Pandemic reduced competitiveness of the main cities

As a result of the pandemic, the main cities of the country lost competitiveness and reduced their path to diversification, in addition to increasing inequality in the population’s wages and increasing the number of workers who declared not receiving income, reported the Urban Competitiveness Index ( ICU) 2021 of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (Imco).

When presenting the new edition of the study, the director of Imco, Valeria Moy, explained that the general competitiveness score of the ICU, which is divided by city groups, decreased, which translates into a decline in economic, social and educational indicators .

For example, 65% of the cities evaluated have medium-high or medium-low competitiveness, while 17% have low or very low competitiveness. The percentage of city-owned income also fell (from 28% to 26% of total public income) and there was 18% less net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on average.

Valeria Moy elaborated that the edition of this index became more relevant because it showed a better X-ray of how the pandemic changed the lives of the population and the results of actions to avoid damage.

He recalled that the original objective of the ICU is to measure the capacity of the country’s cities to attract and retain talent and investment, evaluating their competitiveness.

The sample is made up of a total of 69 cities, which concentrate 63% of the national population, 84% of talent (population with technical and higher education), 86% of GDP and 88% of gross fixed investment.

The ICU is divided into 10 sub-indices: Law, Environment, Society, Political System, Governments, Market Factors, Economy, Precursors, International Relations and Innovation.

At the same time, six levels of competitiveness were generated (high, adequate, medium-high, medium-low, low and very low) to evaluate four groups of cities: more than 1 million inhabitants, from 500,000 to 1 million, from 250,000 to 500,000 and less than 250,000 people.

Although no city managed to be in the high competitiveness classification, in the group of cities with more than 1 million inhabitants Valle de México, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Monterrey and Mérida were positioned as leaders by achieving an adequate level of competitiveness; meanwhile, Cuernavaca ranked last (low average).

In the group of more than 500,000 to 1 million inhabitants, Saltillo, Culiacán, Durango and Mazatlán were placed in the appropriate classification, while Cuautla, in very low. In the range of 250,000 to 500,000 people, only Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta were adequate. Cárdenas and Salamanca in the very low ranking.

In cities with less than 250,000 inhabitants, the leader was Piedras Negras, in adequate, and in the end San Francisco del Rincón, in very low.

Guadalajara presented the greatest dynamism in the pandemic, moving, in the group of more than 1 million inhabitants, from sixth to second, thanks to the increase in the percentage of homes with a computer and internet and the budget for non-motorized transport.

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