Percentage of the population living in poverty Percentage of the population living in poverty. coneval

Poverty levels dipped between 2014, 2016

Social development agency says low inflation was a big factor

The number of Mexicans living in poverty declined between 2014 and 2016, says a report by the social development agency, Coneval.


Its latest biennial assessment of poverty levels reports a drop in the two most relevant indicators, the percentage of people living below the poverty line and the percentage living in conditions of extreme poverty.

The information was presented yesterday by Coneval in its 2010-2016 poverty evolution report (Evolución de la Pobreza 2010-2016, in Spanish).

The report says 9.5% of the population, or 11.4 million Mexicans, lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2014. By the end of last year, the percentage had dropped to 7.6%, or 9.4 million people.

The number of people living below the poverty line dropped by 2.6% during the same period, from 46.2%, or 55.3 million people, to 43.6%, or 53.4 million.

That decline was reported in 27 of the country’s 32 states. In the other five historically poor states — Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas and Campeche — the percentage of people living below the poverty line increased during the period.

The report was presented by Coneval executive secretary Gonzalo Hernández Licona, who suggested that the dip in poverty levels could be explained in great measure by low inflation, an indicator that could well “. . . eat up the progress seen in recent years” if it were to rise.

Source: El Universal (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • Güerito

    After the 2012-2014 poverty figures came out (showing an increase in poverty), PRI knew something had to be done to make sure the same thing didn’t happen in 2017, a year before the presidential election.

    So, at the end of 2015, EPN fired the head of INEGI. In the summer of 2016, the new Director of INEGI announced they would use a different methodology in their household income survey. Independent experts and scholars cried “foul”:

    “Mexico’s impoverished masses were up to 33.6% richer in 2015 than the previous year, according to the state-run statistics service.

    But the change owes less to a sudden increase in actual wealth and wellbeing for the country’s poor than to unannounced changes in the methodology for measuring household earnings.

    The changes make comparing poverty rates from one year to the next impossible – something acknowledged by the National Geography and Statistics Institute (Inegi).

    But the tweak will allow image-conscious politicians to claim success in their anti-poverty programs and economic stewardship, even though public discontent over stagnant wages and rising prices remains widespread.”

    “The way that they did this” – without public consultation – “raises suspicion,” said Jonathan Heath, an independent economist in Mexico City.

    “The new poverty numbers are certainly going to fall by a significant amount and it’s not due to improvements, it’s not due to government action, it’s not due to anything. It’s due to the way Inegi has carried out this survey,” he said.

    Mexico cuts poverty at a stroke – by changing the way it measures earnings July 18, 2016

    Even CONEVAL complained about this:

    “Mexico’s poverty agency on Friday criticized the national statistics institute for “irregular” changes in the methodology of measuring household income that showed the income of poor Mexicans had jumped by a third.

    Earlier on Friday, the national statistics institute, INEGI, published its Module of Socioeconomic Conditions, saying that it had “improved the measurement of household income.”

    But the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), which measures poverty levels using INEGI’s data, said the changes by the statistics institute were not credible.”

    Mexico poverty agency objects to ‘irregular’ official statistics July 15, 2016

    CONEVAL had always used INEGI’S surveys to come out with their poverty reports, but this time they refused to use the INEGI numbers. A compromise was reached. The INEGI numbers would be used, but CONEVAL would apply a “statistical model” to the data to come up with a comparison to the previous years. The bottom line is, INEGI so politicized the household income survey, CONEVAL now has to use statistical models rather than actual data.

    Poverty Figures Disguised August 29, 2017

    The sad thing is that, even with this manipulated data, the report still shows over 53 million Mexicans living in poverty, more than when EPN took office.

    And, this sleight of hand used to lower the poverty figures for 2017, will only work one time. But that doesn’t matter because the whole change was made to help PRI in next year’s elections. They’re not thinking about the 2019 numbers.