Essay about Mexico City

Wealth and Poverty in Mexico City

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Mexico City, with its 9,209,943 inhabitants, is one of the most populated cities on the planet. Being also one of the most populous cities in North America, it is not deprived of certain problems. It is difficult for the local administration to manage such a vast area and so many people. Thus, among the most significant problems the city faces is a considerable economic disparity among its citizens. In this paper, the roots of Mexico City’s financial imbalance and the solutions to this problem will be discussed.

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Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and has a population of more than 9 million people. The central areas are densely populated while the southern mountain part has a limited number of inhabitants. The economic discrepancy between these groups is obvious. Thus, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, “The living conditions and welfare of Mexico City’s inhabitants vary dramatically according to socioeconomic class and the 'colonia' (neighborhood) they live in”. Thus, two words – wealth and poverty – used together, when describing Mexico City, are not an example of an oxymoron.

The causes of Mexico City's economic disparities have been forming during a long historic period. In 1521 with the fall of the Aztec Empire, Spaniards established a multicultural colonial state. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1820, the new government abolished caste stratification for the sake of harmonic economic development. Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 made Mexico City the center of events. The greatest change was the agrarian reform, the aim of which was expropriating large landholdings and giving them to peasants. As a result, 80 percent of the remaining aristocrats has relocated to Mexico City. Most importantly, they served as the model of high society for the rising plutocrats, who had become wealthy in manufacturing, commerce, and finance. Modern political and social scholars highlight the fact that racial diversity of Mexico City has no correlation with class distribution. The population stratification in Mexico City is a complicated system as the middle and upper strata each include three sublevels. The economic diversity in the middle of one class is quite significant.

27 billionaires live in Mexico City, but an average worker earns less than $ 5 per day. There are lots of homeless people and a high rate of unemployment and unofficial employment. Therefore, one of the main reasons for Mexico City being wealthy and poor at the same time is the historical development when the formation of the entire country was based on clear stratum division. In addition, a high level of immigration greatly influences the city's economic development, as well as the presence of different classes.

There is no doubt that the Mexican government makes numerous steps to improve the situation in the area. It develops a great number of plans to fight environmental problems (especially in the rural areas), reduces inequalities in educational opportunities and healthcare access, etc. One of the programs was named “a model from Mexico for the world”. The strategy is quite simple. It aims to provide those women who have children with some money to encourage them to take care of children's health and send them to school. This initiative has already increased school enrollment in Mexico City and other cities and improved children’s health indices. In the nearest future, it is very important for the government to reduce the number of “shadow” workers and introduce strict regulations for the immigration process.

To conclude, it is important to state that Mexico City is not the only megacity that suffers from a great economic gap between the rich and the poor. It is pleasant to note that the Mexican government does a lot to close this gap. Still, more long-term programs should be implemented. The main task of the city’s government is to make people’s life in Mexico City equally comfortable for everybody.

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