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Reasons Americans are Moving to Mexico

By April 2, 2024No Comments
Americans Moving to Mexico from USA

The Six Biggest Reasons So Many Americans are Moving to Mexico

Americans Moving to Mexico

The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

Immigration from Latin America is always a hot topic in the United States and the subject of vigorous debate.

The funny thing is, nobody ever questions the basic assumption at the heart of the relationship: that migration between the US and Latin America is a one-way street, with migrants moving from south to north in search of a better, safer, and more prosperous life.

The reality, however, is that traffic between the US and Latin America isn’t a one-way street at all. It’s very much a two-way street, and the lane heading south is getting busier all the time. For example, close to 35 million Americans visited Mexico last year – an astonishingly high figure – and while many of these visitors have family in Mexico, many more have no familial ties at all. They travel to Mexico to soak up everything the country has to offer, from endless sunshine and world-class beaches to amazing food, a vibrant culture, and a rich national history stretching back millennia.

Americans Moving to Mexico

The US Expatriate Community in Mexico

And then there’s the American expatriate community, which rarely makes the news at all, at least in the United States, but is another indicator of just how intertwined Mexico and the US have become.

Mexico is currently home to at least 1.6 million Americans. In fact, more American expats live in Mexico than any other country in the world—a stat that surprises many. And more than 90 percent of American expats in Mexico report being extremely happy with their decision to relocate south of the border. (Spain, for the record, is right behind Mexico in terms of its popularity with American expatriates. Click here to find out more).

Why Are So Many Americans Moving to Mexico?

Americans Moving to Mexico

American expat looking down on Guanajuato, Gto., México

The answer to that question is both simple and complex. Some of the reasons are easy to understand at first glance, while others are a bit more subjective. Ultimately, most Americans who choose to make their home in Mexico do so for at least one of the following six reasons (but usually more than one):

1) Cost of Living in Mexico

This is a big one and the main driver of US immigration. Many Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay their bills. The cost of living in Mexico remains a fraction of what it is in the US, particularly when it comes to rent, groceries, utilities, and transportation. In some parts of Mexico, rents are as much as 75 percent less than they are in comparable parts of the US.

Biggest Reasons So Many Americans are Moving to Mexico

The highly-impressive Our Lady of Remedies church in Cholula, Mexico (near Puebla)

The highly impressive Our Lady of Remedies church in Cholula, Mexico (near Puebla)
A few unusually affordable areas of Mexico, where an American could live comfortably for under $1250 per month, include the following: Aguascalientes (in central Mexico), Saltillo (northern Mexico), Veracruz (on the Gulf of Mexico), Puebla (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountains in southern Mexico), Ensenada (in Baja California), and Queretaro (in central Mexico).

Biggest Reasons So Many Americans are Moving to Mexico 2

“Digital nomad” at work in Mexico City

American retirees and so-called “digital nomads” benefit enormously from the low cost of living in Mexico, for the obvious reason that they’re still able to earn wages on par with those of their colleagues in the US. Mexico’s digital nomad visa–a temporary residency visa–is ideal for remote workers interested in spending more than six months in the country.

2) Health Care in Mexico

Health care is notoriously expensive in the US, but Mexico’s public health care system is both affordable and high-quality. In the major cities, in particular, the clinics and hospitals are first-rate, and most physicians have done at least some of their training in the US.

medical treatment in Mexico

Mexican healthcare professionals treating a patient

Many US retirees register with the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), which offers very affordable insurance for basic health care needs. For approximately $800 annually, Americans residing in Mexico can access pharmaceuticals, X-rays, dental care, and, if necessary, hospital care.

3) Property Prices in Mexico

Home prices in the US have skyrocketed in recent years—particularly in major cities in New York and California that were once bastions of the middle class. The problem stems mainly from insufficient supply. There aren’t enough houses in the places where middle- and lower-class Americans need them. Why? Because homeowners in those same cities tend to reject building proposals, concerned about the impact on the value of their homes and their quality of life.

