Poverty in Mexico: 4 out of 10 Mexican millennials live in poverty

Poverty in Mexico: at least 20 million young Mexicans have no money to buy a basic basket. Photo: Flicker
Poverty in Mexico: at least 20 million young Mexicans have no money to buy a basic basket. Photo: Flicker

At least 4 out of every 10 young people in Mexico live in poverty, said José Antonio Pérez Islas, coordinator of the Youth Research Seminar, during Wednesday's Congress of "Young people in movement, reality, actions and protections", led by the rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Enrique Graue.

According to experts, of the 39 million young people aged 12 to 29 in the country, 44.3 percent live in poverty and 60 percent have informal and precarious jobs. so "the demographic bonus they represented for the country, is becoming a difficult bill to collect," said Pérez Islas.

At the opening of the meeting, the Secretary of Institutional Development, Alberto Ken Oyama, agreed that this sector faces a world with contradictions and paradoxes, in which the most pronounced gaps of inequality and inequality coexist with the most advanced technological developments; where the highest rates of insecurity and violence coexist with the greatest advances in the sciences and humanities.

"Youth has a unique space in the universities for the gestation of their freedom, which is only obtained through the path of knowledge. This is a civilizing field par excellence, in which its citizenship education is framed in the ethics, commitment, and responsibility for the construction of a fair, democratic society and with the equity that we all want."

In this regard, he added, the UNAM serves more than 350 thousand young people so that, together with their knowledge, acquire and cultivate values that allow them to face their environment in a healthy way, that privilege dialogue and reason, the proactive and creative attitude, as well as plurality and diversity as unrenouncable conditions for their coexistence.

Income lower than the welfare line

In the Dr. Gustavo Baz Prada auditorium of the Old School of Medicine, Pérez Islas explained that in Mexico young people account for 31 percent of the total population, but 50.6 percent of them have a monthly income lower than the welfare line, that is, they are not allowed to buy a food basket or basic services; 41.2 percent do not have any work benefit; and 64 percent lack social security, according to the latest Coneval report.

This sector of the population, he continued, is a range of realities and demands specific policies for their attention in schools, families and labor markets.

"They are not the problem, it's the society. If this society is democratic, it will generate young democrats; if it is violent, they will be the product of violence. What we do with youth will be the country we will have in the future."

At the time, the director of the National School of Social Work (ENTS), Leticia Cano, explained that the congress - held jointly with different seminars of the UNAM - is a space for reflection, analysis, and debate of the problems it faces. this population. It is also the opportunity to build strategies and guidelines for new public policies, multidisciplinary intervention models that improve social cohesion, their coexistence and the guarantee of their human rights.

The meeting will address issues of gender, diversity, inclusion, human rights, inequalities, poverty, violence, and insecurity. And the main voice will be that of the young people.

With information from the UNAM.

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According to the coordinator of the Youth Research Seminar, he announced that Mexican youth represent 31% of the population of Mexico; 50.6% of them have a monthly income lower than what could be considered "good", which does not allow them to have access to the basic food basket, much less to basic medical services.

41.2% of them do not have any type of benefits of law; 64% lack social security, as indicated in the last report of the National Evaluation Council on Social Development Policy (Coneval).

This report represents the reality of the youth of Mexico; The coordinator said that the sector of the population made up of young people demands specific policies for their attention in schools, families and labor markets.

"They are not the problem, it's the society. If this society is democratic, it will generate young democrats; if it is violent, they will be the product of violence. What we do with youth will be the country we will have in the future."

The Secretary of Institutional Development, Alberto Ken Oyama, accepts that this population sector faces many contradictions and paradoxes, in which the most pronounced inequality and inequality gaps coexist, where the highest and most dangerous indexes of insecurity and violence, coexist with the greatest advances in the sciences and humanities.

They emphasize the role played by universities in the professional training of young people: The UNAM, serving more than 350 thousand of them, with the aim of acquiring and cultivating values that can enable them to face their environment in a healthy manner, to give preference to dialogue and reason, positive and creative attitude, plurality and diversity.

"Youth has a unique space in the universities for the gestation of their freedom, which is only obtained through the path of knowledge. This is a civilizing field par excellence, in which it is given its citizenship education framed in the ethics, the commitment and the responsibility for the construction of a just, democratic society and with the equity that we all long for ".

The director of the National School of Social Work (ENTS), Leticia Cano, said that it is about reflection, analysis and debate, the problems that young people face, as well as an opportunity to build strategies and guidelines for new public policies , models of intervention that improve their social cohesion, their coexistence and the guarantee of their human rights.

