Proportion of literate adults: 94.4% (2016)
Major religions: Roman Catholic 84%, Protestants, Mormons,
Urban population: 78%
Life expectancy (female / male): 77.8 / 72.1 years (2018)
Gender Inequality Index: Rank 74 of 162 (2018)
Births per woman: 2.2 (2017)
Infant mortality: 13.4 per 1000 births (2017)
Ethnicity, language (s)
Mexico is a multiethnic state, the majority of the population (80%) of which is made up of mestizos, the descendants of Spaniards and indigenous peoples. Around 10-15% of the population can be assigned to one of the more than 60 indigenous ethnic groups. The number varies depending on the definition of ethnicity used. Many of these ethnic groups still speak their language. However, the realization that a good knowledge of Spanish increases the chances of development has led many families to abandon their mother tongue. Most of the indigenous peoples live in the center and south of Mexico. B. Náhuatl, Maya, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Tzeltal,Tzotzil, Mixe, Zoque or others speak. Efforts on the part of the government to preserve indigenous cultures and languages have been observed for some years, for example by promoting indigenous universities. In 2003 the Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas, a law on the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples, came into force. In this context, 68 indigenous languages (or language groups) were recognized as national languages. There are also different sign languages, such as the Lengua de Señas Mexicana (Mexican sign language), Chatino sign language and Yucatec Maya sign language.
A white ethnic minority, mostly of Spanish origin, makes up around 9% of the population. The proportion of descendants of African slaves who have only been included in the national census (INEGI) since 2015 and who live mainly, but not exclusively, in isolated communities on the Costa Chica in Oaxaca and Guerrero and on the coast of Veracruz, is even lower.
Around 200,000 people in Mexico have German roots. The diversity of cultures is expressed in the most diverse traditions, festivals, eating habits and religious customs.
Social situation and social classes
Child labor country
The OECD named Mexico one of the countries with the largest income disparities in the world. According to information from the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMLEV), the top 10% of income recipients earned 39% of total income in 2013, while the bottom 10% received around 1.4% of total income. The ethnicity correlates strongly with the income situation. For example, 75% of Mexicans living in extreme poverty belong to an indigenous group. This social and economic gap is also reflected in the health and education indicators.
Child labor city
While the employable population grew by 1.1 million annually between 1991 and 2004, the private sector was only able to create 462,000 new jobs (one third) in the formal sector in the same period. The remaining 70% of the working population either had to emigrate to the US or look for work in the informal sector. The informal sector now accounts for 60% of jobs.
The low productivity of agriculture and the backward infrastructure in rural areas make life there unattractive for young people. In 1975, 60% of the population lived in rural areas, today it is only 22%.
Internal migration from rural areas in the south is aimed at both modern Mexican cities, which have been adapted to western standards, as well as the large industrial centers on the border with the USA. The rapid growth of impoverished suburbs in large metropolitan areas is a result of this development.
The region around Mexico City recorded a growth of 700% in the last 50 years.
The networking of migrants of the same ethnic origin can serve to preserve traditions, languages and religious customs in the cities. However, cultural characteristics are often lost.
Fiesta de Toritos in Tlancualpicán, Puebla
Due to their political, economic and social marginalization and the resulting increasing impoverishment, internal migration, especially from the poorer southern states to the border regions with the USA, has grown strongly. Labor migration to the USA continues unabated and is important for the Mexican economy. It represents the largest flow of labor migration in the world. The opening of the previously strictly controlled borders is intended to take account of the important role of labor migrants as a pillar of the Mexican and US economies.
Pedestrian zone on a Sunday in Puebla
Health and welfare
Swine flu in the countryside
The Mexican Institute for Social Security (El Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, IMSS) and the Institute for Social Security and Social Services for State Employees (El Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales para los Trabajadores del Estado, ISSSTE) form the state pillars of social security in Mexico which previously predominantly covered public service employees. Today these services (health and pension insurance) are offered to the entire population, but so far without compulsory insurance. Private health insurances are of little relevance, as visits to the doctor in Mexico are usually cheap and in the country a visit to the local healer (curandero) is often preferred.
Generally speaking, Mexican doctors and clinics enjoy a good reputation. Students from all over Central and South America come to study medicine in Mexico, a country located in North America according to aceinland. Dental care can still be expanded.