In Brazil, a commodity-fuelled boom helped lift some 30-40m people out of poverty over the past decade. This remarkable reduction has in turn helped create booming markets for consumer goods and drawn in global investors. But in Mexico, wage stagnation, under-employment and inflation have eroded the income level of some 31m Mexicans, according to Jose Luis de la Cruz, director of the Center for Research on the Economy and Business at the Mexico state campus of Monterrey Tech.
More than 20 million children and adolescents in Mexico are estimated to live in poverty, and five million of them in extreme poverty, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today reported in a joint study with the Mexican Government. “The economy has grown well over the past years but this does not always mean that the poor are better off,” said the UNICEF Representative in Mexico, Isabel Crowley. “The human development indexes in some parts of Mexico are close to those of some of the world’s least developed countries.”
According to the ‘Child and Adolescent Poverty and Social Rights in Mexico’ study, produced by UNICEF and the national social policy evaluation agency CONEVAL, children are overrepresented among the poor. According to 2010 figures, 46.2 per cent of Mexico’s residents lived in poverty – a figure that rises to 53.8 per cent among children.
La Jornada, 2/22/2013
Maria Martinez’s sunken eyes and wrinkled skin make her seem more than 50 years old. In Mixtec, she explains that she does not remember when she was born; meanwhile, the nurse revises her records clarifies the doubt: Maria is 35 years and the baby she carries in her arms is her seventh child.
Like her, many families live with 10 or 15 pesos a day (one quarter of the minimum wage)with which they can only afford pasta, beans and, if revenues improve, chicken or beef every 15 or 30 days. “A chicken costs 80 or 90 pesos, and I can’t afford it,” says Maria.
Even though 300 families receive some aid, malnutrition, remoteness, lack of education, and unemployment keep them in the geography of poverty.
En México se destruyen alrededor de 4.2 millones de toneladas de comida al año que podrían servir para alimentar a unos 33 millones de personas.
Paradójicamente, la Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre, puesta en marcha el mes pasado por el Gobierno federal, tiene como meta sacar del nivel de pobreza alimentaria extrema a 7.4 millones de mexicanos en 400 municipios
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto unveils his plans to eradicate extreme poverty on Monday, a blight affecting more than 10 percent of the population in Latin America’s second biggest economy.
Hoping to emulate the recent success of Brazil in lifting millions out of poverty, the 46-year-old Pena Nieto will kick off a “national crusade against hunger” in southern Mexico in Chiapas, one of the states hardest hit.
US News, 10/19/2012
Researchers looked at the mental health of children and teens living in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in 2007 and again in 2010. All of the children were Mexican or Mexican-American and lived in homes below the poverty level. None had a history of diagnosed mental illness.
Chicago Tribune, 8/20/21
Fans of the sexually explicit music have become Mexico’s persona non grata of the moment, blamed for a string of offenses ranging from theft to drug dealing…
Sociologists and human rights advocates say reggaetoneros are not violent criminals but rather the latest subculture to emerge from the ranks of Mexico’s disadvantaged youth, who struggle to find gainful employment in a country where nearly every second person lives in poverty but which is also home to Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man.
The Kansas City Star, 6/18/2012
Factories in Mexico pump out plasma TVs, BlackBerry smartphones, kitchen blenders, airplane components and automobiles. Yet millions of workers, like Martinez, can only dream of climbing from the lower class to buy the appliances, smartphones and cars they help manufacture.
Without deep political and social reforms, experts say, the thousands of maquiladora plants that cluster at the U.S. border and around cities in the interior will remain a fixture for decades to come, and Mexico won’t build a middle class that’s big enough to fuel faster economic growth.
Jovenes Informados: Agencia Ciudadana de Noticias, 4/25/12
According to the group, their graphs are based on publicly available information and are intended to inform the public on current issues in Mexico that will impact the upcoming presidential election. This issue contains graphs focused on three types of development in Mexico: Social, Economic, and Sustainable.
The graph on Social development, containing data on poverty in Mexico, can be viewed here.
The graph on Economic development, containing data on Mexican salaries, GDP, and the prices of basic consumer goods can be viewed here.
The graph on sustainable development, containing data on the quality of water, deforestation and biodiversity in Mexico can be viewed here.
Council on Foreign Relations, Shannon K. O’Neil, 4/20/12
A recent study highlighted in La Jornada, a Mexican newspaper, claims that some ninety million Mexicans are poor, roughly 80 percent of the total population. This contrasts drastically with calculations by the OECD (which put the poor closer to twenty-three million) or those by Mexican researchers Luis de la Calle and Luis Rubio (who estimate that 25 percent of Mexicans—approximately twenty-nine million—are poor).
So how should we define who is and isn’t poor? The World Bank includes everyone that earns more than two dollars a day; an expansive view that likely rings false for those scraping by just above this bare minimum. The OECD’s measurement is relative by country, based on the median household income. CONEVAL, a Mexican governmental organization that conducts the country’s official poverty measurements, takes a multi-dimensional approach, with income considered alongside access to healthcare, education, social security, housing, and food. By this comprehensive measure, some fifty-two million Mexicans are poor.
The study profiled in La Jornada takes these poor, and adds the next CONEVAL category—those vulnerable to becoming poor (nearly another forty million)—to get to the total number of ninety million. Vulnerable, according to CONEVAL, means lacking access to one or more social services or having an income close to the poverty line.