June 30, 2013
Mexico’s Rich Flourish
A Great Recession? Not for Mexico’s rich. In fact, the number of people
in the Mexican Republic defined as wealthy by the corporate research
outfit WealthInsight grew by almost a third between late 2007 and late
2012, a time when high unemployment and hard times had most people
scrambling to make ends meet.
According to WealthInsight, the total number of Mexican residents who held wealth valued at than one million dollars (minus their principal home) reached 145,000 at the end of last year. Of this group, 2,450 people were classified as
Overall, the millionaire-plus class possessed a fortune of $736 billion, or 43 percent of the entire amount of individual wealth in Mexico. Sixteen persons were identified as
falling in the billionaire category. The 2010 Census counted 112, 336,
538 people inhabiting the country.
Holding an estimated fortune
of $72.7 billion, Mexican magnate Carlos Slim is in a back-and-forth
contest with Bill Gates for the mantle of the world’s richest man.
True to a centralized pattern that goes back to colonial or even
pre-colonial days, Mexico’s rich are concentrated in the Valley of
Mexico, the home of Mexico City and its sprawling suburbs. The Mexican
capital was found to be the residence of 1,088 people with “elevated”
sums of wealth far beyond a million dollars.
Monterrey came in second for the place of residency of the super-rich, with 208 such persons, followed by Guadalajara with 129. The Mexican rich bucked a worldwide trend in which the number of wealthy individuals declined slightly by 0.3 percent from 2007 to 2012. In Mexico, however, the number of millionaires actually increased by 32
The UK-based WealthInsight firm also detected a trend
of the rich keeping more of their money in Mexico. Researchers estimated
the amount of money parked offshore by the Mexican rich decreased from
23.2 percent in 2007 to 21.9 percent in 2012, for a total of $161
billion stashed outside the country.
Sources: El Diario de
Juarez/Notimex, June 18, 2013. NBC Latino, May 17, 2013. Article by
Adrian Carrasquillo. Forbes.com, March 7, 2013. Article by D. Estevez.
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Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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