Sunday, November 13, 2011
Mexico's southeastern states - including Yucatán - suffer endemic child poverty
The 34 member nation organization, based in Paris, was founded in 1961 with a focus on economic and trade issues. Mexico, Canada and the United States belong to OECD, although most Latin American nations do not. In a recent report the group says that Mexico ranks first place in child poverty among OECD members. Four of every 10 Mexican children live in dire poverty -- on less than one U.S. dollar a day.
The report indicates that how a Mexican child fares during his or her formative years depends greatly on the geographical accident of birth. Those raised in central or northern Mexico have far more inherent opportunities than those born in the southeast. Children of migrant and indigenous populations suffer the most. Many of the latter become parents at a young age, remain illiterate throughout life and earn little or nothing for their work.
OECD says that in the most hard hit areas of southeastern Mexico in 2010, seven of every 100 girls 15 to 17 years old already was a mother, and more than 50,000 children between five and 11 did not attend school. Half of working children in the region between ages 12 and 17 received no pay whatever for their labor.
In descending order, the states which presented the greatest social risks for young Mexicans last year, according to OECD, were Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Michoacán, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Yucatán and Campeche.
Footnote: Although some of these stats sound dire, Mexico is way ahead of - or more accurately said, not nearly as bad as - many Latin American nations. If we compared Mexico's impoverished child population to that of Guatemala, or Honduras or El Salvador, Mexico would end up in a far more flattering position. The OECD's membership consists primarily of advanced, prosperous economies in Europe and Asia. Apart from Mexico, Chile is the only Latin nation which belongs to the organization. That's why it captured the unpleasant distinction of being the OECD leader in child poverty.
Report on Mexican poverty, Dec. 2, 2011
at 12:01 PM