Mexico suffers from widespread poverty, pervasive violence and a lack of opportunity for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states.

A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation had been making an impressive recovery until the global financial crisis hit in late 2008. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the poor.

Income inequality remains a problem, and huge gaps remain not only between rich and poor but also between the north and the south, and between urban and rural areas.