By KELIN DILLON
According to new statistics, Mexico’s middle and upper classes were sharply cut in population due to the economic effects of the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, causing many to leave the country for more economically stable locations, while the lower class experienced a simultaneous population boom.
The middle class’ proportional population dropped from 42.7 percent of the country’s total inhabitants to 37.2 percent in 2021, the lowest level since 2010, said a study from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Meanwhile, more than 800,000 members of the upper class left Mexico, dropping the class’ population by 44.3 percent and accounting for .8 percent of Mexico’s total population.
At the same time, Mexico’s lower class grew, with gains of 8.8 million more people throughout the pandemic and representing 62 percent of the country’s population, up 6.2 percent from 2018 figures.
“The pandemic impacted the economy, reducing the middle and upper class, which caused an increase in the lower class,” said researcher at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) Andrea Cuétara. “The crisis not only affected the amount of household spending, but also how it is spent.”
As Mexico continues working toward its post-pandemic economic recovery, it remains to be seen whether the upper and middle classes will bounce back to their former levels or plateau as is.