North America

Mexico Human Geography

The distribution is affected by agricultural possibilities, but according to 800zipcodes, the high population of Anáhuac depends on the developed urbanism of the region, while the low density of the South is due to the delayed development of the land: a fact that is also found in numerous areas of the North and is origin of the phenomenon of seasonal migration of braceros, labor that reaches the United States where it is employed in seasonal agricultural work. Alongside these so-called “official” forms of migration, there is a strong movement of clandestine emigration towards the United States, which, with their industrial development and high standard of living, have a strong attraction, especially on young people in the most poor. The country is home to about 11 million Mexicans while the total number of citizens of Mexican origin exceeds 20 million.

In the second half of the 1990s, increased controls and the severity of US anti-immigration forces led to an increase in mortality among those who attempted to cross the border illegally. The migratory balance is negative (-3.84 ‰ according to 2008 estimates), despite the fact that Mexico has welcomed thousands of immigrants from Central and South America in recent years, especially from Guatemala, El Salvador and Colombia. According to the data of UNHCR between 1996 and 2002 the Guatemalan refugees in Mexico were over 150,000, in sharp decline in the following years, and a few thousand Salvadorans. In addition, 1100 indigenous Guatemalans settled in the southern rural regions became citizens in 2005. The Mexican population, which until 1940 was mostly considered rural (65% of the total lived in centers with less than 2500 residents), at the beginning in 2000 it is urbanized in a high percentage (76%). The rural population lives in the pueblos, in villages that have central functions within the agricultural territories scattered with nuclei of peones (rancherías or ranchos composed of no more than 50-100 families) and haciendas. The institution of the ejidos it has not substantially changed the pre-existing settlement structure, which is a spontaneous phenomenon, linked to the texture of the hierarchical centers.

The peasant lives mainly in poor huts of mixed clay, which only in the main centers are replaced by modern type houses. There are now few areas where the Indians live in their original conditions, that is, closed to modern commercial and cultural exchanges: it is here that the old houses of wood and straw are still found, or the temporary residences of the shepherds. The indigenous communities are divided into ca. 60 ethnic groups, settled in thousands of small localities, from the northern regions to the border with Guatemala, although most of the Indians are based in the south, in the states of Chiapas, Yucatán, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Guerrero, Michoacán. There Indigenous Ley (or Cocopa’s Law) of 2001 guarantees fundamental rights and recognizes the culture of the Indians, granting them administrative autonomy in the regions they inhabit. In 2003, the National Commission for the development of indigenous peoples (the former Istituto Nacional Indigenista) was established, wanted by the federal government in order to develop and implement projects for the enhancement and growth of local cultures, with a view to developing sustainable, as established by the second article of the Constitutional Charter, which defines Mexico as a multi-ethnic country. However, the quality of life of the Indians is still very low: according to international organizations, 90% of the indigenous population lives in situations of poverty. infant mortality rate is double the national average and there are difficulties in accessing health facilities and shortcomings in the education sector, especially with regard to bilingual education required by law. Respect for the areas inhabited by indigenous communities is not in fact guaranteed and in the past entire groups have been forced to relocate.

The most significant aspect regarding the trend of the demographic indicators of the Mexican population is the decrease in the annual growth rate (1.7% in 1993-98, which fell further to 1.4% in 2000-2005, against the of the 1970s, equal to 3%). This trend can be explained by the decline in the fertility rate (from 6 to 2.2 children per woman) and the improvement in health care, which have lowered the infant mortality rate. As a result of the greater availability of vaccines and the spread of the assistance network, the dangers deriving from diseases such as tuberculosis and polio have been virtually eliminated, although the data relating to the expansion of malaria, dengue and AIDS (although the percentage of adults who have contracted the virus has remained constant since the turn of the new millennium). Mexico is a young population if we consider that about a third of the residents are under the age of 15 and that malnutrition continues to be a serious problem, although it is more evident in remote rural areas, particularly in the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca. . The situation is further aggravated by the high incidence of child labor: according to UNICEF datain fact, it involves about 3.5 million children aged 12 to 17; not only that, but the percentage of violent deaths (homicide, suicide, car accidents) among the causes of the deaths of Mexican adolescents testifies to the inadequacy of policies for children.

Mexico Human Geography