New census shows fewer Catholics, more cellphones in Mexico

México's national institute of statistics and geography (INEGI) has released new data for the period between 2010 and 2020

Census workers visited households across México in 2019 and the first couple months of 2020. Photo: File
Census workers visited households across México in 2019 and the first couple months of 2020. Photo: File

According to the new census data, Mexico’s population stands at just over 126 million, with approximately 2.3 million residing in Yucatán. Mexico stands as the 10th largest country in the world by population, slightly above Japan and below Russia. 

And 36% of Mexico’s population is concentrated in 10 metropolitan areas, led by Mexico City with 21.8 million inhabitants. The population of México city is actually shrinking, as more and more residents continue to move to smaller communities.

Quintana Roo, Baja California Sur and Querétaro are the three states with the highest levels of population growth. 

The report also points out that 87.5% of Mexican families have at least one cellphone, but that only 52.1% of households have an internet connection.  

As is also the case nationally, the number of Catholics in Yucatán has diminished by 5%, but the number of those identifying as non-religious doubled. 

Christian denominations other than Catholicism saw an increase of 3.7%. In this case, the term “Christian” bundles disparate communities such as Seventh-day Adventists and Anglicans.

Mexico’s Catholic church has claimed that such ambiguities do not reflect reality. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made similar arguments and requested that the religion be identified on all census forms and data by their full name, and not by the monicker  “Mormon Church” or “Christian denomination.” 

Despite shifts in Mexico’s religious makeup, Catholicism continues to be the largest religion in the country, with approximately 97 million self-reported believers. 

Followers of other religions represented in the national census include Judaism, 58,876; Indigenous Religions, 33,372; and Islam, 7,982.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.