A new ECLAC report warns of a dire future for the country’s youth if cycle of poverty and deficient education not broken.
Out of 38.9 million Mexican young people from 12 to 29 years of age, six million live in a situation of indigence, while 44.9 percent live in some type of poverty, says a report just issued by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The analysis points out that 70 percent of Mexican youth lack access to social security, 30 percent to health services, and 15.3 percent to adequate educational opportunities. More than half the country’s unemployed population falls into this age group. The unemployment rate for youth rose to 7.7 percent in 2013, much higher than the 4.6 percent national average. In Chiapas, Guerrero and Puebla, more than 60 percent of all young people lived in poverty in 2012.
On the contrary, less than 30 percent of the youth in Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Sonora faced this problem. Although 30 percent of all young people now have a high school education, 20 percent more than their parents generation, 60 percent face the same limits that their parents did.
The report says that only 15 percent of the youth studied for at least one semester in a university in 2013 and that 50 percent of all adolescents from 15 to 17 years of age did not attend high school or technical school. With regards to budget allocations for youth, the study shows that the Mexican government reduced its public spending on education from US$2,417 per young person in 2000 to US$2,112 in 2012.
As for social development in Mexico, the document highlights the lack of reflection on issues of overcoming poverty and describes state programs as “rigid,” “standardized,” and “predefined,” in the face of the changing nature of the life conditions of young people.
The report points to the need for a greater and more efficient investment in the future of the country’s youth in order to overcome the disparity between rhetoric and action.