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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Mexico



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Mexico Top of Page
Background:

The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation continues to make an impressive recovery. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON.

 

  
   Geography    Mexico Top of Page
Location:

Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US
Geographic coordinates:

23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map references:

North America
Area:

total: 1,972,550 sq km
land: 1,923,040 sq km
water: 49,510 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:

total: 4,353 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
Coastline:

9,330 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

varies from tropical to desert
Terrain:

high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m
Natural resources:

petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use:

arable land: 12.66%
permanent crops: 1.28%
other: 86.06% (2005)
Irrigated land:

63,200 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts
Environment - current issues:

scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion
note: the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:

strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico
   People    Mexico Top of Page
Population:

108,700,891 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 30.1% (male 16,696,089/female 16,011,563)
15-64 years: 64% (male 33,624,812/female 35,925,372)
65 years and over: 5.9% (male 2,917,563/female 3,525,492) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 25.6 years
male: 24.6 years
female: 26.6 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

1.153% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

20.36 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

4.76 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

-4.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.043 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.936 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.828 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 19.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.63 years
male: 72.84 years
female: 78.56 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

2.39 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

160,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

5,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:

noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican
Ethnic groups:

mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
Religions:

Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)
Languages:

Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92.4%
female: 89.6% (2004 est.)
   Government    Mexico Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: United Mexican States
conventional short form: Mexico
local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
local short form: Mexico
Government type:

federal republic
Capital:

name: Mexico (Distrito Federal)
geographic coordinates: 19 26 N, 99 08 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October
note: Mexico is divided into four time zones
Administrative divisions:

31 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Colima, Distrito Federal*, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro de Arteaga, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave, Yucatan, Zacatecas
Independence:

16 September 1810 (declared); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
National holiday:

Independence Day, 16 September (1810)
Constitution:

5 February 1917
Legal system:

mixture of US constitutional theory and civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory (but not enforced)
Executive branch:

chief of state: President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; note - appointment of attorney general requires consent of the Senate
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single six-year term; election last held on 2 July 2006 (next to be held 1 July 2012)
election results: Felipe CALDERON elected president; percent of vote - Felipe CALDERON 35.89%, Andres Manuel Lopez OBRADOR 35.31%, Roberto MADRAZO 22.26%, other 6.54%
Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 seats are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote) and the Federal Chamber of Deputies or Camara Federal de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members are elected by popular vote; remaining 200 members are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote; to serve three-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 2 July 2006 for all of the seats (next to be held 1 July 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held 2 July 2006 (next to be held 5 July 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAN 52, PRI 33, PRD 26, PVEM 6, CD 5, PT 5, independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAN 206, PRD 127, PRI 106, PVEM 17, CD 17, PT 12, other 18
Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (justices or ministros are appointed by the president with consent of the Senate)
Political parties and leaders:

Convergence for Democracy or CD [Luis MALDONADO Venegas]; Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI [Beatriz PAREDES]; Labor Party or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]; Mexican Green Ecological Party or PVEM [Jorge Emilio GONZALEZ Martinez]; National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional) or PAN [Manuel ESPINO Barrientos]; New Alliance Party (Partido Nueva Alianza) or PNA [Miguel Angel JIMENEZ Godinez]; Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) or PRD [Leonel COTA Montano]; Social Democratic and Peasant Alternative Party (Partido Alternativa Socialdemocrata y Campesina) or Alternativa [Alberto BEGNE Guerra]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

Broad Progressive Front or FAP; Businessmen's Coordinating Council or CCE; Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic or COPARMEX; Confederation of Industrial Chambers or CONCAMIN; Confederation of Mexican Workers or CTM; Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce or CONCANACO; Coordinator for Foreign Trade Business Organizations or COECE; Federation of Unions Providing Goods and Services or FESEBES; National Chamber of Transformation Industries or CANACINTRA; National Peasant Confederation or CNC; National Small Business Chamber or CANACOPE; National Syndicate of Education Workers or SNTE; National Union of Workers or UNT; Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca or APPO; Roman Catholic Church
International organization participation:

APEC, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), Caricom (observer), CDB, CE (observer), CSN (observer), EBRD, FAO, G-3, G-6, G-15, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, NAFTA, NAM (observer), NEA, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Arturo SARUKHAN Casamitjana
chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Nogales (Arizona), Omaha, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Albuquerque, Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Del Rio (Texas), Detroit, Douglas (Arizona), Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California), Indianapolis (Indiana), Kansas City (Missouri), Laredo (Texas), Las Vegas, McAllen (Texas), Midland (Texas), Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Presidio (Texas), Raleigh, Saint Paul (Minnesota), Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, Santa Ana (California), Seattle, Tucson, Yuma (Arizona)
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio O. GARZA, Jr.
embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal
mailing address: P. O. Box 9000, Brownsville, TX 78520-9000
telephone: [52] (55) 5080-2000
FAX: [52] (55) 5511-9980
consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana
consulate(s): Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo
Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; the coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in the white band
   Economy    Mexico Top of Page
Economy - overview:

Mexico has a free market economy that recently entered the trillion dollar class. It contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution, and airports. Per capita income is one-fourth that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal. Trade with the US and Canada has tripled since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994. Mexico has 12 free trade agreements with over 40 countries including, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the European Free Trade Area, and Japan, putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. The new Felipe CALDERON administration that took office in December 2006 faces many of the same challenges that former President FOX tried to tackle, including the need to upgrade infrastructure, modernize the tax system and labor laws, and allow private investment in the energy sector. CALDERON has stated that his top priorities include reducing poverty and creating jobs. The success of his economic agenda will depend on his ability to garner support from the opposition.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.149 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$743.5 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

