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Afro-descendant community makes up 2% of the Mexican population

2020 census was the first to address citizens with Black ancestors

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Veronica Garibay
Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

According to the 2020 Census conducted by INEGI — the National Institute of Statistics and Geography — 2% of the population in Mexico identifies as Afro-descendant or Afro-Mexican.

Mexico’s most recent census conducted in 2020 included, for the first time, questions regarding Afro-Mexican ancestry. 

Afro-Mexicans make up 2% of the country’s population. Photo: Courtesy

The results show that 2,576,213 inhabitants of Mexico consider themselves Afro-Mexican, Black or Afro-descendant, or 2 out of 10 respondents. 

Currently, the region where these populations concentrate is the so-called Costa Chica of Guerrero, mainly in the municipalities of Ometepec and Cuajinicuilapa. 

The INGEI census takes place once every 10 years. The most recent one was conducted in 2020. Photo: Courtesy

Another important sector is found in the district of Jamiltepec, located in the coastal region of Oaxaca and made up of 24 municipalities. 

The recognition of Afro-descendants in the Mexican constitution only took place in 2019, almost a century after its enactment.

August 31: International day for people of African descent

The struggles of Afro-descendants all over the world led to the celebration of the International Day for People of African Descent for the first time in 2021, a commemoration that will be marked on the calendar every Aug. 31.

In the 2020 census, INEGI included questions related to the Afro-descendant community. Photo: Courtesy

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Any doctrine of racial superiority must be rejected, along with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races,” warns the UN.

Aug. 31 will also serve to condemn violent practices against this population and to condemn structural racism in criminal justice systems around the world.

Related: Recovering the lost history of Africans in Yucatán

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