Mexico’s poverty rate is set to keep falling in the coming years if social programs put in place by the current administration are maintained, Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio said.
(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s poverty rate is set to keep falling in the coming years if social programs put in place by the current administration are maintained, Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio said.
The poverty rate for Latin America’s second-largest economy fell to 36.3% in 2022 from 43.9% two years earlier, according to a report released by government agency CONEVAL earlier Thursday. Nearly three percentage points of the drop are attributed social programs directed at pensioners, young people and farmers under the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
From 2018 to 2022, some 5.1 million people climbed out of poverty, according to the data. The implementation of Lopez Obrador’s “universal” aid programs was key to also reducing inequality across different income levels and will further reduce poverty in the coming years, Yorio said in an interview.
“I believe that the important thing is to maintain economic growth and this social protection network,” he said, noting that poverty rates would have fallen even more had the economy not been hit by the Covid pandemic. “And I also believe that the macroeconomic and fiscal stability that has been maintained in the country is important because that is precisely what shields us from these volatility events in the future.”
An estimated 46.8 million people were living in poverty in the country in 2022, according to the report that’s released every two years. The data underscored the deep social divisions that persist in the country where areas like the north have seen a boom from rising exports while the south has much higher poverty rates.
About half the population still says it lacks social security, and some 39% are missing adequate health services, a sharp increase from 2018, when that level was only 16.2%, according to the CONEVAL report. Yorio said that was an important area where the government could improve.
(Updates with comments from official throughout.)
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