September 23, 2009

Most Mexicans See Better Life in U.S. - One-In-Three Would Migrate

Chapter 8. Views of Personal Life

Mexicans are generally satisfied with their lives, and most are content with their family lives, jobs, and household incomes. However, few say they are very satisfied with their incomes or jobs. Moreover, their self assessment of their overall personal economic situation is not as high, and has declined since 2008.

Life Satisfaction

Nearly nine-in-ten Mexicans (87%) say they are satisfied with their life overall, while 14% say they are dissatisfied. Mexicans are about as satisfied with their lives as are publics in the two other Latin American countries surveyed; 87% of Brazilians and 85% of Argentines are satisfied. Similarly, nine-in-ten Americans are content with their lives.

On specific aspects of their lives, Mexicans express high levels of satisfaction. About nine-in-ten say they are satisfied with their family life (92%), nearly eight-in-ten (78%) of the employed say they are satisfied with their job, and 68% say they are satisfied with their household income.

Satisfaction with various aspects of life among Mexicans has improved since 2007, when it was already high. Satisfaction with family life is up eight percentage points, rising from 84% to 92%. Mexican satisfaction with family life is among the highest of the 25 publics surveyed – only the publics of India and Spain give their family lives higher ratings (94% each).

Job satisfaction among employed Mexicans also has increased, from 70% in 2007 to 78% in 2009. Similarly, satisfaction with household income is five percentage points higher in 2009 compared with 2007 – 68% versus 63%.

Personal Economic Situation

Mexicans are somewhat split about their personal economic situation – 54% say it is good and 44% say it is bad. In 2008, Mexicans were far more likely to rate their personal finances positively than negatively (60% vs. 39%).

Seven-in-ten Mexicans with at least some college education say their personal economic situation is very good or somewhat good. In contrast, 56% of those with at least some secondary school education, and 46% of those with a primary school education or less say the same.

Mexicans in the south and in Mexico City express the greatest levels of satisfaction with their personal economic situations. Nearly seven-in-ten in the south (69%) and 62% in Mexico City say they are in good financial shape, compared with 49% in the north and 44% in the central region.