4.8% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$10,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.9%
industry: 26.7%
services: 69.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

44.51 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 18%
industry: 24%
services: 58% (2003)
Unemployment rate:

3.2% plus underemployment of perhaps 25% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:

17.6% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 39.4% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

46.1 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.6% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

20.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $207.7 billion
expenditures: $206.9 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:

23.3% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products
Industries:

food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:

3.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:

222.4 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

183.3 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

1.597 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

470.7 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

3.42 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:

1.97 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:

2.268 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:

308,500 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:

12.51 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:

41.37 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

47.5 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:

282.9 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

9.717 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

434.1 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

-$2.425 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:

$250 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners:

US 84.7%, Canada 2.1%, Spain 1.3% (2006)
Imports:

$256.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, car parts for assembly, repair parts for motor vehicles, aircraft, and aircraft parts
Imports - partners:

US 50.9%, China 9.5%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$189.4 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$76.33 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$164.7 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$236.2 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$30.75 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$348.3 billion (2006)
Currency (code):

Mexican peso (MXN)
Exchange rates:

Mexican pesos per US dollar - 10.899 (2006), 10.898 (2005), 11.286 (2004), 10.789 (2003), 9.656 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Mexico Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

19.861 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

57.016 million (2006)
Telephone system:

general assessment: low telephone density with about 18 main lines per 100 persons; privatized in December 1990; the opening to competition in January 1997 improved prospects for development, but Telmex remains dominant
domestic: adequate telephone service for business and government, but the population is poorly served; mobile subscribers far outnumber fixed-line subscribers; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable and coaxial cable
international: country code - 52; satellite earth stations - 32 Intelsat, 2 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications), 1 Panamsat, numerous Inmarsat mobile earth stations; linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections; high capacity Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, and Italy (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 850, FM 545, shortwave 15 (2003)
Television broadcast stations:

236 (plus repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:

.mx
Internet hosts:

7.629 million (2007)
Internet users:

22 million (2006)
   Transportation    Mexico Top of Page
Airports:

1,834 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 231
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 84
914 to 1,523 m: 77
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1,603
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 63
914 to 1,523 m: 408
under 914 m: 1,131 (2007)
Heliports:

1 (2007)
Pipelines:

gas 22,705 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,875 km; oil 8,688 km; oil/gas/water 228 km; refined products 6,520 km (2006)
Railways:

total: 17,665 km
standard gauge: 17,665 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:

total: 235,670 km
paved: 116,751 km (includes 6,144 km of expressways)
unpaved: 118,919 km (2004)
Waterways:

2,900 km (navigable rivers and coastal canals) (2007)
Merchant marine:

total: 60 ships (1000 GRT or over) 802,128 GRT/1,157,971 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 7, chemical tanker 6, liquefied gas 4, passenger/cargo 11, petroleum tanker 25, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 4 (Denmark 2, Norway 1, UAE 1)
registered in other countries: 14 (Brazil 1, Honduras 1, Liberia 1, Panama 4, Portugal 1, Spain 3, Venezuela 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Altamira, Manzanillo, Morro Redondo, Salina Cruz, Tampico, Topolobampo, Veracruz
   Military    Mexico Top of Page
Military branches:

Secretariat of National Defense (Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Sedena): Army (Ejercito), Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Mexicana, FAM); Secretariat of the Navy (Secretaria de Marina, Semar): Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico, ARM, includes Naval Air Force (FAN) and Marines) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation - 12 months; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; conscripts serve only in the Army; Navy and Air Force service is all voluntary; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2007)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 24,488,008
females age 18-49: 26,128,046 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 19,058,337
females age 18-49: 21,966,796 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 1,063,233
females age 18-49: 1,043,816 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

0.5% (2006 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Mexico Top of Page
Disputes - international:

abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; the US has intensified security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across its border with Mexico; Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the United States
Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 10,000-12,000 (government's quashing of Zapatista uprising in 1994 in eastern Chiapas Region) (2006)
Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Mexico is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and labor; while the vast majority of victims are Central Americans trafficked along Mexico's southern border, other source regions include South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia; women and children are trafficked from rural regions to urban centers and tourist areas for sexual exploitation, often through fraudulent offers of employment or through threats of physical violence; the Mexican trafficking problem is often conflated with alien smuggling, and frequently the same criminal networks are involved; pervasive corruption among state and local law enforcement often impedes investigations
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Mexico remains on the Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year based on future commitments to undertake additional efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention of trafficking in persons, and the failure of the government to provide critical law enforcement data
Illicit drugs:

major drug-producing nation; cultivation of opium poppy in 2005 amounted to 3,300 hectares yielding a potential production of 8 metric tons of pure heroin, or 17 metric tons of "black tar" heroin, the dominant form of Mexican heroin in the western United States; marijuana cultivation decreased 3% to 5,600 hectares in 2005 - just two years after a decade-high cultivation peak in 2003 - and yielded a potential production of 10,100 metric tons; government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America, with an estimated 90% of annual cocaine movements towards the US stopping in Mexico; major drug syndicates control majority of drug trafficking throughout the country; producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the US market

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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