Courtesy: WikipediaAccording to the latest official estimate, which reported a population of 111 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Mexican annual population growth has drastically decreased from a peak of 3.5% in 1965 to 0.99% in 2005. Life expectancy in 2006 was estimated to be at 75.4 years (72.6 male and 78.3 female). The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo León (75.6 years). The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California.
The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years). The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7 per 1000 people; by 2001, the rate had dropped to 4.9 men per 1000 men and 3.8 women per 1000 women. The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women).
Mexican population is increasingly urban, with close to 75% living in cities. The five largest urban areas in Mexico (Greater Mexico City, Greater Guadalajara, Greater Monterrey, Greater Puebla and Greater Toluca) are home to 30% of the country's population. Migration patterns within the country show positive migration to north-western and south-eastern states, and a negative rate of migration for the Federal District. While the annual population growth is still positive, the national net migration rate is negative (−4.7/1000), attributable to the emigration phenomenon of people from rural communities to the United States.
Metropolitan areasMetropolitan areas in Mexico have been traditionally defined as the group of municipalities that heavily interact with each other, usually around a core city. In 2004, a joint effort between CONAPO, INEGI and the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL) agreed to define metropolitan areas as either:
- the group of two or more municipalities in which a city with a population of at least 50,000 is located whose urban area extends over the limit of the municipality that originally contained the core city incorporating either physically or under its area of direct influence other adjacent predominantly urban municipalities all of which have a high degree of social and economic integration or are relevant for urban politics and administration; or
- a single municipality in which a city of a population of at least one million is located and fully contained, (that is, it does not transcend the limits of a single municipality); or
- a city with a population of at least 250,000 which forms a conurbation with other cities in the United States.
Few metropolitan areas extend beyond the limits of one state, namely: Greater Mexico City (Federal District, Mexico State and Hidalgo), Puebla-Tlaxcala (Puebla and Tlaxcala, but excludes the city of Tlaxcala), Comarca Lagunera (Coahuila and Durango), and Tampico (Tamaulipas and Veracruz).
|Metropolitan areas of Mexico |
(2009 National Population Council Estimations)
|Rank||Metropolitan Area||Federative Entity||Pop.||Rank||Core City||Pop.||Region|| |
|1||Mexico City||DF, Mexico, Hidalgo||21,163,226||1||Mexico City||8,841,916||Center|
|5||Tijuana||Baja California||1,784,034||3||Tijuana||1,590,420||North West|
|9||Comarca Lagunera||Coahuila, Durango||1,118,612||28||Torreón||609,509||North|
|10||San Luis Potosí||San Luis Potosí||1,036,555||19||San Luis Potosí||775,759||Center-North|
|13||Mexicali||Baja California||926,042||11||Mexicali||926,042||North West|
Immigration which represents 1% of the Mexican population and 25% of all U.S. citizens abroad. Other significant communities of foreigners are those of Central and South America, most notably from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Belize. Though estimations vary, the Argentine community is considered to be the second largest foreign community in the country (estimated somewhere between 30,000 and 150,000). Mexico also received a large number of Lebanese. The Mexican-Lebanese community now numbers around 400,000.
Throughout the 20th century, Mexico followed a policy of granting asylum to fellow Latin Americans and Europeans (mostly Spaniards in the 1940s) fleeing political persecution in their home countries. In October 2008, Mexico tightened its immigration rules and agreed to deport Cubans using the country as an entry point to the US. Because Mexico is much richer than the countries to its immediate southeast, it has a chronic problem with illegal immigration from those countries, especially Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Large numbers of Central American migrants who have crossed Guatemala's western border into Mexico are deported every year.
Discrepancies between the figures for official legal aliens and those of all foreign-born residents regardless of their immigration status are quite large. The official figure for foreign-born legal residents in Mexico is 493,000 (since 2004), with a majority (86.9%) of these born in the United States (except Chiapas, where the majority of immigrants are from Central America). The five states with the most immigrants are Baja California (12.1% of total immigrants), Mexico City (the Federal District; 11.4%), Jalisco (9.9%), Chihuahua (9%) and Tamaulipas (7.3%). More than 54.6% of the immigrant population are fifteen years old or younger, while 9% are fifty or older.
