The term “Third World” came up during the Cold War era. Countries that aligned with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) were called “First World“, and those that aligned with the Warsaw Pact were called “Second World“. The remaining countries, which were about 0.75 of the world’s population, were labeled “Third World“. It’s clear to see that the notion of First, Second, and Third World didn’t have anything to do with a country’s economic status, but rather an alliance. Today, “Third World” is an outdated term, but people usually use it to refer to countries with economic instability, poverty, starvation, and other problems.
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Is Mexico a third-world country? Yes, from the Cold War model, Mexico was among the Third World countries, because it didn’t align with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. It’s also considered a Third World from today’s definition because it’s still dealing with poverty, inequality, and lack of basic education. However, nowadays, the term “developing country” is used instead of the Third World.
While Mexico is considered a developing nation, it has an institutionalized government, legal system, public education, infrastructural networks, and public healthcare. Additionally, the country has one of the highest GDPs in the globe and the UN reports that it has an upper-middle-income economy.
- So, why is Mexico called a third-world country?
- And, does it have hope of ever becoming a first-world country?
In this post, I discuss such matters in further detail. Continue reading for more information.
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Is Mexico A Third World Country (Developing Nation)?
Although Mexico has a decent Human Development Index score, it’s still plagued with certain problems that make it poorer than the United States. The following are some of the reasons why Mexico is considered a developing (third world) country.
What Is Administrative Corruption In Mexico?
The Government of Mexico is often construed as being institutionally apt toward callous dishonesty and reluctant to seriously deal with drug cartels. Many times, the country is dangerous for travelers who lose their way in the wrong zone, because they might fall prey to narco-terrorists and other criminals.
Undeniably, corruption in the Mexican government is prevalent and expensive. The country’s Institute for Competitiveness estimated that corruption costs Mexico 2%-10% of its GDP, decreases foreign financing by 5%, and in proportion gets rid of 480,000 job opportunities annually.
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The situation relinquishes the impact of any attempt at genuine meritocracies, which substantially depletes the country’s skilled workforce. A huge portion of entrepreneurs report that corruption is part of the expense of operating a business in Mexico, Even when cases of corruption reach the judiciary system, less than 20% get a guilty verdict, in comparison to nearly 90% in the U.S.
What is income Inequality in Mexico?
Income inequality is not a new phenomenon in Mexico. Only a relatively small number of citizens limited majorly to large cities have the ability to enjoy high development levels. The top 1% of the country’s high earners own 21% of the national income. But, minimum wages stay so low that a substantial portion of the populace is impoverished.
Mexican business tycoon, Carlos Slim, has been regularly cited in the past as one of the richest people in the world. He has immense wealth that is equivalent to about 5%-6.3% of Mexico’s GDP, which exceeds the total income of the country’s poorest 20%.
Wealthy people attend private schools, get access to world-class healthcare, possess many estate residences across Mexico and abroad, and are served by private staff. On the other hand, poor Mexicans are left to deal with underfunded public schools, overcrowded conditions, and less favorable health programs.
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The end result is a full absence of upward movement and a country that under-utilizes native intelligence, work ethic, and ambitions. At the same time, the privileged persons stay barricaded behind their high walls and secured by bodyguards.
What Are Poverty Levels In Mexico?
Around 33% of Mexico’s population is moderately impoverished, while another 9% is extremely poor. That implies over 40% of the populace lives in destitution. As a consequence, at least 30 million Mexicans live in poorly built houses made from cardboard or reeds.
The high poverty rate is attributed to poor infrastructure, high population density, incompetent institutions and bureaucracy, widespread corruption, inadequate education, high unemployment, and labor market inefficiency.
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Mexico’s tertiary enrolment rate trails far behind that of some major Latin American nations, such as Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. The fairly low participation is caused by capacity shortages and discrepancies between the country’s more developed and less industrialized southern parts. Mexico’s more prosperous parts are in the north and central areas, while the less developed regions are in the south. It is within the underfunded rural parts in the south that educational participation and achievement rates are severely low.
In an effort to increase education participation levels, in 2012, Mexico’s government made it compulsory for all children to attend upper-secondary school. However, insufficient funding and administrative hindrances have thus far blocked the implementation of this aim, especially in disparaged rural areas.
What Are The Crime Levels In Mexico?
Criminal activities are one of Mexico’s most critical concerns. Drug trafficking rings in the nation play a huge role in the movement of marijuana, heroin, and cocaine between the USA and Latin America. Drug trafficking has ignited corruption and violent crime in the country, which has negatively impacted its image. The highest crime levels are in Mexico’s urban centers and its border with the United States.
