Intercultural Dialogue

Global Index (ICDI): Mexico


Mexico is a multicultural country with majority ethnic Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) comprising 62% of the population. Other ethnic groups include Amerindians (21%) and others 10% (mostly European) (2012 est.: CIA Factbook 2020). Mexico does not have ethnicity category in the national census. Yet, more than 20% of the population self-identify as indigenous and 1.2% as Afro-Mexican. Historically, these two groups have faced discrimination that remains structurally entrenched. As a result, 71.9% of the indigenous population live in poverty and social marginalization (OHCHR 2019).

In response to the structural discrimination against vulnerable groups in Mexico, the government has implemented a series of changes to its public policy in 2018. This aimed at strengthening the Mexican Discrimination Prevention Agency, giving it powers to eliminate and prevent hate speech (OHCHR 2019). However, Mexico did not emulate fellow Central American countries in terms of improving its integration policies. Instead, more obstacles have been added for immigrants and indigenous populations in accessing basic services in education, healthcare, and political participation.


Mexico has achieved an overall ICDI score of 0.581. A score of 1 in the component of anti-discrimination signals a strong emphasis placed on anti-discrimination laws and related initiatives at the national level. In contrast, lower scores in the components of social contact, inequality, access to communication, cohesion and stability contribute to a less favourable climate in relation to the country’s structural dimension. Moderate scores in the components of intercultural attitudes, inclusion, freedom, and rights contribute to an average opportunities dimension.

Current Situation and Outlook

A relatively positive score in its legislative dimension indicates a conducive and favourable national-level climate for the implementation of anti-discrimination and multi-cultural laws and policies. Mexico can enhance its structural dimensions by increasing the possibilities and opportunities for intergroup contacts through the promotion of cultural participation. Its opportunities dimension can be further enhanced by considering reducing the restrictions pertaining to religious freedom, inclusion of and discrimination against ethnic minorities. If the situation relating to the structural and opportunities dimensions persist, there is a possibility that levels of inequality would deepen, and additional fractures could appear to deter the enhancement of social cohesion amongst communities.

Go back to Interactive Map.