Browse the information below for demographic information on Mexico, including population,
religion, nationality and more. If you do not find the Mexico information you need on the
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Nationality: Noun and adjective—Mexican(s).
Population (2000 census): 97.5 million.
Annual growth rate (net) 2002: 0.9%.
Ethnic groups: Indian-Spanish (mestizo) 60%, Indian 30%, Caucasian 9%, other 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%.
Education: Years compulsory--12 (note: preschool education was made mandatory in Dec. 2001). Literacy--89.4%
Health (1996 est.): Infant mortality rate--31/1,000. Life expectancy—male 73 years; female 77 years.
Work force (2000, 39.81 million): Agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing--21.0%; services--32.2%; commerce--16.9%; manufacturing--18.7%; construction--5.6%; transportation and communication--4.5%; mining and quarrying--1.0%.
People of Mexico
Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About 70% of the people live in urban areas. Many Mexicans emigrate from rural areas that lack job opportunities—such as the underdeveloped southern states and the crowded central plateau—to the industrialized urban centers and the developing areas along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to some estimates, the population of the area around Mexico City is about 18 million, which would make it the largest concentration of population in the Western Hemisphere. Cities bordering on the United States—such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez—and cities in the interior—such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla—have undergone sharp rises in population in recent years.
Although educational levels in Mexico have improved substantially in recent decades, the country still faces daunting problems. Education is one of the Government of Mexico’s highest priorities. The education budget for 2000--$23 billion—represented a 6.8% increase over the previous year’s figure and 23% more funding in real terms for education in 2000 than in 1994. Educational funding now represents 27% of the budget. Education in Mexico also is being decentralized from federal to state authority in order to improve accountability.
Education is mandatory from ages 6 through 18. In addition, the Mexican Congress voted in December of 2001 to make one year of preschool mandatory by 2004. The increase in school enrollments during the past two decades has been dramatic. By 1999, 94% of the population between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in school. Primary, including preschool, enrollment totaled 17.2 million in 2000. Enrollment at the secondary public school level rose from 1.4 million in 1972 to 5.4 million in 2000. A rapid rise also occurred in higher education. Between 1959-2000 college enrollments rose from 62,000 to more than 2.0 million.