Mexico’s disparate wage and wealth distribution levels are the worst of any economically developed nation. So says a report from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The country’s richest 10 percent earn 30 times what the poorest make. The minimum wage violates Mexico’s own constitution.
Business Insider (BI) breaks down this report and sheds more light on the desperation of Mexico’s poorest workers. These conditions contribute greatly to the problems the United States faces from illegal immigration as people flee poverty.
BI shows OECD statistics that reveal that Mexican laborers worked an average of more than 2,300 hours in 2014. This compares to the American level of 1,796.
The average worker earned about $12,850, according to the report. This places Mexico at the bottom of the list of the OECD report. The country ranked next to last, Estonia, paid their workers nearly double at $21,020. This compares to the American average worker who earned more than $57,000 that same year.
Mexico’s minimum wage workers, in areas where pay is better, earn about $4.35 per day. This is according to a report in El Daily Post.
“The situation is serious to such a degree that it violates what’s stipulated in the Constitution. The minimum salary must guarantee a decent standard of living,” Gerargo Esquivel, a Harvard economics professor, told El Daily Post. Mexico’s minimum wage workers in the better paid areas would have to work 37 days per month to meet the government’s defined minimum monthly expense level of $163 per month.
In less developed regions of the country, such as Chiapas, BI reports that 70% of workers do not earn enough money to care for two people at the level described above. The article compares these income and economic levels to sub-Saharan Africa. Not just in income level, but also in illiteracy rates, access to healthcare, and homes with no toilets or solid floors.
Read more about BI’s analysis of Mexican wealth distribution.