Mexico meets all the criteria of an emerging market economy. The country's gross domestic product, or GDP, per capita beats most of its peers in the developing world but falls short of the threshold required for classification as a developed country. The story with its Human Development Index, or HDI, is similar: on the cusp of developed but still insufficient. Compared to developed countries, such as the United States, Canada and Australia, Mexico contains much broader swaths of abject poverty and regions where common luxuries the developed world takes for granted, such as clean running water and access to quality medical care, are scarce. Even so, the country is making commendable progress in bringing a higher quality of life to its most neglected regions.

Perhaps most characteristic of an emerging market economy is Mexico's strong economic growth rate. Though its year-over-year GDP increases waned during the global recession and its tepid recovery, Mexico's growth is strong for 2015 and is expected to keep accelerating through at least 2018.

Emerging Market Economies Vs. Developed Economies

Developed economies, as a rule, meet several criteria. A developed country's per capita GDP, at minimum, is $12,000. The world's leading economies have per capita GDPs much higher at $30,000 and above. For developed countries, HDI, an index based on a country's health care, education and other quality of life metrics, must come in at 0.8 or higher.

In addition to the quantitative criteria above, several qualitative factors define developed countries. Access to clean water, healthy food and medical care needs to be widespread. Every country, even the most developed, has residents who are poor and unhealthy. What they do not feature, however, are broad areas of abject poverty and deplorable living conditions.

Mexico as an Emerging Market Economy

Mexico's per capita GDP falls short of the $12,000 required to qualify as a developed country but not by much. The country's per capita GDP in 2014 was $10,652. Economists project it to rise to $11,800 in 2015 and then cross the $12,000 barrier the following year.

The country's HDI, as of 2013, is 0.756. While developed countries have scores of 0.8 or higher, and countries offering the highest quality of life score as high as 0.944 such as Norway's 2013 score, Mexico ranks 71st out of 187 countries and far outscores the average developing nation.

Mexico's strongest emerging market economy characteristic is not the current state but the pace of its development. Yes, the country still has substantial poverty, but it is rapidly receding. While Mexico's economic output does not compare to developed countries, it is growing faster than many of them. The country's economic growth from 2014 to 2015 is expected to be 3.8%. Economists forecast Mexico to grow even faster in 2016, and faster again in 2017.

The economy of Mexico may not be fully developed as of 2015, but it is getting there. As a result, the country is a strong example of an emerging market economy.