Mexicans are among the top five immigrant groups in 43 states. In nine states, Mexicans make up more than 40 percent of the immigrant population, and up to nearly 60 percent in states such as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. This population is made up predominantly of adults between 18 and 64 years old and contributes to the country economically through work and consumption and socially through culture and community life. Through work, they also pay taxes programs that benefit all Americans, including Social Security and Medicare.
Despite these significant contributions, Mexican immigrants in the U.S. are poorly integrated and face high levels of social exclusion, with many not benefiting from existing health and social protection programs. Mexican immigrants' naturalization rates are far below those of other immigrant groups, and they are more likely to have low incomes, live in poverty, and many among their ranks are undocumented. These social characteristics contribute to their lack of health insurance and access to care, and have negative consequences for their health in terms of chronic disease and overall well-being.
This report examines the health services implications of the social integration of Mexican immigrants in the United States, with special emphasis on the impact of the health system for nonelderly adults where access is heavily shaped by private insurance that is largely obtained through employment.
This report is a result of binational collaboration between Secretariat of Government of Mexico, through National Population Council and Migration Policy Unit, and the University of California, through its Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses.