California-Baja California Border Crossing and Trade Data

Flows of people, vehicles, and trade moving through the California-Baja California megaregion

Overview

The California–Baja California binational megaregion benefits from a rich economic, social, and cultural exchange occurring daily through flows of people and goods between the United States and Mexico. The influence of crossborder travel and bilateral trade sets the megaregion apart and enables a distinct economic competitiveness, dynamic cultural identity, and close binational collaboration it's become known for. Tracking border crossing trends through data is critical to understanding how this exchange influences our economy, transportation systems, border communities, and informing the region's approach for advancing mobility and quality of life in the border region.
This report provides an interactive datatool for visualizing volumes of people, vehicles, and international trade crossing through the seven existing land Ports of Entry (POEs) between the states of California in the U.S. and Baja California in Mexico.
Map of California-Baja California Ports of Entry and major highways and railways. Ports include existing and future land ports, international airports, and marine ports.
Map of California-Baja California POEs
Historically, crossings of people, vehicles, and trade through the binational megaregion's POEs have reflected the close integration of populations, economies, and livelihoods on either side of the border and have fluctuated in response to various factors, such as population growth in the border region, economic activity, changes in U.S. Homeland Security and Customs security policy, and general seasonality. Trends over the last two decades show total crossings of people through California–Baja California POEs reached a peak between the late 1990s and early 2000s, followed by a period of decline from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s. Since then total crossings of people gradually rebounded and began nearing the peak volumes recorded in the early 2000s. Bilateral trade and volumes of commercial trucks through these facilities have generally shown consistent growth despite a brief decline due to the 2008-2009 Great Recession.
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Today, these POEs together accommodate hundreds of thousands of people, tens of thousands of vehicles, and millions in bilateral trade every day - demonstrating the interdependence and deeply-linked economic, social, and cultural realities on both sides of the border. The dynamic playing out each day at our border is evidence of a truly crossborder population made up of U.S. citizens, residents, and essential workers, and a trade relationship that continues to be a key strength for both the U.S. and Mexico.

Explore the Data

Data comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which reports information based on data collected from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as the U.S. Census Bureau. Data is presented in four main categories:
  • Northbound crossings of individuals (or people) including pedestrians and vehicle occupants
  • Northbound crossings of privately owned vehicles (POVs)
  • Northbound crossings of commercial vehicles (or trucks)
  • Dollar value of bilateral trade (imports and exports in USD) carried via truck
Visit the Open Data Portal for more info on this dataset.
Data notes:
  • Data for border crossing volumes are specific to northbound movements as U.S. CBP (and subsequently BTS) only report U.S.-inbound trips of people and vehicles. 
  • Bus passengers, which typically represent less than 1 percent of all individuals crossing northbound, are included within the pedestrian totals as they are required to disembark the bus before entering the U.S. and enter the pedestrian processing lanes to clear CBP inspections. 
  • Data on trade value includes bilateral (imports and exports) between the U.S. and Mexico. 
  • Trade value data is reported as nominal totals and is not adjusted for inflation. 
  • Trade value data is reported for goods carried via commercial truck as this mode carries 98 percent of all goods (measured in dollar value) moving through the land ports of entry between California and Baja California.
Visit the BTS Border Crossing/Entry Data FAQ and the TransBorder Freight Data FAQ for more info on the data in this report.

Plans, Research, and Projects Advancing Border Mobility

SANDAG and partner agencies invest in various initiatives to better understand the border dynamic, form strategies, and transform how we facilitate crossborder movement now and in the future. Learn more about plans, research, and projects in the border region.

Additional Data

Commodities
Use the BTS North American Freight by Port visualization dashboard to learn more about commodities moving through U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada land ports. This dashboard provides interactive data on the value and weight of international trade shipments between North American partners and can be filtered by month, commodity type, U.S. state, port of entry, mode of shipment, trade type (U.S. export or import), and also provides temporal comparison based on your selections.


U.S. International Trade
Use the U.S. Census Bureau‘s International Trade Data webpage to explore more trade highlights, statistics, and comparisons beyond just North America. This webpage provides data on a number of different topics including top U.S. trade partners for exports and imports, as well as a ranked list of trade partners overall on monthly and year-to-date intervals.


Border Wait Times
(coming soon)