Mexican Family Life Survey
The MxFLS was launched in 2002 with the purpose of providing data to study the well-being of the Mexican population, and its transitions over time. The MxFLS is a longitudinal, multi-thematic survey representative of the Mexican population at the national, urban, rural, and regional level. The survey has been developed and managed by researchers from the Iberoamerican University (UIA, per its name in Spanish) and the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE, per its name in Spanish). The support from institutions like the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI, per its name in Spanish), the National Institute of Public Health (INSP, per its name in Spanish) and the Universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Duke in the United States of America has been crucial for the implementation of the survey.
The design of the first round, the baseline survey (MxFLS-1), was undertaken by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI, per its name in Spanish). The baseline sample is probabilistic, stratified, multi-staged, and independent at every phase of the study. The population is comprised by Mexican households in 2002. Primary sampling units were selected under criterions of national, urban-rural and regional representation on pre-established demographic and economic variables. Regional definitions are in accordance with the National Development Plan 2000-2006.
Currently, the MxFLS contains information for a 10-year period, collected in three rounds: 2002 (MxFLS-1), 2005-2006 (MxFLS-2) and 2009-2012 (MxFLS-3). Future rounds have been programmed in order to have a database that allows studying efficiently the well-being of the Mexican population at different moments in time. The first round or baseline survey (MXFLS-1), implemented in 2002, collected information on a sample of 35,000 individuals from 8,400 households in 150 communities throughout the country. The second (MxFLS-2) and third round (MxFLS-3) were conducted during 2005-2006 and 2009-2012, respectively. Given the longitudinal design of the survey, the MxFLS-2 and MxFLS-3 aimed to relocate and reinterview the sample of the MxFLS-1—including those individuals who migrated within Mexico or emigrated to the United States of America—and to interview the individuals or households that grew out from previous samples. The MxFLS-2 and MxFLS-3 relocated and reinterviewed almost 90 percent of the original sampled households.
The MxFLS collects information on a wide range of socioeconomic and demographic indicators at the individual, household and community level. For example, at the individual level, the MxFLS collects information on the level of education, participation in social programs, labor and non-labor income, decision making processes, migration, participation in the labor market, time allocation, expectations, tastes and habits, health status perceptions, health measures (weight, height, blood pressure and hemoglobin), use of health services, insurance, credits and loans, money and in-kind transfers, and retrospective information on education, migration, marriage, fertility and victimization. Additionally, the MxFLS applies Raven’s progressive matrices to individuals aged 6 to 12 and 13 to 64 in order to provide information on their cognitive ability. At the household level, the MxFLS provides information on food expenditure, land use, participation in businesses and non-agricultural activities, economic shocks, and violence and victimization, amongst others. Finally, the MxFLS provides qualitative and quantitative information of the communities where the households live, including the characteristics of the population, commercial infrastructure and education, health and transportation services.
Contributions of the MxFLS
1. The MxFLS is the first longitudinal survey in Mexico that follows individuals across rounds, including those who migrate within Mexico or emigrate to the Unites States of America. This allows studying the well-being of the Mexican population, and its transitions over time, as well as the factors that determine those transitions. Given that the MxFLS provides information for individuals who emigrated to the USA, it is possible to study, for the first time, migration dynamics between Mexico and the USA.
2. The MxFLS is the first survey in Mexico with longitudinal design and statistical representation of the population at the national level.
3. The MxFLS collects information on a wide range of socioeconomic and demographic indicators at the individual, household, and community level. This allows studying the well-being of the Mexican population from different perspectives and the association among different factors affecting well-being.
4. The MxFLS provides retrospective information on education, migration, marriage, fertility and victimization for each one of the individuals that comprise the sample. This information allows analyzing the relationship between the well-being of the population at different moments in time, and events that occurred long time ago.
5. The MxFLS provides qualitative and quantitative information of the communities where the households live. The information on the communities along with the socioeconomic and demographic indicators at the individual and household level allows a comprehensive analysis of the factors that determine the well-being of the Mexican population.
6. The longitudinal and multi-thematic design of the MxFLS, along with the fact that the survey is representative of the Mexican population, contribute to the impact evaluation of social programs like Oportunidades (formerly called Progresa) and Seguro Popular , which are considered the cornerstone of Mexico’s social policy
The MxFLS’s data is public and can be downloaded without any charge after registering.
We kindly request that users of the MxFLS include the following references:
MxFLS-1: Rubalcava, Luis y Teruel, Graciela (2006). “Mexican Family Life Survey, First Wave”, Working Paper, www.ennvih-mxfls.org
MxFLS-2: Rubalcava, Luis y Teruel, Graciela (2008). “Mexican Family Life Survey, Second Wave”, Working Paper, www.ennvih-mxfls.org
MxFLS-3: Rubalcava, Luis y Teruel, Graciela (2013). “Mexican Family Life Survey, Third Wave”, Working Paper, www.ennvih-mxfls.org