The Mexican economy is primarily sustained through the tourism industry. In fact, between 15 and 16-million American's visit Mexico annually. Another Mexican economic success includes 1/5 of the world's oil reserves. Textiles, clothing and particularly agriculture are also strong industries in Mexican economy.
The Mexican economy and the cost of living is generally lower than it is in Europe, but the economy of Mexico is on a par with the U.S. Still, hourly wages and salaries tend to be lower in Mexico compared to similar positions in the U.S.
As a tourist in Mexico, you will notice the disparity between rich and poor immediately, especially if you travel off of the resort. The Mexican economy shows evidence of poor children begging and selling wares is commonplace and families living in very meager conditions are part of the Mexican economy.
Mexico's capital - Mexico City - has a reputation for being one of the most polluted cities on earth, with smog worse than that of Los Angeles. Mexico City also suffers from a very high crime rate. Foreign travelers should be especially careful and let their hotel call taxi companies for them rather then hail one off the street, as there have been some instances of kidnapping and theft by taxi drivers.
Travel agents also typically warn tourists about Mexico's talented pick pockets, who roam crowded areas such as the Metro. Pick pockets will specifically target tourists, especially those that have been drinking. But pick pocketing is preventable by keeping your wallet, passports and camera in a money belt or securely out of view under clothes.