El Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática: A History of Innovation Rooted in Tradition
- J. Humberto Urquiza GarcíaJ. Humberto Urquiza GarcíaCentro de Investigación sobre América Latina y el Caribe, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Since gaining independence, Mexico has consistently sought to improve and strengthen its official statistics collection process. This ongoing process of institutional continuity—beginning in the second half of the 19th century and continues into the first decades of the 21st century—can be divided into three discernible stages. The first stage lasted from 1882 to 1917 and was marked by the creation of a specialized government department that failed to provide cohesion to official statistics. During this stage, statistics were gathered only at a state level and through population censuses. The second stage began with the First Post-Revolutionary Statistics Act of 1922 and ended with the Statistics Act of 1983, which created the National Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Informatics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, or INEGI). This long second stage can be further divided into three sub-stages that directly influenced the development of official statistics: (a) 1917–1950: a time of simultaneous political instability and institutional strengthening; (b) 1950–1970: a period of economic stability known as the “Mexican miracle” that allowed for the fortification of official statistics; and (c) 1983–2008: a period when the official statistics system became integrated, which allowed for decentralization, and subsequently autonomous operation of the INEGI, an opening up of the economy, and a transition to democracy. The third stage is still a work in progress, but it has well-defined features: permanent coordination with regional and international statistics offices, statistical diversification, and the strengthening of the autonomy of the National Statistical and Geographic Information System (Sistema Nacional de Información Estadística y Geográfica, or SNIEG).