The nearly 2,000 mile (3,201 kilometer) United States border with Mexico is the most frequently crossed border in the entire world. According to the BBC, the border between Tijuana and San Diego is the busiest land border crossing anywhere. You might think this close proximity and the fact that people are continually moving between the countries should mean the two nations have a lot in common, but that’s not exactly the case. The U.S. probably has more in common with the UK, a country that lies over 4,000 miles across the ocean. Mexico’s many indigenous civilizations were colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century, while the USA was a colony of Great Britain. This made all the difference.
First of all, let’s have a quick look at the two countries our citizens call home. The USA is the third (some sources say 4th) largest country in the world with a landmass of 3,796,742 square miles (9,833,520 kilometers squared). Today it has a population of 325,365,189 people, making it the third most populated country on the planet.
Mexico has a land mass of 761,610 square miles (1,972,550 kilometers squared) making it the 13th largest country in the world. The population is 129,669,477 people, making it the 10th most populated country in the world.
So, who are these people?
The USA is said to be 72.4 percent white. Other sources have put this estimate as high as 77 percent. What we do know is that most of these white Americans identify as having ancestry from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands, among many other European countries. The U.S. Census Bureau states that the next largest ethnic group is Hispanic or Latino, at around 17.6 percent of the population, followed by black – 13.3 percent; Asian – 5.6 percent; and native American – 1.2 percent. Multiracial, meaning people that identify as having mixed ancestry, is around 2.6 percent. U.S. Census Bureau data also stated in 2016 that 5.6 million Mexican nationals were residing in the U.S. without authorization.
As for Mexico, the largest ethnic group there identify as Mestizo. Mestizo is a group – around 62 percent of the country – that are of mixed ethnicity between the indigenous people of the country and Europeans. This would include someone that has blood from Spanish colonists as well as Mexico’s indigenous peoples. The next largest group at 27 percent of the population are Amerindians, which can draw comparisons to Native American Indians. Think of the Mayas from the Yucatan or Chiapas or the Náhuas, descendants of the Aztecs. White (or European) Mexicans make up 9 percent of the population, while black Mexicans and Arabic Mexicans are thought to make up about 1 percent each of the population.
With mixed ethnicity comes mixed religions, and the USA has quite a few on the go. Nonetheless, the USA is said to be the world’s biggest Christian population, many of whom are still quite devout compared to their European counterparts. More than 70 percent of Americans say they are Christian, and the next largest group at around 23 percent aren’t really anything at all. Much smaller groups of people are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist. Mexico is quite similar in this respect, with 93% percent of the population identifying as Christian. The only difference is that 82.7 percent say they are Catholic, while other Christian denominations make up around 12 percent. It’s thought that only 20.8% of Americans are Catholics. About 4.7 percent of Mexicans have taken the “don’t believe” or “don’t know what to think” route, while Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and native religions make up a very small percentage. Mexicans predominantly speak Spanish, but some people are bilingual or even trilingual, speaking also English and/or a native language. The vast majority of Americans are English speakers, although almost 40 million people say they’re mother tongue is Spanish. Smaller groups state that they are Chinese, French, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and German speakers, in that order in terms of numbers.
What about the demographics of these people?
Well, the median age in the USA is currently 37.8 years old. Life expectancy in the U.S. is currently 79.8 for both sexes, which is the 42nd highest in the world. The highest is Monaco, at the ripe old age of 89.5. Average life expectancy in Mexico is 75.9, the 93rd highest in the world. The median age in Mexico is 27.9 years old.
As for what we look like, the average American man is 5 feet 9 or 9 and a half inches (178.8 or 179.8 cm). He weighs 195.5 pounds (88.6 kilos), according to the Center for Disease Control. The average American woman according to the same source is five feet four inches (164.5 cm) and she weighs on average 168.5 pounds (76.5 kilos). The average Mexican man stands at 5 feet 5 1⁄2 inches (167 cm) and weighs around 165 pounds (74.8 kilos). We must point out here that sources are all over the place on this average. The average Mexican woman stands at around 5 feet 2 inches (158.4 cm) and weighs 151 pounds (68.4 kilos). Both countries are considered fat. According to the World Health Organization in 2017, 33 percent of American adults were obese and in Mexico 32.1 percent of adults were obese. It’s seems one thing these nations have in common is a love of over-eating.
As for how we live, we know that the USA is a far richer country and we know from all our other shows on the topic that the USA has the most billionaires in the world. But what about the average Joe?
The median annual individual income in the U.S. with both men and women taken into account for a 40 hour work week is $44,148 per year, according to a 2017 Bureau of Labor statistics report. Mexico’s median income was closer to 12,000 dollars per year. Mexico may have 15 billionaires (some sources say 16) but the country has widespread poverty. A 2015 report stated that 20% of Mexicans are worth no more than 80 dollars, with half of the population living in poverty. That 20 percent, it was reported, don’t have the money to eat three meals a day. The same report stated that, “From 34 member countries of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the gap between wages and hours worked is larger in Mexico than in any other member country.” To rub salt in the wounds, according to OECD, that year Mexicans worked on average 2,327 hours, while Americans worked 1,796 hours. The United States is seen as a very hardworking country, too, in terms of hours worked and holidays taken. According to the Center for Poverty Research in 2015, the official poverty rate in the U.S. was 13.5 percent.
Financially, Mexicans seem to have it much harder, but what about happiness levels?
According to the World Happiness Index in 2016, which takes into account money, work, lifestyle, safety, freedom, etc., Denmark is the place to be. The USA came 13th on the list and Mexico came 21st on the list. That isn’t bad, considering that Mexico ranked higher than the UK. In 2017, though, Mexico and the UK basically changed places and United States dropped one place. In spite of low wages and some parts of Mexico being notoriously dangerous, it does seem that “subjective well-being” is pretty good. And that’s what counts, right? In fact, in 2014, a Pew research study found that Mexicans were the happiest people of the 43 participating countries, which included Germany, France, South Korea, Japan, the US, and the UK. One Mexican news media outlet wrote a story with the headline, “Mexicans: fat and happy, hard-working.” People have actually addressed this phenomenon and said one factor is that Mexicans have much stronger family ties, but also live a more active public life. While we hear a lot of negative news about Mexico, we don’t generally hear about the warm climate, community spirit, rich history, beautiful beaches; the streets often full of music and celebrations, the general daily joie de vivre.
With this in mind, we’ll let you decide where you would rather live: the US or mexico? Let us know why in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video called Jake Paul vs the average american! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!