Mexico - Demographics


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1895 12,632,427
1900 13,607,272 +7.7%
1910 15,160,369 +11.4%
1921 14,334,780 −5.4%
1930 16,552,722 +15.5%
1940 19,653,552 +18.7%
1950 25,791,017 +31.2%
1960 34,923,129 +35.4%
1970 48,225,238 +38.1%
1980 66,846,833 +38.6%
1990 81,249,645 +21.5%
1995 91,158,290 +12.2%
2000 97,483,412 +6.9%
2005 103,263,388 +5.9%
2010 112,336,538 +8.8%
Source: INEGI

The recently conducted 2010 Census showed a population of 112,336,538, making it the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Assuming a growth rate of 8.8% every five years, the 2012 population can be estimated at almost 116 million. Furthermore, it is expected that Mexico's population will surpass that of Japan within the decade, putting Mexico among the world's ten most populous nations.

Mexico is ethnically diverse, the various indigenous peoples and European immigrants are united under a single national identity. The core part of Mexican national identity is formed on the basis of a synthesis of European culture with Indigenous cultures in a process known as mestizaje, alluding to the mixed biological origins of the majority of Mexicans. Mexican politicians and reformers such as José Vasconcelos and Manuel Gamio were instrumental in building a Mexican national identity on the concept of mestizaje. The term mestizo, often used in literature about Mexican social identities, carries a variety of socio-cultural, economic, racial and biological meanings. For this reason it has been deemed too imprecise to be used for ethnic classification and has been abandoned in Mexican censuses.

The category of "indígena" (indigenous) can be defined narrowly according to linguistic criteria including only speakers of one of Mexico's 62 indigenous languages or people who self-identify as having an indigenous cultural background. According to the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, as of 2005 there are 10.1 million Mexicans who speak an indigenous language and claim indigenous heritage, representing 9.8% of the total population.

The word "mestizo" is sometimes used with the meaning of a person with mixed indigenous and European blood. This usage does not conform to the Mexican social reality where a person of pure indigenous genetic heritage would be considered Mestizo either by rejecting his indigenous culture or by not speaking an indigenous language, and a person with a very low percentage of indigenous genetic heritage would be considered fully indigenous either by speaking an indigenous language or by identifying with a particular indigenous cultural heritage.

Mexico represents the largest source of immigration to the United States. About 9% of the population born in Mexico is now living in the United States. 28.3 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican as of 2006. Per the 2000 U.S. Census, a plurality of 47.3% of Mexican Americans self identify as White, closely followed by Mexican Americans who self identify as "Some other race", usually Mestizo (European/Indian) with 45.5%.

Mexico is home to the largest number of U.S. citizens abroad (estimated at one million as of 1999). The Argentine community is considered to be the second largest foreign community in the country (estimated somewhere between 30,000 and 150,000). Mexico also has a large Lebanese community, now numbering around 400,000. In October 2008, Mexico agreed to deport Cubans using the country as an entry point to the US. Large numbers of Central American migrants who have crossed Guatemala's western border into Mexico are deported every year. Small numbers of illegal immigrants come from Ecuador, Cuba, China, South Africa, and Pakistan.

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