On the other hand, Nelia Tello, coordinator of the Interdisciplinary University Seminar on School Violence, said that, for this research space, young people play a central role, in addition, they understand violence as a matter of individual biography, but of a social system violent, for which, they work in the construction of contexts in which extreme violence is not manifested.

The representative councilor of the ENTS students, Karla Paola Pérez, defended that the living conditions of young people and their high vulnerability, are matters that concern all, in addition, they force to think new strategies and models of attention for this sector, so that its inclusion in a country with a damaged social fabric, which requires reconstruction processes.

The meeting aims to address issues of gender, diversity, inclusion, human rights, inequalities, poverty, violence, and insecurity, through the voice of young people, was inaugurated by the rector of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Enrique Graue.


Poverty in Mexico 15% higher than the average in Latin America

In Mexico, where more than half of the population does not own their home and does not have a bank account, "the low proportion of families and people with physical and financial assets shows that there is a very strong concentration of wealth," says the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in a comprehensive report on inequality in the region published on Tuesday.

To measure inequality, the Gini index is used, where the value 0 raises absolute equality, that is, a society in which a good is distributed identically to each member, while an index 1 establishes an absolutely unequal society, where a single individual monopolizes the totality of the good.

In terms of income distribution, for example, Mexico has a Gini index of 0.5, but if we consider all the assets of wealth-income, real estate capital, natural capital and financial assets-the index shoots up to 0.78 and shows a society with extreme concentrations of wealth.

According to ECLAC, 46% of the Mexican population does not own their home. Mexico has 7.9 billion dollars of financial capital, not including the debt, which if divided among each inhabitant, would be equivalent to 61 thousand dollars (one million 159 thousand pesos) per person. However, ECLAC recalls that, in 2016, just 20 thousand investment contracts in the brokerage house accounted for 76% of the total investment in shares and that, in addition, 56% of the population does not even have a bank account.

In Mexico, the poverty rate is 15% higher than the regional average, 44.6% of the population, compared to 29.6% in Latin America, which means that one out of every four poor people in the subcontinent lives in Mexico. There are 182 million poor people in the region, 54 million of whom are Mexicans.

Only 41% of women of working age have paid activities, six out of ten of them in "low productivity" sectors and without affiliation to the pension system. Between 2008 and 2015, the proportion of Mexican women who graduated from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CTIM) careers decreased, the rate went from 34.1% to 31.3%, leading to high-paying jobs.

On the other hand, Mexican women perform most of the unpaid work in households, which if measured in economic terms would represent 24.2% of GDP, that is, barely 10% less than the share of all wages circulating in the country. the country, and a proportion "greater than the individual participation of any economic activity in the country".

In addition, only 25% of households in the country are in a situation of "double inclusion", that is, they earn more than the minimum wage and have social protection, while 47% are in the opposite extreme of " double exclusion ", because it receives income below the minimum and are unprotected.

In fact, Mexico is one of the most backward countries in its agenda to meet the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: according to ECLAC, in 2035 it will not fulfill its commitments to reduce poverty rates by half and extreme poverty less than 3 percent.

To face the scourge of inequality in the most unequal region of the planet, "it is essential to move towards a more equitable distribution of income and wealth and towards the elimination of discrimination of any kind for access to social, economic positions or policies, "says the report.

"We see that the indigenous population, people of African descent, women and young people are falling behind us," said Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, the head of ECLAC, during the presentation of the report in Santiago, Chile.

ECLAC recalled that, in Latin America, inequality is "structural" to societies, where a "culture of privilege" and a development model that benefits the richest prevails and "generates an unsustainable degree of income polarization and the wealth that increases the power of the most privileged to establish and maintain rules of the game that favor them. "

In Latin America, the poorest 40% of the population barely concentrates 17% of income, while the richest 10% accounts for 30% of income, which is why the region remains the most unequal on the planet.

"High levels of inequality conspire against development and are a powerful barrier to the eradication of poverty, the expansion of citizenship, the exercise of rights and democratic governance," the document states.

"The eradication of poverty continues to be a central challenge for the countries of Latin America. Even though the region achieved important advances between the past decade and the middle of the present one, since 2015 there have been setbacks, particularly in extreme poverty, " the report says.

The report indicates that Mexico allocates only 9.9% of GDP in social spending, slightly more than 950 dollars per person and per year on average, while Chile or Uruguay invest more than 16% in it, more than 2 thousand 380 dollars per person.

"As of 2015, important labor indicators deteriorated: unemployment rates increased and the process of formalizing employment that had taken place in several countries in previous years was interrupted," the document states.