Saturday, July 10, 2010

World Population Day: Mexican Census Numbers, Troubles

In commemoration of World Population Day, July 11, Mexico’s National Institute of Geography, Statistics and Informatics (INEGI) reported that the country counted 107.5 million inhabitants in 2009. Growing in number of people by about eight times since 1900, Mexico is the third most-populated country in the Americas, falling behind Brazil and the United States.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the INEGI reported a huge drop in the emigration of Mexicans from 2006 to 2009, when economic crisis slammed the world. According to the
federal government agency, the number of people leaving Mexico fell from 546,000 people in 2006 to 146,000 in 2009. The vast majority of Mexicans emigrate to the United States, though Canada, Spain and other nations account for additional destinations.

The INEGI will have new population numbers and other statistics after Mexico’s 10-year census is completed this year. However, serious questions exist about the expected accuracy of this round of census-taking.

In a recent meeting of INEGI officials in
Mexico City, big problems were reported in conducting the census, especially in the violence-torn and crime-ridden northern states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas.

According to a story in the daily
La Jornada, only about 35 percent of surveyed residents in the three states disclosed complete information to interviewers. Widespread fears grip the public that personal data will be sold to third parties, the newspaper reported. To counter the negative reactions, the INEGI plans to send interviewers out to homes again.

The ongoing narco war and a generalized atmosphere of insecurity are other huge challenges confronting
census takers. With as many as 40,000 zones considered risky, the INEGI has been forced to adopt different strategies for completing the 2010 census.

For instance, in the Juarez Valley bordering the US, where narco-violence has reportedly displaced thousands of people this year alone, the INEGI decided to send workers in pairs or teams to carry out their tasks. [B.E. note: This area is directly SE of El Paso, just across the Rio Grande River.]

Locked down by their residents to keep out criminals, enclosed neighborhoods and apartment buildings present other difficulties. “More and more neighborhoods are closed and access is not so easy,” said Maria Tomasa Badillo Almaraz, the INEGI’s Chihuahua state director.

Although Mexico experienced tremendous spurts in
population growth during the 20th century, the rate of population increase slowed dramatically in recent years. According to the INEGI, the rate dropped from an average 3.4 percent per year during the 1960s to 0.86 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Sources: Proceso/Apro, July 9, 2010. La Jornada, July 7, 2010. Article by Carolina Gomez Mena. May 23, 2010. El Agora (Chihuahua) May 15, 2010.

Reprinted with permission from~
Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico

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World Population Day image from United Nations:


Big Mark 243 said...

the info about the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the US and other places only accounts for the legal immirgrants. Are there any numbers for the illegals that you would cite?

The neighborhoods being on 'lockdown' from within is an interesting development. While it makes counting difficult, is there a decrease in crime and drug activity where it is practices?

Spadoman said...

Another good report. Thanks for doing the work as we all need to be better informed.


Border Explorer said...

Hi Big Mark! I'm not sure why you think that the Mexico emigration numbers only include those who are entering the U.S. legally. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think they count the decline in Mexico's population irrespective of whence the people have gone (including the hereafter!). Regarding your second point, there's no crime decrease that I'm aware of, whether or not people stay indoors. However, I'd add that getting accurate reports on crime activity in Mexico is becoming more difficult as Mexican journalists are increasingly targeted by organized crime. Thanks for reading Border Explorer! I'm really behind in my blog reading, and promise you I'll get over and read yours this week.

Thanks, Spadoman, for your support. Peace to you and yours!

Liberality said...

Also, I just delete spam comments as soon as I see them but they are rather annoying.

Liberality said...

Can you imagine having to live like that in a "locked down" community? I guess that just goes to show how really bad the drug violence is there.

Border Explorer said...

Lib, I would never have understood how bad the violence is except for living just a couple miles from Juarez. Really--it is unspeakable. It's a war with no Geneva Convention rules, no rules of any kind.

I guess I should just delete the spam when it arrives rather than try to circumvent it. Spam's a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for stopping by. Your latest post is a knock out. Hope everyone goes to read it.