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What Is Mexico’s Human Development Index?
The human development index is a tool used by the United Nations to measure the average progress of countries around the world. The index takes into account factors such as life expectancy, literacy rates, and access to education and health care. Based on these metrics, countries are classified as high, medium, or low human development.
Mexico falls into the medium human development category, with an index score of 0.779. This places Mexico ahead of many other Latin American countries, but still behind many developed nations. However, it is important to note that the human development index is only one way of measuring a country’s progress. Other factors, such as economic stability and political freedom, are also important considerations.
Does Mexico Have Hope Of Ever Becoming A First World Country?
Yes, like many other developing countries, Mexico has the potential to move from a third-world to a first-world nation. The country’s GDP is among the highest in the globe, right next to the United States and Italy based on PPP (purchasing power parity).
Of course, Mexico is not as industrialized as Britain. Similar to most countries making a transition from underdevelopment to better development, Mexico is mired by regional inequality. However, that does not change the reality of the country’s relative strength.
It is true that organized crime prevails in Mexico and many of its citizens want to move to the USA. But, at the same time, a roughly equal amount is leaving the USA and going to Mexico, because of attractive economic opportunities.
The common perception among many is that Mexico is a Third World nation with an overall breakdown of laws and citizens fleeing north. That viewpoint also appears true among numerous Mexicans who have generally internalized the defiance others hold against them.
How Strong Is Mexico’s Economy?
Mexico’s economy is quite strong. It has a GDP of over $2 trillion, making it the 11th largest economy in the world. Additionally, its GDP growth rate was a healthy 2.6% in 2018. Mexico’s currency, the peso, is also quite stable. All of these factors make Mexico an attractive destination for businesses and investors.
However, there are some challenges that Mexico’s economy faces.
One is high levels of poverty and inequality. According to the World Bank, about 30% of Mexicans live in poverty. Additionally, Mexico has a very large informal economy, which means that a significant portion of economic activity takes place outside of the formal legal and tax framework. This makes it difficult to collect taxes and develop an effective social safety net.
Mexico is home to the hugest auto plant in the Western hemisphere, and Bombardier constructs major aircraft parts in this country. Sure, Mexico is dealing with numerous issues, but so are the United States and Italy. Currently, Italy also faces considerable regional inequality.
Mexicans are aware that their economy has grown substantially in recent years and is forecasted to grow more in the coming years. However, strangely enough, they have a tendency to discount their country’s competitive growth rate in a sluggish worldwide economy. Mexico is one of the leading global economies, but most people fail to acknowledge it as such and instead dismiss its relevance.
What About Mexico’s Export?
It’s worth noting that Mexico is one of the largest exporters around the globe. Its trade with Canada and the USA has tripled following the North American Free Trade Agreement signing in 1994. At least 90% of the nation’s trade is covered by twelve free trade agreements. Reports show that Mexico has trade agreements with roughly 46 nations, which is higher than any other country. These agreements are a huge reason for the nation’s numerous accomplishments.
Mexico is the biggest manufacturer and exporter among Latin American countries, and primarily exports manufactured goods, cotton, fruits, vegetables, silver, and coffee. Moreover, it is the eighth largest global producer of oil, at nearly three million barrels daily. That is less compared to Canada, Iran, and Iraq, but higher in comparison to Brazil, Kuwait, Nigeria, and other prominent exporters.
Mexico’s imports include machinery for agriculture and metalwork, aircraft parts, automobile components, and steel mill goods.
The economy and culture have changed considerably over the years. Now, Mexico is a primary manufacturing hub for electronics, which includes a majority of the flat-screen televisions sold in the USA. Additionally, it manufactures medical tools and aerospace components.
Is Mexico A Fourth World?
The term “fourth world” is typically used to refer to the most impoverished and underdeveloped countries in the world. While Mexico certainly has pockets of poverty and inequality, it is generally considered to be a developing rather than a developed country.
How Strong Is Mexico’s Trade?
Mexico is the 13th largest exporter in the world and the 2nd largest in Latin America. In 2016, Mexico exported $361 billion worth of goods and services. The United States is Mexico’s top trading partner, accounting for around 28% of all Mexican exports. Canada, China, and Japan are also important partners.
Mexico’s main exports are oil, vehicles, electronics, and machinery.
Oil is by far the country’s most valuable export, accounting for nearly 18% of all Mexican exports in 2016. Mexico is one of the world’s top ten crude oil producers and has the 8th largest proven reserves.
