Some 44% of Mexicans, 56 million, were considered poor at the end of 2020
Of the 126 million Mexican population, almost 44% were considered poor at the end of 2020, according to official data from the government. In effect, 3,8 million Mexicans fell below the official poverty line last year to reach 56 million compared with the end of 2018, when current president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office.
In Mexico poverty income is defined at US$ 111 per month for rural residents and US$ 170 for those living in urban areas. Likewise extreme poverty refers to those making insufficient to buy a monthly basic food basket estimated at US$ 63 in rural areas and US$ 88 for urban residents.
The country’s development evaluation agency, Coneval points out that the economic slump as a consequence of the pandemic forced deep budget cuts, business closures and layoffs, although the situation is rapidly changing as the US economy recovers strongly and is the locomotive of their southern neighbor.
Mexico’s economy contracted 8.5% last year as Lopez Obrador dismissed calls to take on new debt and stuck to his pre-pandemic policy of austere spending.
The COVID-19 health emergency has deepened the challenges that face social development policy in every aspect, particularly for incomes, health, education and the diet of the Mexican people, Coneval said in a statement, adding that extreme poverty over the same period grew from 7% to 8.5% of the population, or nearly 11 million.
Coneval also showed that Mexicans lacking access to health services grew 12 percentage points from 2018 to around 35 million people, marking the biggest jump among social deficiency indicators evaluated by the agency