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JAN 1, 2004

Study: Half of Mexico remittances go to low migration towns

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - A little more than half of the money Mexican migrants send home from the United States ends up in towns with low migration levels, according to a government study released Wednesday.

Mexico's Interior Department said 10 percent of the country's remittances are sent to 162 towns with very high migration levels. Those towns, which are mostly rural, have a combined population of 2.2 million people.

Nearly 19 percent of all remittances are sent to 330 towns with high migration, which have a collective 6.3 million people, and another 19 percent is directed at the 392 cities with medium migration levels.

The remaining amount is sent to towns with low to very low migration.

The study noted that while people migrate to the United States from across Mexico, the largest number of migrants come from the country's northern and western regions.

Remittances make up Mexico's second-largest source of foreign income, behind only oil. President Vicente Fox has tried to encourage migrants to invest their money in Mexican businesses and local social projects.

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