The Demography of Race and Ethnicity of Mexico

  • María Isabel Ayala
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 4)


Mexico is a country in North America with a rich social, cultural, economic, and political history that is comprised of thirty one states and one Federal District. Racially and culturally, Mexico is the product of advanced Pre-Columbian civilizations (the Aztec, the Maya, the Olmec, the Teotihuacan, and the Zapotec), as well as Spaniard and African immigrations, and more recently, Asian, Caribbean, and European. Unfortunately, even when the complex socio-cultural history of Mexico is subject of admiration, because of Mestizaje, the richness of its racial and ethnic demography is often unacknowledged. Specifically, the demographic dynamics are determined by the characteristics of the Mexican population, including its racial and ethnic characteristics. Regrettably, because Mexico’s racial and ethnic diversity has been reduced to ethnicity alone, the critical study of the demography of race and ethnicity in Mexico encounters some conceptual and methodological limitations. In this chapter, the conceptual and methodological shortcomings are overcome by presenting a historical analysis of Mexico, by engaging in the social deconstruction of mestizo—which may be considered the foundation of Mexican nationalism, as well as by addressing the importance of the validation of non-mestizo identities to develop effective public policy.


Ethnic Identity International Migration Indian Population Mexican Population Mortality Decline 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and the Chicano/Latino Studies ProgramMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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