Remittances sent home by Mexicans working outside the country surpassed petroleum revenues in 2015 for the first time.
There was a 4.75% increase in money sent from abroad, most of which comes from the U.S., to total US $24.8 billion last year, up from $23.6 billion in 2014, said the Bank of México.
The bank said it was the first time remittances had totaled more than petroleum revenues since it began tracking them in 1995.
Oil revenues last year totaled $23.4 billion.
An important factor in the increase in remittances is the jobs created by economic recovery in the U.S.
Some 11 million Mexicans are believed to be living in the U.S. and many work in construction. Remittances, 97% of which are sent electronically, averaged $292 last year.
Prior to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, petroleum exports represented almost 80% of U.S. dollar income. Banorte economist Alejandro Cervantes told The Associated Press that today that figure is less than 20%, demonstrating how much the Mexican economy has diversified.
The top source of foreign income is manufacturing exports.