Who are Mexico's border-crossers?
The typical undocumented Mexican worker is not the poorest, least educated, Mexican.Skip to next paragraph
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Sex: Eight out of 10 are men.
Age: Half are 30 or younger; 80 percent are 40 or younger.
Marital status: 55 percent are married.
Education: Average of five years' schooling - slightly higher than the average for Mexico.
Origin: About two-thirds come from rural areas, mostly in central Mexico, about one-third from urban areas. Only 11 percent come from border regions of Mexico.
Destination: California, 47 percent; Texas, 27 percent; Illinois, 7 percent; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico combined, 6 percent; the rest go to other US states.
Employment in Mexico before coming: 80 percent had some kind of job - 60 percent in agriculture, about 8 percent in white-collar jobs. But they earned much less than they did in the US.
Jobs they held in the US: White-collar, 4.5 percent; blue-collar, 36 percent; service, 23.5 percent; farm, 36.1 percent.
Source: 1978-1979 study by the National Center of Labor Information and Statistics, an agency of the Mexican federal government.