponder the shape and form of comprehensive immigration reform, residents of Mexico -- the country that has been the largest source of U.S.-bound immigration over the past decade -- are no more likely than U.S. residents are to express a desire to leave their home country. Eleven percent of Mexicans say they would leave their homeland if given the opportunity -- a decline of about half from 21% in 2007. Likewise, the 11% of Americans who would emigrate has changed little over the past four years.
The U.S. has long prided itself on its ability to attract rather than lose residents, and some have seen Mexico as the main hub for U.S.-bound immigration. The Gallup data call into question these long-held assumptions because as many Mexicans would leave Mexico as Americans would leave America.
The percentage of Mexicans willing to leave Mexico changed significantly over 2012. In December 2012, Mexico's desire to migrate statistic was 11% -- identical to that of the U.S. An earlier survey in May 2012, conducted during a presidential campaign that reportedly stoked popular anxieties as to the future direction of the country, found the percentage at a higher 17%, a result that may be a one-time anomaly. Overall, for 2012, an average of 14% of Mexicans said they would leave their country, a result that is not statistically significant when compared with the 11% of U.S. residents that would leave if given the opportunity