The economic recession has resulted in about 6 million more Mexicans falling into poverty, according to estimates prepared by the Center for Economics and Business Research of Mexico’s prestigious Tecnológico de Monterrey University (ITESM). The study (March 2010) claims that 53 million Mexicans, almost half the nation’s population, face poverty this year.
The National Council for Evaluating Sustainable Development Policy (El Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social, Coneval) estimates that 47 million Mexicans lived below the poverty line in 2008. Since then, an increase in unemployment, rising prices and less disposable income have all contributed to worsen the situation. The ITESM figures suggest that almost 15 million Mexicans will be living in extreme poverty before the end of this year. The fight to eradicate poverty in Mexico has been put back by more than a decade.
Poverty statistics have been complicated by recent changes in the methodology used in government calculations. The current basic food basket for poverty line subsistence in urban areas is considered to cost 874 pesos a month, less than 30 pesos a day. Previously, the food basket was priced at about 1,000 pesos a month. This makes comparisons over time difficult, but means that real poverty rates are likely to be higher than recent official figures suggest.