In 2016, Mexico’s government for the first time ever recognized the 1.38 million citizens of African descent living in the country. They weren’t counted in the national census until 2015. In Mexico’s 2020 national census, “black” will debut as an official category.
Afro-Mexicans, also known as Black Mexicans, are Mexicans who have both a predominant heritage from Sub-Saharan Africa and identify as such. As a single population, Afro-Mexicans includes individuals descended from Spanish colonial era transatlantic African slaves brought by force to Mexico, as well as others of more recent immigrant African descent, including Afro-descended persons from neighboring English, French, and Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean and Central America, and to a recent-immigrants from Africa.
Afro-Mexicans live in isolated communities, including the populations of the Costa Chica of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Veracruz and in some cities in northern Mexico.