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Migration and Father Absence: Shifting Family Structure in Mexico

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  • Jenna Nobles

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Abstract

Despite many changing demographic processes in Mexico—declining adult mortality, rising divorce, and rising nonmarital fertility—Mexican children’s family structure has been most affected by rising migration rates. Data from five national surveys spanning three decades demonstrate that since 1976, migration has shifted from the least common to the most common form of father household absence. Presently, more than 1 in 5 children experience a father’s migration by age 15; 1 in 11 experiences his departure to the United States. The proportions are significantly higher among those children born in rural communities and those born to less-educated mothers. The findings emphasize the importance of framing migration as a family process with implications for children’s living arrangements and attendant well-being, particularly in resource-constrained countries. The stability of children’s family life in these regions constitutes a substantial but poorly measured cost of worldwide increases in migration. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Jenna Nobles, 2013. "Migration and Father Absence: Shifting Family Structure in Mexico," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1303-1314, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:4:p:1303-1314
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0187-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Extended families and child well-being," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 52-65.
    2. Erin Hamilton & Robin Savinar, 2015. "Two Sources of Error in Data on Migration From Mexico to the United States in Mexican Household-Based Surveys," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1345-1355, August.
    3. Erin R. Hamilton & Jo Mhairi Hale, 2016. "Changes in the Transnational Family Structures of Mexican Farm Workers in the Era of Border Militarization," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1429-1451, October.

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