Moving to Mexico

Home in Mexico City featuring facade in the colonial style

Mexico offers an antidote. The average cost of buying a home in the United States in 2023 was roughly $418,000, while in Mexico it was just under $91,000. That represents big savings, and–combined with affordable health care–it’s impossible to resist, especially when it’s positioned alongside #4, below…

Beach on Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula, near Cancun

Beach on Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula, near Cancun

4) World-Class Beaches and Oodles of Sunshine

Mexico, of course, is paradise on earth for anyone who loves endless, sandy white beaches, 300-plus days of sunshine per year, and congenial temperatures for three out of four seasons (the height of summer being a notable exception). Cancun, in particular, is renowned for its awe-inspiring coastline, its turquoise-blue waters, and its hotel infrastructure, as well as impressive Mayan ruins that are only an hour or two away. Not everyone is a fan of the ocean, of course, but if you’re an American who can’t afford to live near the beaches of Hawaii, California, or Florida, Mexico has what you need in spades.

moving to Mexico from USA

Mexican woman relaxing on rooftop

5) Culture and Lifestyle

Mexico’s culture is entirely unique–a fusion of the Old World and the New, and that dynamism encompasses food, art, music, the energy of Mexico’s youthful population, and, again, Mexico’s rich and colorful history stretching back millennia. Many expatriates who relocate to Mexico specifically relate to what can only be labeled the mañana attitude.“Mañana” (which translates as “tomorrow”) is synonymous with a fluid, laid-back approach to punctuality and to life in general. For Americans tired of the rat race in the US, a little bit of mañana  in their lives is a godsend.

Elderly Mexican couple tying the knot

Elderly Mexican couple tying the knot

6) Social Connection

And then there are more amorphous and subjective reasons for relocating to Mexico. One important reason, for many Americans, is the fact that in Mexico social networks remain robust (that is, real-life social networks, not the electronic kind). Many in the United States, by contrast, feel increasingly alienated and disconnected from those around them. In Mexico, family ties, friendships, and community relationships are extremely important. Life tends to be more social and organized around group needs, public events, celebrations, and expressions of faith. Many Americans, especially older Americans, find themselves attracted to these elements, which may remind them of the US in an earlier era.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as an American Expat

Mexico has no shortage of spots that are perfect for American expats, in part because a lot of Americans have already chosen to make these areas home. Here’s a partial list, with each obviously having its own unique selling points:

  • Mexico City
  • Mérida
  • Lake Chapala
  • Monterrey
  • San Miguel de Allende
  • Guadalajara
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Tulum
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Cancun
  • Mazatlan
  • Guanajuato
  • Puebla
  • Queretaro
  • Los Cabos

Should I Be Worried About the Security Situation in Mexico?

The answer to this question is no. You don’t need to worry. But if the question is, “Do I need to be WARY?” the answer is yes. Vigilance is a must.

Mexico isn’t dangerous for American expats, and the Mexican people are enormously welcoming, but caution is always warranted. Avoid areas with a reputation for crime or violence. Do your research. Pay attention to warnings issued by the US State Department. It’s entirely possible to live safely in Mexico on an ongoing basis, but this requires staying alert and engaged.

Is There Anything Else Should I Know?

Learn Spanish! If you decide that living in Mexico is for you, don’t assume you’ll be able to get by with English. Make your life in Mexico easier. Dedicate yourself to mastering the country’s language.

International Van Lines: The Best Choice if You’re Moving to Mexico

International Van Lines

International Van Lines serves over 180 countries around the world, but there’s always something a bit special about helping aspiring expatriates relocate to Mexico. When it comes to serving Americans who are keen to enjoy everything Mexico has to offer, nobody stands ready to help like IVL. Contact us directly for an initial quote and feel free to tap us for tips about moving abroad.

IVL leaves nothing to chance. We’ll get all your belongings to their destination point in Mexico on time, on budget, and in exactly the condition they were in when our team of professional movers finished packing them.

IVL is the No. 1 US-based international moving company as ranked by major national and international publications like Forbes, USA Today, US News, and Consumer Affairs. It’s a ranking we worked hard to earn and one we intend to keep.

So if you’re dreaming of a new life in Mexico–on the coasts, in the mountains, in Mexico City, or anywhere else in the country–contact IVL today to discuss options. You’ll be glad you did.

