The income differences are huge in Mexico.
Every other resident in national statistics is counted
as poor and every tenth lives in extreme poverty. At the
same time, there is a wealthy middle class and a large
group of very wealthy people. Social legislation has
long served as a role model in Latin America but has now
The contrasts are often noticeable between the
industrialized north and the disadvantaged south,
between city and countryside, and between poor
indigenous peoples and a wealthy minority of Spanish
kittens. Among the wealthiest of the wealthy is
telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, who is
the richest person in Latin America and for a few years
even ranked as the richest in the world.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Mexico, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Poverty has declined since the 1990s when more than
two-thirds of the population was considered poor, but
many residents are just over the border. This became
clear during the financial crisis 2008-2009, when the
proportion of poor people in a couple of years increased
from 43 percent to 53 percent.
The escape from the countryside has created miserable
social conditions in the slums of big cities.
Homelessness, unemployment, growing crime and severe
environmental problems plague Mexico City. There are
tens of thousands of street children and many of them
become drug addicts early on. Child labor occurs.
Obesity is a major public health problem. Seven out
of ten Mexicans are overweight and one in three suffer
from obesity, a slightly higher proportion than in the
United States. The problem is greatest among poor people
who are often undernourished at the same time.
Consequential diseases are common, not least diabetes,
which according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
has become the most common cause of death in Mexico.
The war on drug cartels has led to a complete
explosion of violent crime. The violence takes place
primarily within and between the drug leagues, as well
as between them and the police and military, but also
civilians are affected (see also Democracy and Rights).
Mexican social legislation includes, among other
things, statutory minimum wage, old-age pension,
maternity allowance and insurance in the event of
disability and work injury, as well as some unemployment
benefits. In recent decades, however, welfare has not
kept pace with the increase in population in the
country. In addition, social insurance is mainly linked
to formal employment and thus covers less than half of
the population (see Labor market). However, a health
insurance, Seguro Popular, was introduced in 2004 for
residents who are otherwise without insurance cover. Ten
years later, the system included over 55 million
Mexicans. The investment is reported to have led not
only to better health but also to increased growth and
reduced expenditure for the state.
Gender equality should prevail according to law, but
the woman's position is weak, both politically and
economically and socially. Violence and rape are common
in the home as well. Two out of three women say they
have been subjected to violence. Mexico was the first
country in the world to admit sex-based murder of women,
femicide, as a particular crime, in 2007. The
law has not been very successful in preventing it: just
over nine women are murdered on average per day. The
perpetrator is often a man they have or have had a close
A ban on abortion is prevalent in most of Mexico,
except in certain difficult circumstances. This leads to
tens of thousands of illegal abortions. In Mexico City,
abortion was legalized until the twelfth week of
pregnancy in 2007, despite loud protests from the
Catholic Church and other conservative forces. The state
of Oaxaca followed 2019 with similar legislation.
Mexican society is hierarchically structured. Status
and the respect it brings is important for Mexicans.
This means that even lower middle class people buy
status gadgets they cannot really afford, to give the
appearance of having higher social status in the eyes of
others. People respect the authority afforded by
material wealth or old age. Personal networks are more
often the way to work than having the formal
qualifications. Loyalty and gene services, a so-called
patron-client relationship, form the social basis for
the organization of society. In recent years, however,
it has become more common for individuals to be more
valued based on their efforts, especially in the big
Family life and gender roles
The nuclear family is the dominant family formation,
although divorces occur. It is also common for women to
live alone with their children because their husbands
are in the United States to make money for the family.
But even though an average household consists of mother,
father and children, cousins, married relatives,
grandparents and siblings are counted in the concept of
family and are highly valued by Mexicans. In poor
households in cities, it is common for households to
consist of several members of this extended family,
parental, for a period of time. In rural areas,
relatives often live very close to each other. You rely
on the family when it comes to everything from getting
help to finding a job to paying for health care.
Mexicans freely choose who they want to marry, and
love is the basis for marriage. Usually, a couple is
engaged for several years before they get married. In
many families, the daughter must have the father's
permission to meet a certain boyfriend.
Most Mexican families are very traditional, as are
the gender roles. This means that the father is seen as
the family's obvious patriarch. The woman is often
worshiped in the role of mother, and she has the main
responsibility for the household and child rearing. When
the mother is seen as a guardian of morals, she often
continues the traditional gender roles by treating boys
and girls radically different from birth. The
prevailing machismo attributes to men qualities
such as strength and authority and these are highly
valued. However, these stereotypical gender roles are
being enlivened by a new generation, at least among
wealthier metropolitan residents.
Inheritance and discrimination
When it comes to inheritance law, there is no
difference between men and women, but all children are
entitled to an equal share of the deceased parent's
inheritance. In practice, however, male heirs are often
favored and in rural areas land is often inherited only
to the sons.
Child rearing differs in part between different
classes, and poorer families tend to be stricter. Aga is
For girls, an important turning point occurs when
they turn 15: they are then considered to go from being
girls to becoming "young virgins". It is celebrated with
both a Catholic Mass and a large celebration. There is
no equivalent for boys. For middle and upper-class
youth, leisure is similar to that of a European. For
those from poorer backgrounds, there is usually not much
free time to talk about, as they have to work to help
provide for the family.
In 1999, Mexico abolished what remained of the
legislation that discriminated against homosexuals and
the situation for LGBTQ people gradually improved.
Mexico City became the first country in 2009 to legalize
same-sex marriage, and some states have followed suit.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that bans on same-sex
marriage violate the constitution, which means that
remaining states are indirectly forced to admit
marriages between gays, even if they are not explicitly
required to legalize them. Homophobia in society is
strong and discrimination and violence against LGBTQ
people is common.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
11 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
98.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
91.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
5.9 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 462 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
48 percent (2018)