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Tenure Insecurity

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Mexico is located in the southern part of North America, an upper middle-income country with GDP per capita of nearly US$18,300 in 2017. 80% of Mexico’s population lives in urban areas, the result of a period of rapid urbanization caused by population growth and rural-to-urban migration. The Government of Mexico has struggled to plan and build the infrastructure the rising urban population needs, leading to the growth of informal settlements on the periphery of urban centres.

Following the 1917 revolution, Mexico started significant land reform, redistributing land from large farms to groups of households known as ejidos. Rights to commonly held land were also granted to Indigenous groups which they organized into forms of collective ownership known as comunidades. The land regime changed in 1992 to allow privatization and market transfers of ejidal land rights. There are now four broad categories of landholding: private property which is owned by a private individual or corporate body; Federal property which is owned by the national government and includes land that have public benefits such as forests and roads; Ejidal or comunidad land; and Colonias (informal settlements) where residents often hold rights of possession.

Statutory land rights are mostly equal between men and women in Mexico; in practice, land rights tend to favour men. Traditional customs and practices discriminate against women; for example, there is a preference for only sons to inherit land.

Prindex’s results show that 15% of respondents felt insecure about their tenure rights in 2018 – an equivalent of 13.7 million people aged 18 or over – lower than the average for the first 33 countries. 79% of the sample interviewed felt secure about their property rights and the remaining 6% refused or did not know how to answer the question.

The tables and diagrams below show key Prindex results for Mexico or you can download an infographic.


All respondents

All respondents

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Analysing Tenure Insecurity by category

Tenure type
Employment type
Income adequacy


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