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Escaping crime? 44% of Mexicans say they'd be happier in U.S.

A large percentage of Mexicans (44%) say that they believe their lives would be better and they'd be happier if they migrated from Mexico into the United States. According to the same poll conducted in Mexico by the Pew Research Center and released on Tuesday, about one-third (34%) claim that given the chance they would move to the U.S. with half of them (17%) saying they would move to the U.S. illegally.

A large number of Mexico's population believe they'd be happier if they lived in the United States legally or illegally.
Getty Images/Eliot Ralston

Mexicans overwhelmingly believe that crime and violence continue is their country's biggest concern. Seventy-nine percent say crime is a very big problem in their country, only decreasing 2% from 2013 (81%).

"About seven-in-ten Mexicans also worry about corrupt political leaders (72%), drug cartel-related violence (72%), water pollution (70%) and air pollution (69%). Just over six-in-ten say corrupt police officers (63%) are a top problem," according to the pollsters.

The Pew Research Center officials said that its latest poll "is based on face-to-face interviews conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 randomly selected adults from across the country between April 21 and May 2, 2014."

On their own version of the United States' "right track/wrong track" poll, 69% of Mexicans surveyed said they're dissatisfied with current conditions in Mexico. Less than one-third (30%) claimed they are satisfied with the direction in which Mexico is going.

Within all of Mexico's states and provinces there is displeasure with the Mexican government, especially in the capital Mexico City where 78% are especially disgruntled. Residents of all of Mexico's urban areas (71%) are frustrated. People who identify with the President Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (45% satisfied) are happier than other partisans, although 52% of PRI supporters still express dissatisfaction with Mexico’s current course.

Despite all of the negativity expressed by respondents, the Pew poll reveals that more than half (53%) applaud President Peña Nieto’s performance in the fight against organized crime and drug traffickers especially since the capture of the notorious drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera (a/k/a El Chapo). Mexicans are also optimistic about the government’s overall gains in its campaign to fight drug traffickers, with 45% saying the president has made progress in his war on the drug cartels. This poll shows an eight point increase in progress since 2013.

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