Social Mobility in Mexico: almost 50% of Mexicans born in poverty will remain in it

Social mobility in Mexico: 86 of every 100 Mexicans born in the poorest households in the southern region, fail to overcome the condition of poverty.

Social Mobility in Mexico: almost 50% of Mexicans born in poverty will remain in it
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

The Mexican Social Mobility Survey of the Espinosa Yglesias Study Center revealed that social mobility in Mexico is still low, since 49% of the population born in the poorest households stay there all their lives.

In addition to that although the other half manages to ascend, 25 of them fail to overcome the poverty line of Mexico, which according to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy is one thousand 570 pesos, in urban areas.

"This implies that 74 of every 100 Mexicans born at the base of the social ladder can not overcome the condition of poverty, while 57 out of 100 of those born in homes at the top of the social ladder remain there the rest of his life ", states the document that is made every six years.

The executive summary, also specifies that social mobility, as well as opportunities, are significantly different between regions of the country.

In the south, the options of ascending from the bottom of the social ladder are much lower than in the northern regions: 67 out of 100 that are born at the base of the social ladder in the south stay there, compared to less than half of this figure in the northern regions: around 25 out of every 100 in the northern and northern-western regions.

In the central region, which is the next with the lowest possibilities of promotion for those born in the lowest part of the distribution, not being able to leave poverty (what is called entrapment) is significantly lower than in the southern region. : 38 out of 100 stays in the same position in which they were born.

In conclusion, 86 of every 100 Mexicans born in the poorest households in the southern region, fail to overcome the condition of poverty.

Another point that is pointed out is the color of the skin and the gender since in what refers to the differences by sex, the results show that the advantages or achievements that reach the women are more limited than those of the men with conditions of origin, which becomes more acute when they start from less favorable positions.

"75 of every 100 women who are born at the base of the social ladder, cannot overcome this condition, compared with 71 out of every 100 men."

While it is observed that the darker skin tone Mexicans experience less upward mobility and greater downward mobility for those who report a lighter skin tone.

In this sense, when analyzing the importance of the circumstances of origin in the formation of the inequality of opportunities, it is observed that in the northern region, which is one of the lowest inequality of opportunities, the skin tone weighs more than double than in any other region.


The action of the State must concentrate on expanding and equalizing the opportunities of the people to achieve greater social mobility. To achieve a situation of justice, social cohesion, and inclusive economic growth, it is necessary to design a public policy that liberates the potential of the entire population.

A reform to the Public Treasury that guarantees its financing and sustainability from generation to generation, as well as specific policies on education, labor, health, and social sector.

Universalization and improvement of the quality of learning and the relevance of education at all levels. Expand the coverage of initial, intermediate, and higher education and improve skills.

Protection against occupational or health risks for almost half of the employed population, a strategy to recover the purchasing power of the minimum wage, increase the flexibility of labor markets, and, simultaneously, social security and employment.

The proposal for the restructuring of the National Health System focuses on three key elements: the universality of the right to health with effective access; Integrality, inclusion, equity, and sustainability; and emphasis on attention in the first years of life.

Social protection plays a central role in preventing today's socioeconomic inequalities from becoming inequalities of origin for the next generations. The study proposes a universal social security system.