The 10 Richest States In Mexico

Baja California Sur has a large tourism industry.
Baja California Sur has a large tourism industry.

Mexico is a country located south of the North American continent. The country is considered to have an upper-middle-income economy having a Gross National Income that is the second-highest in Latin America.  The country is divided into 31 states and a Federal District making it known officially as the United Mexican States. Income across this vast country can vary considerably between states. Here is a list of the states that have the highest incomes.

Mexican States with the Lowest Poverty Rates

1. Nuevo León

Nuevo León is a state in Mexico. The state of Nuevo León has a gross domestic product per capita (PPP) of $27,000. By 2010, the economy of the state represented approximately 11.4% of the country’s total GDP. Its economy is mainly export oriented and largely based on manufacturing. In line with this, the state has the lowest poverty rate among the Mexican states with a poverty rate of 23.2% in 2012.

2. Coahuila

Formally known as Coahuila de Zaragoza, Coahuila has a population of over 2 million people. The state is Mexico’s top mining state having 95% of Mexico’s coal reserves. The state economy makes up 3.5% of the total gross domestic product in Mexico. Coahuila has the highest public debt in Mexico. In 2012, the state had the second lowest poverty rate of 27.9%.

3. Federal District

The Federal District which is now officially Mexico City is the administrative district in Mexico. The federal district generates 15.8% of the country’s GDP and manufacturing is the main income earner in the district. Population in the district is swelling up making the transport system inadequate as it has a large concentration of automobiles in the whole of Mexico. Mexico City had a score of 0.915 on Human Development Index in 2002, which was equivalent to that of South Korea. In 2012, the poverty rate of the Federal District stood at 28.9%.

4. Sonora

The state of Sonora is considered one of Mexico’s wealthiest states with a GDP per capita higher than average by about 15%. The state is rich in mineral resources thus has generally been self-reliant. Most of the people living in Sonora are employed in the industry and tourism sector. The state had a poverty rate of 29.1% in 2012. Sonora has strong ties with the US economy and has a labor force that is highly skilled.

5. Baja California

The name Baja California means Lower California. The state’s economy represents 3.3% of Mexico’s GDP. The economy is strongly focused on manufacturing export products. There are in excess of 900 companies working under the federal prosec program in the state of Baja California. With a population of over three million people, the state had a poverty rate of 30.2% in 2012.

6. Baja California Sur

Baja California Sur translates to South Lower California. The state is the second smallest in Mexico with a population of 763,929 as of 2015. Mining and construction account for 26.62% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). The state produces salt of 99.7% purity. The agriculture and fishing sector, once a high contributor to the GDP, account for 3.89% of the GDP. The poverty rate stood at 31.0% in 2012 for the state of Baja California Sur.

7. Colima

The state of Colima has a population of 711,235 as of 2015, which is the smallest population in all the Mexican states. Colima, however, has one of the highest standards of living in Mexico. The state’s economy makes only 0.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Mexico, since it is small. In agricultural products, Colima is the second producer of coconut meat and tuna in the country. The state has one of the lowest unemployment rates, with around 24.1% of the population employed in the service sector. Colima had a poverty rate that stood at 34.4% as of 2012.

8. Chihuahua

Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest and most populated state with a population of over 3 million as of 2015. The poverty rate of Chihuahua in 2012 stood at 35.3%. The state’s economy accounts for 2.7% of Mexico’s gross domestic product. The largest sector that contributes to the economy of Chihuahua is the service sector at 59.28%. The state’s economy is founded by small businesses which employ most of Chihuahua’s population. Although the states mining industry is small, it produces minerals in large quantities, leading the country’s production of lead.

9. Sinaloa

Sinaloa is a state in Mexico with an area of 22,500 square miles and a population of more than 2 million people as of 2015. The state’s main economic activity is agriculture, which has led to the Sinaloa being referred to as “breadbasket of Mexico”. Other activities include commerce, industry, fishing, and livestock keeping. Agriculture contributes about 15% of the state’s GDP. In recent years, the unemployment rate of Sinaloa has been decreasing and now stands at only 5.04%. Sinaloa is considered one of the richest Mexican states with a poverty rate of 36.3% recorded in 2012.

10. Querétaro

The state of Querétaro, which was formally called Querétaro de Arteaga, is among the smallest states in the United Mexican States. The economy of Querétaro follows the trend at the national level closely, and this has seen a reduction in the gross domestic product (GDP) of agriculture and a rise in manufacturing. Manufacturing in Querétaro accounts for 32% of the state’s GDP. Illiteracy levels in the state are very low at only 3.32% whereas 95.26% of the active population, which include people above the age of 12, is employed in Querétaro. The state of Querétaro stands proudly in the top 10 richest Mexican states with a poverty rate of 36.9%.

Economy of Mexico

The economy of Mexico is the world’s 15th largest in nominal GDP and the 11th largest based on Purchasing power Parity. Approximately 52 million people representing 46% of the population live in poverty. The macroeconomic fundamentals have increased significantly since 1994 and the country was not affected with the South American crisis of 2002. It is estimated that by 2050, Mexico’s economy will be the fifth largest in the whole world. The country comes in second after Chile, in having the highest variation between the very poor and the very rich. About 0.2% of Mexico’s gross domestic product comes from remittances sent by Mexican citizens working in the US.

The 10 Richest States In Mexico

RankStatePoverty Rate (2012)
1 Nuevo León23.2%
2 Coahuila27.9%
3 Federal District28.9%
4 Sonora29.1%
5 Baja California30.2%
6 Baja California Sur31.0%
7 Colima34.4%
8 Chihuahua35.3%
9 Sinaloa36.3%
10 Querétaro36.9%

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