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New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. vi, 34 p. (Population Policy Paper No. 32; ST/ESA/SER.R/105)This review of elements affecting the population policy of Mexico City, the largest city in the world, is part of a series on formulation, implementation and evaluation of population policies of mega-cities as they follow the World Population Plan of Action of the UN World Population Conference, 1984. The main sections of the report are demographic factors and projections, economy, strategies of decentralization, issues and sectors, and resources and management. Mexico city is expected to have 27 million in 2000. Growth by migration accounts for doubling every 20 years, as natural increase declines. While Mexico City's economy has in recent decades grown because of industrial development, in the future increasing proportions of people will work in the informal sector. Air pollution, the worst documented in the world, due to photochemical smog, and traffic congestion are the city's most serious issues. These are being addressed by a contemplated retro-fit of automobiles with pollution control devices, state bus lines and a metro system. Decentralization has been approached by the National Urban Plan of 1978 and the National Development Plan of 1983-1988 among other efforts, but lack of a central authority, and the failure of the government to respond to the 1985 earthquake by relocating housing cost doubt of the likelihood of results. Counteracting systems such as subsidies for water, food electricity and diesel fuel for urban residents, and inadequate tax incentives for companies moving elsewhere are also in effect. Land speculation combined with illegal settlement of communal lands have hampered planning, but the earthquake cleared extensive areas for parks and low income apartments. Water supply is another major problem, with per capita usage equal to U.S. levels because of losses from the aging system. Health care and other services are allotted mainly on income lines because of political factors. Resources and regulation are in a pitched battle between the Federal District (the City) and Mexico State which soon will make up the majority of the population, but receives poorer services at greater expense relative to the City.
In: Reunion Nacional sobre Distribucion de la Poblacion, Migracion y Desarrollo, Guadalajara, Jalisco, 11 de mayo de 1984, [compiled by] Mexico. Consejo Nacional de Poblacion [CONAPO] Mexico City, Mexico, CONAPO, 1984. 57-79.Population policy in Mexico is closely tied to the strategy for achieving a more egalitarian society in the areas of employment and income distribution. Current migration patterns in Mexico resulted largely from the development model followed since the 1950s, which gave rise to population movements because of the growth of infrastructure and communication facilities as well as new employment opportunities in some areas and shrinking labor markets in others. Existing data on migration in Mexico is insufficient, and other sources should be developed to supplement the national population censuses. Some urban areas with relatively abundant services have attracted high concentrations of population, while in some areas industrial development has prompted population influxes which the localities are unable to manage efficiently. Goals of the National Development Plan include relocation of the population concentrated in the largest cities, reorientation of migration, and retention of population in places of origin. In 1980, over 60% of Mexico's population was classified as urban. The urban population has grown at least 3 times faster than the rural for the past 35 years. Aids to industrialization in Mexico's past development plans implied channeling into industry the economic surplus generated in the agricultural sector, public enterprises, the informal sectors of the economy, and export businesses. The principal mechanisms utilized were adjustment of relative prices of urban and rural products, containment of labor costs, and transferral of economic resources from exporters to importers through overvaluing of the currency. The industrialization process resulted in generation of employment in urban areas and concentrated opportunities for social advancement and access to basic services in cities as well, resulting in the definitive movement of millions of Mexicans into the cities while the rural areas had increasing difficulties retaining their populations. The overall orientation of the World Population Plan of Action coincides in its basic aspects with the central strategies of the Mexican National Development Plan. The Mexican Plan proposes to address problems of migration by dealing with their structural causes, and also emphasizes development of efficient links between the national and international economies. The Plan recognizes that a better regional distribution of productive resources is needed, as well as a reorientation of production in favor of mass consumption. 2 lines of action are intended to influence population distribution: integral rural development and decentralization of production and social welfare activities. More equitable terms of exchange between rural and urban areas will be required in order to improve rural living standards. Organizations such as the National Employment Service are among the legal and administrative instruments which are expected to help implement new strategies.