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News Article

Poverty in Mexico Increases, Social Programs Mitigate Impact

By Andrea Villar | Fri, 08/06/2021 - 14:35

In 2020, 3.8 million more people lived in poverty than during 2018, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's government took office, according to information from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). The social programs promoted by the current administration, it added, mitigated the increase in poverty during the pandemic.

The poverty measurement results for the period 2018-2020 showed that the overall population in poverty increased from 51.9 million people to 55.7 million people, up by 7.3 percent. On the other hand, Mexicans in extreme poverty rose from 8.7 million people to 10.8 million people, an increase of 24.1 percent. Meanwhile, the number of people in moderate poverty rose by 1.7 percent, from 43.2 million to 44.9 million. People in ‘non-poor and non-vulnerable’ status decreased by 0.2 percent.

CONEVAL Executive Secretary José Nabor Cruz Marcelo said that the government's economic support was not enough to compensate for the drop in people's labor income. Meanwhile, Academic Researcher John Scott explained that economic aid was not focused on the most disadvantaged priority groups, both in rural and urban areas. "Many who were already poor most likely fell into extreme poverty," he said in a press conference. According to the report, Quintana Roo was the state with the largest increase in the percentage of the population living in poverty.

CONEVAL's poverty measurement takes six main deprivations as a reference: educational backwardness, access to health services, access to social security, housing quality and space, basic services in housing and access to nutritious and quality food. The deprivation related to access to health services covered 16.2 percent of the population in 2018, while in 2020 it was reported at 28.2 percent. 

As previously reported by MBN, in Mexico 31 percent of people with intellectual disabilities lost their jobs due to layoffs or business closures, putting them in a more vulnerable position against poverty, revealed a study by the Mexican Confederation of Organizations in Favor of People with Intellectual Disabilities (CONFE). “People with disabilities around the world are at a higher risk of living in poverty, because of lack of education, because they do not have a job or because they and their family members lost their jobs,” the study says. “People living in poverty are also at risk of acquiring a disability because they lack financial resources and medical support.”

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst