Saturday, November 25, 2006

Mexicans in South Carolina

This article from the Charleston Post and Courier highlights a study of South Carolina's Mexican population. The study, undertaken by the University of South Carolina's Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies spent 2 years interviewing some 200 Mexican immigrants in the state.

Among the more surprising results from the study:

The immigrants were older than we expected and more educated. Mexican males had an average of nine years of education. Unlike Georgia, where most Mexicans have migrated from other parts of the country, the state's Mexican immigrants are coming to South Carolina directly from Mexico. This is particularly relevant because the state has the nation's fastest growing Latino population.

In other respects, the Mexican population parallels other growing Mexican populations in new and diverse places outside the U.S. borderlands. Most of the interviewees stated that they hoped to return to Mexico to live, and many have wives and children living in Mexico.

Like other studies of immigrants, this study also found that most Mexican immigrants in South Carolina want to learn English.

This study is an important contribution to the knowledge of Mexican enclaves in the eastern U.S. My forthcoming book, Beyond the Borderlands, examines a population of Mexican settlers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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