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Mexico: Facts & Stats

DEMOGRAPHICS | Economy | Transportation | Culture

Demographics

Population:

109.9 million inhabitants (January 2009) Density: 55 inhabitants per sq. km
Mexico has 60 urban areas with over 100,000 inhabitants.  

The five largest are: 
  1. Mexico City 19,2 million
  2. Guadalajara 4 million 
  3. Monterrey 3,6 million 
  4. Puebla 2,1 million 
  5. Toluca 1,6 million

Welfare:

Mexico's social security agencies are financed through contributions from members, employers, and the government. In the mid-1990s, contributions averaged around 25 percent of members' salaries.

Approximately 1.5 million Mexicans received monthly pensions in the mid-1990s, a higher figure than in previous decades, reflecting gains in average life expectancy.

Mexico's social security program provides health care to formal-sector workers and their families, some 50 percent of the national population in 1995. This figure represented a drop from the 56 percent coverage rate in 1992.

The Mexican Institute of Social Security covers approximately 80 percent of these beneficiaries (all employed in the private sector). The Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers covers government workers and accounts for 17 percent of the beneficiaries.

The Secretariat of National Defense , the Secretariat of the Navy, and Mexican Petroleum have their own health programs, which cover military and naval personnel, and petroleum workers, respectively.

Education:

In 2004, the literacy rate was at 97% for youth under the age of 14 and 91% for people over 15, placing Mexico at the 24th place in the world rank accordingly to UNESCO. Primary and secondary education (9 years) is free and mandatory. Even though different bilingual education programs have existed since the 1960s for the indigenous communities, after a constitutional reform in the late 1990s, these programs have had a new thrust, and free text books are produced in more than a dozen indigenous languages.

The largest and most prestigious public university in Mexico, today numbering over 269,000 students, is the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) founded in 1910. Three Nobel laureates and most of Mexico's modern-day presidents are among its former students.

Religion:

Mexico has no official religion, and the Constitution of 1917 and the anti-clerical laws imposed limitations on the church and sometimes codified state intrusion into church matters. The government does not provide any financial contributions to the church, and the church does not participate in public education.

The last census reported, by self-ascription, that 95% of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics are 89% of the total population, 47% percent of whom attend church services weekly. In absolute terms, Mexico has the world's second largest number of Catholics after Brazil.

About 6% of the population (more than 4.4 million people) is Protestant, of whom Pentecostals and Charismatics (called Neo-Pentecostals in the census), are the largest group (1.37 million people). There are also a sizeable number of Seventh-day Adventists (0.6 million people). The 2000 national census counted more than one million Jehovah's Witnesses.

Islam in Mexico is practiced by a small Muslim population in the city of Torreon, Coahuila, and there are an estimated 300 Muslims in the San Cristobal de las Casas area in Chiapas.

The presence of Jews in Mexico dates back to 1521, when Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. According to the last national census by the INEGI, there are now more than 45,000 Mexican Jews. Almost three million people in the 2000 National Census reported having no religion.

Mexico’s Buddhist population currently makes up a tiny minority, some 108,000 according to latest accounts. Some of its members are of Asian descent, others people of various other walks of life that have turned toward Buddhism in the recent past.




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