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indicator value unit
Population 126.2 mil.
Visitors per year 76.7 mil.
Renewable energy 8.7 %

How’s Life?

Mexico has made tremendous progress over the last decades in terms of improving the quality of life of its citizens. Notwithstanding, Mexico performs poorly in many dimensions of well-being relative to other countries in the Better Life Index. It underperforms average in income, jobs, education, health, environmental quality, social connections, safety and life satisfaction. These assessments are based on available selected data.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Mexico, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 16 269 a year, less than the OECD average of USD 30 490 a year.

In terms of employment, about 59% of people aged 15 to 64 in Mexico have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 76% of men are in paid work, compared with 45% of women. In Mexico, 27% of employees work very long hours in paid work, well above the OECD average of 10%, with 33% of men working very long hours in paid work compared with 17% of women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Mexico, 42% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much lower than the OECD average of 79%. However, completion varies between men and women, as 42% of men have successfully completed high school compared with 41% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 416 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is lower than the OECD average of 488. Boys outperformed girls by 3 points in Mexico, compared to the OECD average where girls outperformed boys by 5 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Mexico is around 75 years, six years lower than the OECD average of 81 years. Life expectancy for women is 78 years, compared with 72 for men. The level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 20.3 micrograms per cubic meter, well above the OECD average of 14 micrograms per cubic meter. In Mexico, 75% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, lower than the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Mexico, where 77% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, less than the OECD average of 91%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens' participation in the political process, was 63% during recent elections, lower than the OECD average of 69%..

When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Mexicans gave it a 6 grade on average, lower than the OECD average of 6.7.


For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Mexico

OECD’s periodic surveys of the Mexican economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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Mexico in Detail