The discrepancy between the percentage of white Mexicans reported in United States and white Mexicans from Mexico can be explained if the differences in racial perceptions that exist in both countries are considered: The concept of race in Mexico is subtle not only including physical clues such as skin color but also cultural dispositions, morality, economic, and intellectual status.
It is not static or well defined but rather is defined and redefined by situation.
Hispanics and Latinos who are native-born and those who are immigrant identify as White in nearly identical percentages: 53.9 and 53.7, respectively, per figures from 2007. only, while Mexico is majoritarily mestizo, meaning that they have mixed European and Native American descent at an extent while 52.8% of Mexican Americans are White, or identify themselves as white in the Census (See the table).
However, genetic studies performed in the general Mexican American and Mexican populations have shown that Mexicans residing in Mexico consistently have a higher European admixture in average (with results ranging from 37%).
I'm not so sure that this is the case, at least not on a large scale.
Judith Ortiz Cofer noted that appellation varies according to geographical location, observing that in Puerto Rico she was considered white, but in the United States she was considered a "brown person." Even today, because Americans associate Hispanic origin with brown skin, Hollywood typically casts Hispanics with conventionally Caucasian features as non-Hispanic white — as in the case of Cameron Diaz. Hispanic media and the Latin American media are over represented by White Hispanic and Latino Americans and White Latin Americans, very often blond and blue-eyed, or green-eyed, particularly in telenovelas (soap operas). Hispanic telenovela Olvidarte Jamas, white, blond, and blue-eyed Venezuelan American actress Sonya Smith portrayed Luisa Dominguez who is a poor mestiza woman; the actress had to wear a black wig to hide her obvious Caucasian appearance.
Genetic research has found that the average non-European admixture is present in both White-Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites with different degrees according to different areas of the US.
Average European admixture among self-identified White Hispanic Americans is 73% (the average for Hispanic Americans regardless of race is 65.1%), contrasting to that of non-Hispanic European Americans, whose European ancestry totals 98.6% in average.
Growing up lower middle class and Latino myself, I didn't have many non-Latino friends until I went to college, where I met many of my Asian friends.
It was pretty clear upon meeting them that we did not share many experiences growing up.