Trade agreements with other nations give its manufacturers duty-free reach to a huge portion of the globe. That advantage attracts external factories. Foreign trade, which is made up of exports and imports makes up over 70% of the nation’s gross domestic product of Mexico. That is higher compared to Brazil, and China (also considered the third world when average life expectancy or infant mortality rate is considered).
Mexican firms have entered the United States market and share a familiar language with other Latin American countries.
The insistence on commerce makes companies in Mexico globally competitive. For instance, Gruma is the largest tortilla maker in the globe, and Bimbo is the hugest bread maker after it acquired USA baker Sara Lee.
Part of Mexico’s economic change incorporates the entry of a new president, AMLO (Andres Manuel Lopex Obrador). After he was elected in 2018, AMLO made a promise to terminate corruption, decrease violence and tackle the problem of poverty. In addition, he promised to assess agreements for oil exploration granted to international companies. The country’s oil industry requires foreign competence and funding.
The previous president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto granted 100 contracts to partially privatize the country’s oil sector. He also put effort into strengthening the automobile sector by making it simpler for foreign firms to set up auto plants. Additionally, Nieto’s Pact for Mexico convinced Congress to approve 85 major reforms. His plan successfully tore down monopolies, amended education and overhauled tax laws.
What Is The Cost Of Living In Mexico City?
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and one of the most populous cities in the world. It is also one of the most expensive cities to live in, with a cost of living that is nearly 50% higher than the national average. The high cost of living is due in part to the city’s large population and limited resources.
In addition, many of the city’s residents are employed in low-wage jobs, and the cost of basic necessities such as food and housing is relatively high. As a result, Mexico City is an increasingly unaffordable place to live, particularly for lower-income residents.
Despite its high cost of living, however, Mexico City remains a popular destination for tourists and business travelers due to its rich culture and history.
GDP Per Capita Rate in Mexico.
What Is Mexico’s GDP Per Capita?
Mexico’s GDP per capita is $9,271.41 as of 2017. The country’s GDP growth has been uneven, experiencing periods of high growth followed by periods of slower growth. In the early 21st century, Mexico’s GDP growth was among the highest in the world. However, the global financial crisis of 2008 caused a significant slowdown in the country’s economy.
More recently, Mexico’s GDP growth has picked up again, reaching 2.3% in 2016. While this is still below the global average, it is a sign that the Mexican economy is on the upswing. Given its large population and recent economic history, Mexico’s GDP per capita is an important metric to watch. It provides a snapshot of the country’s economic health and can give insight into the standard of living of its citizens.
FAQs About Mexico
Is Mexico A 3rd World Country?
Yes, Mexico is considered a 3rd World country from both the Cold War model and today’s definition.
is there an income Inequality in Mexico?
Yes, Income inequality is a longstanding problem in Mexico, where the richest 1% own more than 20% of the national income while many are impoverished due to low minimum wages. Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim has been regularly cited as one of the richest people in the world, with wealth equivalent to about 5%-6.3% of Mexico’s GDP.
Is There Poverty In Mexico?
At least 40% of the population of Mexico lives in poverty.
How Strong Is Mexico’s Economy?
Mexico has a strong economy, with a GDP of over $2 trillion. However, it faces some challenges.
Can Mexico become a first-world country?
Mexico has the potential to become a first-world country. It has many of the same advantages as other countries that have made the transition, including a population that is largely literate and numerate, an established democratic system, and a large number of people who are fluent in both English and Spanish.
Human Development Index Ranking
|HDI Rank||Country||Human Development Index (HDI)||Gross national income (GNI) per capita|
|4||Hong Kong, China (SAR)||0.949||62,985.00|
|23||Korea (Republic of)||0.916||43,044.00|
|31||United Arab Emirates||0.89||67,462.00|
|68||Trinidad and Tobago||0.796||26,231.00|
|73||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0.78||14,872.00|
|76||Saint Kitts and Nevis||0.779||25,038.00|
|78||Antigua and Barbuda||0.778||20,895.00|
|97||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||0.738||12,378.00|
|134||Sao Tome and Principe||0.625||3,952.00|
|136||Lao People’s Democratic Republic||0.613||7,413.00|
|151||Syrian Arab Republic||0.567||3,613.00|
|154||Papua New Guinea||0.555||4,301.00|
|174||Congo (Democratic Republic of the)||0.48||1,063.00|
|187||Central African Republic||0.397||993.00|