Poverty declined between 2010 and 2015 in just over two-thirds of the municipalities in Mexico, says a report by the social development agency Coneval.
“Measurement of Municipal Poverty 2015” says that 1,688 of 2,446 municipalities reduced poverty levels in the five-year period by at least five percentage points. On the other hand, poverty levels increased by five percentage points or more in 584 municipalities.
Coneval said 989 of the municipalities that registered decreases presented signs of extreme poverty.
Santos Reyes Yucuná in the southern state of Oaxaca was the most impoverished municipality in the country in 2015, the report established, because 97.4% of its residents were living in extreme poverty.
The next poorest were Cochoapa el Grande in Guerrero where 87.7% of the population lived in extreme poverty followed by Santiago Nuyoó in Oaxaca with 83.1%.
The 15 poorest municipalities in Mexico were located in just three southern states with 10 in Oaxaca, three in Chiapas and two in Guerrero, the report said.
A person is considered to be in a situation of extreme poverty if they present three or more social deficiencies out of a total of six and their income is below the established minimum threshold for well-being.
“The population in this situation have an income so low that even if they spent all of it on buying food, they wouldn’t be able to access the products that make up the canasta básica [a basic selection of foodstuffs],” the report said.
At the other extreme, just 2.7% of inhabitants of Huépac, Sonora, were in the same situation in 2015. and Abasolo, Coahuila, followed with only 3.6 % of its residents living in extreme poverty.
San Pedro Garza García — part of the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo León — was also one of the least disadvantaged municipalities, with 4.4% of people in extreme poverty
Two central boroughs of Mexico City, Benito Juárez and Miguel Hidalgo, also had low percentages, 4.9% and 7% respectively.
The report also found that out of 874 municipalities considered indigenous, two out of every 10 registered extreme poverty percentages of 50% or more.
In raw numbers, Ecatepec in the state of México recorded the highest number of people living in poverty with almost 800,000, followed by Puebla with just under 700,000.
The Mexico City borough of Iztapalapa, León (Guanjauato), Tijuana (Baja California) and Chimalhuacán (state of México) were next.
Tackling inequalities faced by regional and rural areas, achieving high levels of sustained economic growth and creating conditions favorable to the full exercising of social rights were all cited by Coneval as challenges that need to be addressed to further reduce poverty levels.
Source: El Universal (sp)