My 1970s education had me thinking in terms of first world countries and third world countries. I figured Mexico must be somewhere in between, but I didn’t know where. Well, those terms are passé. Today, countries are grouped into one of four categories by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita: Low Income, Lower-Middle Income, Upper-Middle Income, and High Income. Mexico is an Upper-Middle Income country.
For perspective, I compared Mexico’s GNI per capita to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) that dominate economic headlines. All but India are classed with Mexico as Upper-Middle Income (India is classed Lower-Middle Income). Comparing the GNI data used to group countries, Mexico is a close third behind Brazil and Russia.
2010 GNI Per Capita (in USD),
World Bank Data
$47,240 (high income)
Mexico (with Brazil and Russia) is classed with 51 other countries as Upper-Middle Income, and just beneath the threshold required to join the 70 states in the High Income category.
In fact, as Nevear reported in his New American Media article, the head of Mexico’s Central Bank managed the Mexican economy so well over the past few years, that he gained attention as a possible successor to Dominique Strauss Kahn at the IMF (a position since filled by Christine Lagarde). And Mexico’s Finance Minister is credited with policies that have successfully concentrated growth domestically, thereby insulating Mexico as much as possible from the economic troubles of the U.S. and the world. To wit, Mexico’s GDP grew 5.5% in 2010 and is on track for a 4.5% increase this year.