NAFTA Country Comparison Statistical Data Set


While researching statistical information for a white paper I’m currently working on, I realized two things. The first is that there is a tremendous amount of information out there but it is difficult to compile into a dataset that allows me to analyze trends and create comparisons between the three NAFTA partners. The second is that although I intuitively knew that generally there is not much difference between Mexico and the other two partners; the general public has a misperception that Mexico lags significantly behind Canada and the United States in terms of support and resources for its population. More importantly, national governmental institutions continue to adequately and effectively respond to the needs of the country.

Mexican institutions have been under a tremendous amount of pressure to deal with four major issues this year; the Drug War, the global recession, the April 27, 2009 Earthquake in Mexico City and the N1H1 (Swine Flu) outbreak. As a Mexican, I am proud of how our national institutions and my paisanos have dealt and coped with these significant national issues.

I hope some of the following statistics begin to dispel the distorted perception some people have of Mexico, especially when compared to the other three NAFTA partners; Canada and the United States.

In order to allow for “apple to apple” comparison I have converted monetary figures to US dollars and created comparisons based on percentage of GDP.

Population Indicators

Population 2008-2009:

México: 109,610,000 (1.6% of the world’s population)

United States: 306,407,000 (4.5% of the world’s population)

Canada: 33,647,000 (0.5% of the world’s population)

Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Population Division

Life expectancy at Birth in 2005

México: 75.6 years

United States: 77.9 years

Canada: 80.3 years

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Adult literacy Rate:

México: 91.6%

United States: 99.0%

Canada: 99.0%

(Of special note: Cuba, Estonia & Poland have a 99.8% rate)

Source: United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report 2007/2008

Public expenditure on education in 2002-2005 (% of GDP):

México: 5.4%

United States: 5.9%

Canada: 5.2%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Public expenditure on education as a percent of total government expenditure 2002-2005:

México: 25.6%

United States: 15.3%

Canada: 12.5%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Public expenditure on health in 2004 (% of GDP):

México: 3.0%

United States: 6.9%

Canada: 6.8%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Private expenditure on health in 2004 (% of GDP):

México: 3.5%

United States: 8.5%

Canada: 3.0%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Population aged 65 and older (% of population in 2005)

México: 5.8%

United States: 12.3%

Canada: 13.1%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Economic Indicators

Gross Domestic Product as of 2008 (In millions of USD) *The market value of all products and services produced within the country.

México: $1,088,128 Country rank: 13th

United States: $14,264,600 Country rank: 1st

Canada: $1,510,957 Country rank: 11th

Source: International Monetary Fund

Unemployment Rate

México: 4.76% (As of March 2009, source: INEGI)

United States: 8.6% (As of April 2009, source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Canada: 8.0% (As of April 2009, source: Statistics Canada)

Official Minimum Wage

México: Range is: $0.46USD to $0.49USD ($6.18MXN to $6.54MXN)  Minimum wage is set annually on a per daily basis as opposed to hourly. The daily minimum wage is set by zone: $52.3MXN in Zone A (Baja California, Distrito Federal and other large cities), in Zone B $50.96MX (Sonora, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Veracruz & Jalisco), and $49.50MX for all other states (Zone C). Exchange rate May 13, 2009, figures are based on an 8-hour work day as per federal law.

United States: Range is: $6.55USD to $9.92USD (Santa Fe, NM)  Some US states and cities have enacted their own minimum wages.

Canada: Range is $6.81USD to $8.52USD ($8.00 to $10.00 Canadian dollars per hour) Exchange rate on May 13, 2009.

Military Expenditure 2007/2008 as a percent of GDP:

México: 0.4%

United States: 4.1%

Canada: 1.1%

Source: United Nations Human Development Reports

Active Service Military Personnel:

México: 192,770

United States: 1,473,900

Canada: 65,251

Reserve Military Personnel:

México: 300,000

United States: 1,458,500

Canada: 34,678

Paramilitary (Police special forces & irregulars):

México: 25,000

United States: 453,000

Canada: 9,350

Total military manpower (Sum of all above):

México: 517,770

United States: 3,385,400

Canada: 109,279

Percent of population under military control:

México: 0.005%

United States: 1.1%

Canada: 0.003%

Sources: United States: Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional, US Department of Defense; Canadian National Defense

Deployed Forces (Forces actively engaged in operations intra-country and internationally)

México: 50,000 in the drug war 9.6% of total military manpower. Does not include DNIII deployments, i.e. national disaster relief operations.

United States: 308,161 in multiple locations worldwide 9.09% of total military manpower.

Canada: 2,830 in Afghanistan 2.5% of total military manpower.

As of: April 2009: These are approximate numbers because of force redeployments and duty station rotations. This figure does not include naval personnel on patrol.

Voter Participation:

México: 48.1%

United States: 48.3%

Canada: 68.4%

Source: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Average over a period of years to include local and national elections. National elections tend to have a higher return for all three countries.)

Last updated: 14may2009