Some factories were completely closing while others were decreasing their production activities due to the pandemic, eventually resulting in supply chain issues disrupting the American economy and the labor market. Then there was a surge in consumer spending fueled by federal stimulus checks. Then prices started to increase due to the huge demand, resulting in skyrocketing inflation. For months now, many Americans have struggled to keep up with the rising prices and pay their monthly bills, and some experts warn that it might take years before we start seeing things getting back to normal.
Rising consumer prices, especially volatile food and energy costs, bring insecurities for many who are now forced to either work extra hours or seek second job. Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans have been struggling financially, and living in America has been everything but affordable for them. For the majority, working extra hours or cutting expenses wherever possible has been the solution. But for others, the only solution was to leave America and move to other, more affordable countries, either temporarily or permanently.
Over the last decade, an increasing number of Americans have decided to relocate outside of the country in search of a better life. The high cost of living and high taxes are two major reasons why people have moved or are considering moving to other countries. The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work, which additionally fueled this trend.
Most of those who moved from America have chosen Mexico as their place to start a new life. The reasons are many, but the low cost of living, the proximity and frequent flights to and from many US states every day seem to be the most important for those migrating there. And through September of this year, a record-high number of US citizens have temporarily moved to Mexico since comparable data became available in 2010.
According to a Mexican government migration report, 4,550 American residents were granted permits to stay in Mexico in the first three quarters of 2019. This year, Mexican authorities granted permits to 8,412 American residents through September, which is 85% more than the year before the pandemic. Americans are moving to Mexico at unprecedented rates, with 2022 set to be the year with the highest number of US residents moving to Mexico. The data provided by the Mexican authorities shows the number of Americans who sought permits the regular way, but they believe that the actual number of Americans who moved to Mexico or are staying there for an extended period of time is much higher.
Most of the Americans who move to Mexico are remote workers, so being out of the country doesn’t have a negative impact on their professional lives. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Alyssa Ramos, a Florida native, said that she decided to move to LA to pursue her career dream, but eventually moved to Mexico because she simply “couldn’t afford a home in the U.S.” According to Ramos, she managed to save more than $100,000 in the last six years, since she first moved from America.
However, local residents started to feel the negative impact of the influx of US expats as the growing number of Americans heavily affected the real estate market and the tourism industry. Unlike Mexicans in the US, Americans can work in the Latin American nation for as much as six consecutive months under their tourist visas provided they are paid abroad. And while technically it isn’t allowed, many choose to go back to the US briefly and reenter Mexico to renew their six-month period in the country and keep working.
Most affected are the local residents in the historic neighborhoods of Mexico City as those areas are the most attractive for Americans who move there. The cost of living has significantly increased there in recent years, and real estate prices and rents are also soaring.
Americans who move to Mexico will most certainly see some financial benefits in the long run, and this trend is expected to continue in the near future as living in America is becoming more expensive while many people now have the ability to work from home. The combination of these factors is more than enough for many to make their final decision and move to Mexico.