Know More Here: Moving Overseas, How International Van Lines Crushes the Competition 

Where Does IVL Operate?

Everywhere on planet Earth, within reason. But because we’re so actively moving people within, and between, states like California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, nobody is better positioned to help you move to Mexico than IVL. It’s a move we’ve done thousands of times before–and one we do almost every day of the week. We serve every part of Mexico, without exception.

Why Choose IVL Over Other International Moving Companies?

Why IVL? Because we treat your possessions as if they were our own. And IVL has the knowledge, experience, personnel, and infrastructure that no other international mover, big or small, comes close to matching.

IVL typically uses a combination of air freight and ocean freight for most international moves. But Mexico is somewhat unique, being the only other country besides Canada to share a land border with the United States. As a result, most relocations to Mexico rely entirely on our fleet of high-end moving vans. These are routes we’ve taken thousands of times before. We know all the logistics inside and out; we know the customs clearance process in detail; and we know how to choose the quickest and safest routes to your final destination inside Mexico.

Ultimately, it’s IVL’s size, versatility, and expertise that make us far more flexible, and far more capable, than other international movers.

One of IVL’s largest moving vans

One of IVL’s largest moving vans

It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving to Mexico City, Veracruz, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, or any other part of Mexico—including more remote areas: no international moving company has been able to master the logistics of relocation to Mexico like International Van Lines, and no international mover knows Mexico better than IVL. In this area, IVL stands alone.

How Much Does Moving to Mexico Cost?

The cost of moving to Mexico obviously varies, depending on where you’re headed, the transportation method (or methods) employed, the size and weight of the load, various fees and charges (including fuel costs), and other factors.

We at IVL pride ourselves on our transparency when it comes to rough estimates and more specific quotes. And the final bill is never a shock.

Check out our international moving cost calculator to get a feel for what your move to Mexico might cost. This tool, and others, have proven themselves extremely accurate over time.

Click here for a free international moving quote or contact IVL directly at (877) 647-1336.

IVL Team

Members of the IVL team in Coral Springs, FL, with founder and CEO Josh Morales (fourth from left)

What Moving Services Does IVL Offer?

Whatever your destination in Mexico, remember: our services are comprehensive and door-to-door. Below we offer a brief overview of some of what IVL offers, in broad strokes. (For specific information, contact IVL directly, and also click here and here.)

international moving


IVL’s Suite of International Relocation Services:

  • Full packing and unpacking services. (IVL’s packing services are unmatched!).
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly.
  • Comprehensive ocean and/or air freight services, along with truck and van services.
  • Debris removal.
  • Sophisticated storage options (short-term and long-term as climate-controlled for especially sensitive items).
  • International vehicle transport using our roll-on-roll-off (“RoRo”) service, the easiest and most affordable way to transport vehicles internationally. We also offer container and consolidated shipping options.
  • Full customs clearance management. The customs clearance process in Mexico isn’t onerous, but it does require extensive experience and understanding of very specific requirements.
  • Liability protection including full value protection of customers’ personal possessions.
  • Development of a customized international moving plan for expensive, fragile, or uniquely personal items (such as instruments, artwork, antiques, documents, electronics, and medical devices).
  • Comprehensive international corporate relocation and military relocation services.
  • Live chat and customer service 24/7.
  • Easy shipment tracking throughout the entirety of the international move process.
  • Clear, up-front estimates and quotes. Try IVL’s online pricing calculator to get a sense of what your move to Mexico is likely to cost, and feel free to contact us directly for an initial quote).

Also, bear in mind that IVL sometimes partners with local movers when necessary. IVL also asks for a deposit—usually about one-quarter of the international moving quote—though this is obviously refundable if you decide to cancel your move abroad.

Is IVL Properly Licensed?

Yes. IVL is licensed by DOT, FMC, and AMSA. 

Does IVL Have a Good Customer Rating?

At Trustpilot, IVL’s average rating is 4.8 out of a possible 5 stars. Darn good if we say so ourselves (and we do!).

mexican flag

Mexican flag flying against a bright blue sky

Wondering if Mexico is right for you? Contact IVL today. For your free customized international moving quote click here!


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