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WHATS THE AVERAGE MEXICAN HOUSEHOLD?

By Dr. Deborah L. Riner


Chief Economist, AMERICAN CHAMBER/MEXICO
August 8, 2013


The title of a recent INEGI publication, the National Household Income and Expenditures Survey (Encuesta
Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares), might put you to sleep but its contents wont. The ENIGH
survey (for its initials in Spanish) paints a portrait of how much the average Mexican household made in
2012 and how it spent its income. It makes for fascinating and depressing reading. Following is a summary
of some highlights from the survey.
The average Mexican household in 2012 had 3.7 members, 1.8 of whom were economically active and 2.4
of whom received income of some sort (perceptores por hogar). The head of the household was 48.6 years
old and 2.5 people in the household were 14-65 years old.

Income: Monthly household income averaged $12,708 in 2012 (US$980 a month using the average annual
exchange rate). The table below shows average monthly incomes by decile (each 10% of households) in
pesos and dollars. The top fifth of households had half (51%) of household income in 2012. The bottom
half of households (deciles I-V) had a fifth of income. Income ranged from $2,332 for the poorest tenth of
households to $44,344 for the top tenth. Average household income of $9,621 a month put a household in
the top 50% of the distribution. Households with incomes of $20,338 per month were in the top 20% of
Mexicos households.
Decile
Total
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
IX
X

Monthly Household
Income In Pesos
12,708
2,332
3,931
5,245
6,504
7,971
9,621
11,857
14,950
20,338
44,344

Monthly Household
Income In US$
980
180
303
404
501
615
742
914
1,153
1,568
3,419

Source: Calculated from the quarterly figures published in the INEGIs ENIGH. Dollar values calculated using the average
annual exchange rate.

Spending: The average household spent two-thirds of its quarterly monetary income on three types of
expenditures in 2012. A third of the average households current monetary expenditures went for food,
beverages and tobacco in 2012. Close to a fifth (18%) went for transportation and communications.
Education and entertainment absorbed 14% of the average households expenditures. (See the following
pie chart.)

Source: Calculated from the quarterly figures published in the INEGIs ENIGH.

Naturally, there were significant differences in the distribution of expenditures by, for example, households
in deciles I, V, and X. Nearly half (46%) of the expenditures of the poorest 10% of households were for food,
beverages and tobacco, compared to 35% for decile V households and 14% for the top 10% of households.
A fifth of the expenditures of the richest 10% of households went for transportation and communications
and another fifth, to education and entertainment. Transportation and communications took a tenth of the
expenditures of the poorest 10% of Mexican households while 5% went for education and entertainment.
Those same two categories took the second and third largest share of expenditures by households in decile
V, respectively 17% and 10%.
The 2010 census reported a population exceeding 112 million. The ENIGH underscores that the census
number represents the potential market, not the actual market for many products.

www.amcham.org.mx