Aging in Mexico: Population trends and emerging issues

Jacqueline L. Angel, William Vega, Mariana López-Ortega, Rachel Pruchno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Although all nations in the America's face a common demographic reality of longevity, declining fertility rates and changes in family roles a growing body of research points to a dramatic demographic transformation in Mexico. Although Mexico's population is relatively young, with a median age of 27.9 in 2015, it will age rapidly in coming years, increasing to 42 years by 2050. The rapid median age in the nation also reflects the growing proportion of people 65 or older, and is expected to triple to 20.2% by 2050. This article examines how the age and gender structure of Mexico offers important insights about current and future political and social stability, as well as economic development. Mexico is the world's eleventh largest country in terms of population size and the "demographic dividend" of a large youthful population is giving way to a growing older population that will inevitably place demands on health care and social security. The shift in age structure will result in increased dependency of retirees on the working-age population in the next 20 years. Mexico does not provide universal coverage of social security benefits and less than half of the labor force is covered by any pension or retirement plan. As a result, elderly Mexicans often continue working into old age. The high total poverty rate in the country, especially among the older population magnifies the problem of the potential dependency burden. The article ends with a discussion of key public policy issues related to aging in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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