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El trimestre económico

versão On-line ISSN 2448-718Xversão impressa ISSN 0041-3011


TERUEL, Graciela; REYES, Miguel; MINOR, Enrique  e  LOPEZ, Miguel. Mexico: Not a Middle Class but a Poverty Country. Analyzing Middle Class Performance in Between 2000-2014. El trimestre econ [online]. 2018, vol.85, n.339, pp.447-480. ISSN 2448-718X.


“Middle class” is a polysemic social category. In methodological terms, it is similar to that of poverty, both without consensus according to lite​rature. A comprehensive review of literature is made in this paper, emphasizing on single and multidimensional methodologies, identifying non-consensual findings when using and building thresholds and different dimensions.


This paper proposes identification of Mexican Middle Class according to a multidimensional perspective, consistent with Coneval’s multidimensional poverty measurement method (2009), where income is a necessary but not enough condition of security and none vulnerability. “Latent-class models” are built based upon the Coneval’s Rights and Well-being indicators that identified the ratio of population that could be considered middle classes. Five categories are obtained: population in multidimensional poverty, vulnerable population by income, vulnerable population due to social deprivation, middle classes and rich population.


Among the main findings, there is evidence that Mexico continues to be a country of poor, rather than middle class people. The number of people in poverty is 2.3 times greater than that of middle class, while the status and conditions of life guaranteeing security and not economic vulnerability, characteristic of the middle class, is only due for a little more of a quarter of the total population, 27.5%. This paper presents findings on the evolution of the middle class, which grows between 2000-2006, before the food and economic-financial crisis of 2006 and 2008, but never reaches levels above 50%. After crisis years, it begins its descent again to levels similar to 1994, showing its vulnerability to economic crisis.


As a conclusion sustainability of middle classes over time in Mexico depends both on an effective and efficient policy to fight against poverty, and on specific policy about middle classes, which actually in Mexico and Latin American countries does not exist. This means that the broadest layers of the population, in the same way as in developed countries, have access to a living wage that guarantees well-being, effective health services, quality education, access to the credit market and financial services, as well as adequate and dignified pension system.

Palavras-chave : middle classes, poverty; latent-class models; vulnerability; security; Mexico.

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