Illegal immigration has been a problem for Mexico, especially since the 1970s. In 2006 Mexico detained more than 182,000 people who entered the country illegally, mainly from nearby Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, all being Central-American countries neighboring Mexico to the south. Smaller numbers of illegal immigrants come from Ecuador, Cuba, China, South Africa, and Pakistan. .
Mexico represents the largest source of immigration to the United States. About 9% of the population born in Mexico is now living in the United States. 28.3 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican as of 2006.
Ethnic groupsSpanish empire, and it consists of many, separate regional and ethnic groups such as the various indigenous peoples and European immigrants. The majority of Mexicans are Mestizos which makes up the core of the Mexican cultural identity.
In 2004, the Mexican government founded the National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN) which launched the Mexican Genome Diversity Project. In May 2009, the Institute issued a report on a major genomic study of the Mexican population. Among the findings, it was reported that of the 80% of the population that is mestizo, the proportions of European and indigenous ancestry are approximately even. The proportions of admixture were found to vary geographically from north to south, as previous pre-genomic studies had surmised, with the European contribution predominating in the north and the indigenous component greater in the south. One of the significant conclusions of the study as reported was that even while it is composed of diverse ancestral genetic groups from around the world, the Mexican population is genetically distinctive among the world's populations.
Language Spanish, spoken by 97% of the population, is considered a national language by The General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which also grants all indigenous minority languages spoken in Mexico, regardless of the number of speakers, the same validity as Spanish in all territories in which they are spoken, and indigenous peoples are entitled to receive public services and documents in their native languages.
Mexican law has granted these indigenous minority languages the status of "national languages", along with Spanish. The law includes all Amerindian languages regardless of origin; that is, it includes the Amerindian languages of ethnic groups non-native to the territory. As such the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the language of the Kickapoo, which immigrated from the United States, and recognizes the languages of the Guatemalan Amerindian refugees. The Mexican government has promoted and established intercultural bilingual primary and secondary education in some indigenous rural communities. Approximately 5.4% of the population speaks an indigenous language and 1.2% do not speak Spanish. The indigenous language groups with the most speakers are Nahuatl languages, Yukatek Maya, Mixtecan languages, Zapotec languages, Tzeltal, and Otomi.
Mexico has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world with more than twice as many as the second largest Spanish-speaking country. (Spain, Argentina, and Colombia all have about 40 million speakers each.) Almost a third of all Spanish native speakers in the world live in Mexico. Nahuatl is spoken by 1.5 million people and Yucatec Maya by 800,000. Some of the national languages are in danger of extinction; Lacandon is spoken by fewer than one hundred people.
English is widely used in business at the border cities, as well as by the one million U.S. citizens that live in Mexico, mostly retirees in small towns in Baja California, Guanajuato and Chiapas. There are some 80,000 German-speaking Mennonites in Mexico.
ReligionMexico has no official religion, and 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 at least 82.8% of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics are 76.5% 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 6.3% of the population is Protestant, of whom Pentecostals (1.4%) are the largest group. There are also a sizeable number of Seventh-day Adventists (0.6 million people). The Jehovah's Witnesses are 1.1% of the country's population. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims over one million registered members as of 2009. About 25% of registered members attend a weekly sacrament service although this can fluctuate up and down. There are eleven Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico.
The presence of Jews in Mexico dates back to 1521, when Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. There are now more than 45,000 Mexican Jews. 3.1% of the population reported having no religion. Islam in Mexico is practiced by a small population in the city of Torreón, Coahuila, and there are an estimated 300 Muslims in the San Cristóbal de las Casas area in Chiapas. Mexico's Buddhist population currently makes up a tiny minority, some 108,000 according to latest accounts. Most of its members are of Asian descent, while people of various other walks of life have turned toward Buddhism in the recent past.
In 1992, Mexico lifted almost all restrictions on the Catholic Church and other religions, including granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country. Until recently, priests did not have the right to vote, and even now they cannot be elected to public office.