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World > North America > Mexico > People (Notes)

Mexico - People (Notes)


PEOPLE
Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About 70% of the people live in urban areas. Many Mexicans emigrate from rural areas that lack job opportunities--such as the underdeveloped southern states and the crowded central plateau--to the industrialized urban centers and the developing areas along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to some estimates, the population of the area around Mexico City is about 18 million, which would make it the largest concentration of population in the Western Hemisphere. Cities bordering on the United States--such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez--and cities in the interior--such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla--have undergone sharp rises in population in recent years.
Education is among the Mexican government?s highest priorities, and the education budget has continued to grow in recent years. Funding for education increased from 6.9 % of GDP in 2002 to 7.3% of GDP in 2005. While efforts to decentralize responsibility for education from the federal to the state level in order to improve accountability are ongoing, the central government still retains significant authority. Although educational performance in Mexico has improved substantially in recent decades, the country still faces several major problems, including providing education to rural and indigenous populations.


Education is currently mandatory for ages 5 through 15. An education reform law enacted in 2002 will make preschool mandatory for all children ages 3 and up by 2008. This reform is being implemented in stages. In 2005, 77.4% of the population between the ages of 3 and 15 were enrolled in school. Primary, including preschool, enrollment totaled 18.8 million in 2005. Enrollment at the secondary public school level rose from 5.4 million in 2000 to 5.9 million in 2005. After a significant increase in higher education enrollment during previous decades, Mexico has seen a slower rise in university enrollment more recently. Numbers rose from 2 million enrolled in 2000 to 2.4 million in 2005.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Mexican Peso Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Mexican Peso Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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