Life expectancy of
Ecological footprint of
Mexico ranks second highest in the Happy Planet Index results. Wellbeing in Mexico is higher than in neighbouring USA despite Mexico’s economy being almost five times smaller, and its Ecological Footprint almost a third of the size.
What’s working well in Mexico?
In recent years, massive steps have been taken to improve the health of the population of Mexico – notably achieving universal health coverage in 2012, making essential health services available to the entire population.
In 2014, a tax was imposed on sugary drinks with the express aim of tackling of obesity – this despite strong corporate opposition. The tax had already led to a 12% decrease in the consumption of such drinks by the end of the year.
Environmental sustainability is receiving growing political attention, and was included as one of five key pillars in Mexico’s National Development Plan for 2007–12. Mexico was the second country in the world to incorporate long-term climate targets into national legislation, and is taking important steps to conserve its forests and protect its rich biodiversity.
What could be improved?
Significant challenges remain for Mexico: economic inequality is a massive problem with a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earns more than thirteen times as much as the bottom 20% of the population.
Mexico’s poverty rates are particularly high among indigenous people. Amnesty International has highlighted Mexico’s human rights violations, especially relating to irregular migrants. On top of these issues, the importance of the oil industry to Mexico’s economy complicates its environmental efforts.
Mexico recently reached cross-party agreement on the Pacto por Mexico, a pact of 95 initiatives aiming to tackle some of these issues – an important step for the country’s future.
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