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Map of Mexico
Introduction Mexico
site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in 19th century. A devaluation of peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering worst recession in over half a century. nation continues to make an impressive recovery. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for largely Amerindian population in impoverished southern states. Elections held in July 2000 marked first time since 1910 Mexican Revolution that opposition defeated party in government, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Vicente FOX of National Action Party (PAN) previously sworn in on 1 December 2000 as first chief executive elected in free and fair elections.
Geography Mexico
Middle America, bordering Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and US and bordering North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and US
Geographic coordinates:
23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map references:
North America
total: 1,972,550 sq km
land: 1,923,040 sq km
water: 49,510 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than three times size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 4,353 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
9,330 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge of continental margin
varies from tropical to desert
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: 13.2%
permanent crops: 1.1%
other: 85.7% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
65,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
tsunamis along Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in center and south, and hurricanes on 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 national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion
note: government considers 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 Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico
People Mexico
Total Population:
104,907,991 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.3% (male 17,298,964; female 16,617,728)
15-64 years: 63.1% (male 32,217,513; female 33,932,603)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 2,145,252; female 2,695,931) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 23.8 years
male: 22.9 years
female: 24.6 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.43% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
21.92 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
4.97 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 23.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 26.78 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 72.3 years
male: 69.26 years
female: 75.49 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.53 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
150,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,200 (2001 est.)
noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican
Ethnic groups:
mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%
Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 92.2%
male: 94%
female: 90.5% (2003 est.)
Government Mexico
Country name:
conventional long form: United Mexican States
conventional short form: Mexico
local short form: Mexico
local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Government type:
federal republic
Mexico (Distrito Federal)
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
16 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 September (1810)
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
18 years of age; universal and compulsory (but not enforced)
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vicente FOX Quesada (since 1 December 2000); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
election results: Vicente FOX Quesada elected president; percent of vote - Vicente FOX Quesada (PAN) 42.52%, Francisco LABASTIDA Ochoa (PRI) 36.1%, Cuauhtemoc CARDENAS Solorzano (PRD) 16.64%, other 4.74%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 2 July 2000 (next to be held NA July 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president; note - appointment of attorney general requires consent of Senate
head of government: President Vicente FOX Quesada (since 1 December 2000); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 are allocated on basis of each party's popular vote) and Federal Chamber of Deputies or Camara Federal de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members are directly elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; remaining 200 members are allocated on basis of each party's popular vote, also for three-year terms)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PRI 60, PAN 46, PRD 15, PVEM 5, PT 1, CD 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PRI 224, PAN 153, PRD 95, other 28
elections: Senate - last held 2 July 2000 for all of seats (next to be held NA 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 6 July 2003 (next to be held NA 2006)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by president with consent of Senate)
Political parties and leaders:
Convergence for Democracy or CD [Dante DELGADO Ranauro]; Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI [Dulce Maria SAURI Riancho]; Mexican Green Ecological Party or PVEM [Jorge Emilio GONZALEZ Martinez]; National Action Party or PAN [Luis Felipe BRAVO Mena]; Party of Democratic Revolution or PRD [Amalia GARCIA Medina]; Party of Nationalist Society or PSN [Gustavo RIOJAS Santana]; Social Alliance Party or PAS [Guillermo CALDERON Dominguez]; Workers Party or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Employers of 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 Union of Workers or UNT; Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers or CROM; Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants or CROC; Roman Catholic Church
International organization participation:
APEC, BCIE, BIS, Caricom (observer), CDB, CE (observer), EBRD, ECLAC, FAO, G-3, G-6, G-15, G-19, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM (observer), NEA, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Juan Jose BREMER Martino
FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698
consulate(s): Albuquerque, Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Corpus Christi, Del Rio (Texas), Detroit, Douglas (Arizona), Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California), Indianapolis (Indiana), Las Vegas, McAllen (Texas), Midland (Texas), Omaha, Orlando, Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Presidio (Texas), Raleigh, Saint Louis, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, Santa Ana (California), Seattle, Tucson, Yuma (Arizona)
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Laredo (Texas), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Nogales (Arizona), Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Antonio O. GARZA
embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal
mailing address: P. O. Box 9000, Brownsville, TX 78520-0900
telephone: [52] (55) 5080-2000
FAX: [52] (55) 5080-2005, 5080-2834
consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana
consulate(s): Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Nuevo Laredo, Nogales
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in white band
Economy Mexico
Economy - overview:
Mexico has a free market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports. Income distribution remains highly unequal. Trade with US and Canada has tripled since implementation of NAFTA in 1994. Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in 2001, recovering to only a plus 1% in 2002, with US slowdown principal cause. Mexico implemented free trade agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and European Free Trade Area in 2001, putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. Foreign direct investment reached $25 billion in 2001, of which $12.5 billion came from purchase of Mexico's second-largest bank, Banamex, by Citigroup.
