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Mexico - Factfile & Statistics

Poverty, politics, income & human rights in Mexico

Population 105 million
Capital Mexico City
People European origin, 9%, Indian origin 30%, Mixed origin (Mestizos) 60%. The Indian groups retain some of their traditional culture and beliefs. such as the Day of the Dead.
Poverty & standard of living The bottom 40% of the population share only 11% of the wealth and are considered to live below the Mexican poverty line. Many families live in total poverty and children are compelled to work on the streets in order to supplement the family income.
Language Mainly Spanish but over 60 Indian languages are still spoken, such as Mayan, and Nahuatl (Aztec)


A central plateau is surrounded by mountains with coastal plains. There are several active volcanoes including Popocatépetl near the project site of the Mexico Child Link Trust. The terrain ranges from desert in the north to rain forest in the south. Map of Mexico.
Map showing location of Mexico Child Link project

Politics Fledgling Democracy, The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), lost power for the first time in 70 years in July 2000
Foreign Debt 191 billion dollars (2001) This debt is unlikely to ever be repaid and is constantly re-negotiated.
Human Rights Amnesty International has highlighted tortures and disappearances within Mexico in recent years.
Income The Mexican standard of living is way below the US or Europe. The minimum wage is 46 pesos per day, about £2.20, or $4 US Dollars. There is little or no welfare state and no unemployment benefit. Mexico is one of the 4 worst countries in Latin America for income distribution. In 2007 Forbes magazine published an article indicating that Carlos Slim had a personal fortune of 53.1 billion dollars and was fast catching up on Bill Gates as the world's richest man. Many billionaires were created after the privatization of Mexican banks and telecoms in the 1990s
Employment Official statistics are unreliable as it is officially claimed that unemployment is only 2%-3%. A more realistic employment estimate would be 40% unemployed or underemployed.
Learning disability There are few official statistics, which gives an indication of the low priority of this issue. Learning disability is often grouped along with physical disability or mental health statistics. CONFE, a Mexican Non Governmental Organisation has estimated that there may be over 2 million children and adults in Mexico with some grade of learning disability.
Religion Nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%


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