Excerpted from the Mexico Career Guide
Cost of Living
Mexico has a large and diverse economy, with a GDP of about 1.26 trillion USD. It is the second-largest economy in Latin America and, after being affected by recession, Mexico’s economy is now growing at the fastest rate in recent years.
Most Mexicans rent rather than buy, since buying property is still financially out of reach for most. As a result, the market offers a plentiful stock of available rental properties and a great deal of variety. Good ways to find a rental include consulting newspapers and billboards, engaging the services of an estate agent and simply walking around the neighborhood of interest, looking for displayed telephone number signs on buildings and houses saying se renta (for rent), or speaking to locals and approaching landlords directly.
Mexico has the largest paved road network in Latin America, including more than 10,000 km/6,214 miles of expressways, most of which are toll roads. These toll roads (autopistas de cuota) connect Mexico’s largest cities - Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey - and are among the most expensive to travel in the world.
Medical Care and Health Insurance
Mexico’s universal health care system (Seguro Popular or cobertura universal de salud) now covers more than 50 million previously uninsured Mexicans in public insurance programs. Health care standards in Mexico are generally high and there are world-class hospitals in almost every city.
Work Schedules and Holidays
People in Mexico work very long hours: 2,226 hours a year, among the highest rates in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which presents an average of 1,765 hours per year. Nearly 29 percent of employees (usually men) work 50 hours a week or more.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s recent Taxing Wages report states Mexico has the third-lowest income tax burden rate among OECD member countries. Mexican citizens and permanent residents are taxed on their worldwide income.
Social Security and Pension
Mexico’s social security system, which is administered by the Social Security Institute (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social or IMSS; website available in Spanish, English and four other languages), provides for pensions, sickness, paid maternity leave, medical benefits, work-related injuries, old age and death benefits, and unemployment insurance. The employer, the employee and the government share the cost of social security. However, the employer usually pays the largest share, generally representing from 20 to 30 percent of the worker’s payroll.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Mexico Guide.