buying power parity - $924.4 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.7% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $8,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 26%
services: 69% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
40% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
53.1 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.4% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
39.8 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 20%, industry 24%, services 56% (1998)
Unemployment rate:
urban - 3% plus considerable underemployment (2002)
revenues: $136 billion
expenditures: $140 billion, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
4.9% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
198.6 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 78.7%
hydro: 14.2%
other: 2.9% (2001)
nuclear: 4.2%
Electricity - consumption:
186.7 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
77 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
2.068 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
3.59 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1.507 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
1.881 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
374,700 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
25.03 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
36.87 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
38.84 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
254 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.967 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
969.2 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products
$158.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners:
US 82.7%, Canada 5.4%, Japan 1.1% (2002)
$168.4 billion f.o.b. (2002)
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 70.6%, Germany 3.5%, Japan 2.7% (2002)
Debt - external:
$150 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$1.166 billion (1995)
Mexican peso (MXN)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Mexican pesos per US dollar - 9.66 (2002), 9.34 (2001), 9.46 (2000), 9.56 (1999), 9.14 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Mexico
Telephones - main lines in use:
12.332 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.02 million (1998)
Telephone system:
general assessment: low telephone density with about 12 main lines per 100 persons; privatized in December 1990; opening to competition in January 1997 improved prospects for development
domestic: adequate telephone service for business and government, but population is poorly served; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, and mobile cellular service
international: satellite earth stations - 32 Intelsat, 2 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of US as well as enhancing domestic communications), 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 US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, and Italy (1997)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 851, FM 598, shortwave 16 (2000)
31 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
236 (plus repeaters) (1997)
25.6 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
51 (2000)
Internet users:
3.5 million (2002)
Transportation Mexico
total: 19,510 km
standard gauge: 19,510 km 1.435-m gauge (2002)
total: 329,532 km
paved: 108,087 km (including 6,429 km of expressways)
unpaved: 221,445 km (1999 est.)
2,900 km
note: navigable rivers and coastal canals
crude oil 28,200 km; petroleum products 10,150 km; natural gas 13,254 km; petrochemical 1,400 km
Ports and harbors:
Acapulco, Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Ensenada, Guaymas, La Paz, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Progreso, Salina Cruz, Tampico, Topolobampo, Tuxpan, Veracruz
Merchant marine:
total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 636,271 GRT/933,686 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 26, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea passenger 3
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Canada 2, Denmark 1 (2002 est.)
1,823 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 231
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 28
914 to 1,523 m: 82
under 914 m: 27 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 83
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1,592
under 914 m: 1,067 (2002)
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 454
1,524 to 2,437 m: 69
2 (2002)
Military Mexico
Military branches:
National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA) (including Army and Air Force), Navy Secretariat (including Naval Air and Marines)
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age
note: starting in 2000, females were allowed to volunteer for military service (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 27,751,539 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 20,123,970 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 1,093,752 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$4 billion (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1% (FY99)
Transnational Issues Mexico
Disputes - international:
prolonged regional drought in border region with US has strained water-sharing arrangements
Illicit drugs:
illicit cultivation of opium poppy (cultivation in 2001 - 4,400 hectares; potential heroin production - 7 metric tons) and of cannabis (in 2001 - 4,100 hectares); government eradication efforts have been key in keeping illicit crop levels low; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to US market; continues as primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America; major drug syndicates control majority of drug trafficking throughout country; growing producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center