Country Profiles from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia
Edited by B. Guy Peters, Patrick von Maravić and Eckhard Schröter
Chapter 4: Representative bureaucracy in Mexico
By 2005 Mexico’s indigenous population amounted to 10 103 571 persons, including almost 62 ethno-linguistic groups representing 9.8 percent of the country’s total population. While this figure has decreased relative to the rest of the Mexican population, in absolute numbers it had increased significantly during the last decades – while in 1970 indigenous people aged 5 years or more equaled 3.1 million, by 2005 this figure had almost doubled to more than 6 million (CDI, 2006). That same year, the profound economic, social, and political disparities between the indigenous community and the rest of the country – dating back to the Colonial past – were still evident. In recent times, for example, the Human Development Index (HDI) started to be measured in Mexican municipalities having indigenous populations. The municipality with the lowest HDI in the country – the largely indigenous village of Batopilas, in the State of Chihuahua – had an indicator of 0.3010, even worse than that of the country with the lowest HDI in the world – Nigeria, in West Africa (HDI of 0.3300; PNUD, 2010, p. 15). However, this was not an isolated case. In recent years, Mexican municipalities with a high share of indigenous population have exhibited the lowest human development levels, mainly in access to health services and education (PNUD, 2010, p. 33).
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