Wednesday, June 12, 2013

59% of Mexicans remain trapped in underclass

Government numbers are not encouraging

Guadalajara -
For the first time ever, Mexico's National Statistical and Geographical Institute (INEGI) has reported on social and economic divisions within this country of 118 million people.

The agency says that 59.1% of the population, who occupy 55.1% of the nation's households, are part of the lower class.

INEGI did not apply a rigid income test in its analysis. Instead, it defined membership in la clase baja as including anyone who would likely be cast into long term poverty if confronted by the loss of a principal breadwinner, a serious illness, hyperinflation or a significant national recession.

Nearly two-thirds of the population are in that situation, according to the autonomous agency's data, which was obtained from surveys administered in 2010. INEGI did not indicate why it delayed three years in reporting the results.

INEGI was established in 1983. It gathers, compiles and reports all sort of economic and social data on behalf of the Mexican government. The U.S. Census Bureau is the closest American equivalent.

INEGI said a mere 1.7% of Mexicans belong to the upper class. They occupy 2.5% of all households.

The middle class is Mexico's second largest socioeconomic group. It accounts for 39.2% of the population (44 million people), and 42.4% of households (12.3 million homes). As is common in most industrialized nations, three-fourths of the middle class live in major urban communities.

Mexico's middle class has grown about 4% since the year 2000. But the ranks of the poor have swelled in comparison, increasing by 11% just since 2010. Mexico's has 13 million citizens in extreme conditions.

Today's report was the second one in as many days by the agency. Yesterday, on World Child Labor Day, INEGI noted that Mexico has almost 30 million citizens between the ages of five and 17. Three million of them work outside of the home, but only about half receive pay. The young laborers typically are employed as itinerant vendors, or in small family enterprises. Their work is uncompensated, but they are indispensable to the unit's economic survival. Most of them don't attend school, or complete only a primary education. Gross economic disparity still a hard fact of Mexican life.

Oct. 12 - In a land where many are poor, Mexican millionaires are increasing by leaps and bounds
July 23 - Enrique Peña Nieto announces plans to get more workers on real payrolls
Jan. 3 - Mexican governors continue to raise their salaries, while millions remain in poverty

June 12 - As peso continues its slide, Peña Nieto puts a trillion of them on the table
May 28 - Mucho trabajo, poco dinero
May 26 - Mexican population is soaring, and most are young
Dec. 19 - Enrique's challenging homework
Nov. 16 - Gross economic disparity still a hard fact of Mexican life
Nov. 11 - Seven of 10 Mexican households report food shortages
Oct. 17 - "Ending poverty" key focus of incoming PRI government
July 23 - Enrique Peña Nieto's biggest challenges will be economy and environment, not drug cartels
April 23, 2012 - AMLO: Economic inequality is the primary cause of Mexico's insecurity

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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