Mexico Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Mexico Map Economy History

Acapulco
Aguascalientes
Baja California
Cancun
Chiapas
Coahuila
Coba
Cozumel
Ensenada
Guadalajara
Guanajuato
Guerrero
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Hidalgo
  
Ixtapa
Jalisco
La Paz
Los Cabos
Manzanillo
Mazatlan
Mexico City
Monterrey
Nayarit
Nuevo Leon
Oaxaca
Obregon
Playa del Carmen
Puerto Morelos
Puerto Vallarta
Queretaro
San Felipe
Sinaloa
Sonora
Tamaulipas
Taxco
Teotihuacan
Tijuana
Tlaxcala
Troncones
Tulum
Veracruz
Yucatan
Zacatecas
Zihuatanejo
National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP-Mexico's protected area agency)

Facts About Mexico

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.
Government type: federal republic
Capital: Mexico City
Currency: 1 New Mexican peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos

Geography of Mexico

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
Area:
total: 1,972,550 sq km
land: 1,923,040 sq km
water: 49,510 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 4,538 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,326 km
Coastline: 9,330 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
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%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 39%
forests and woodland: 26%
other: 22% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 61,000 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts.
Environment - current issues: 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; serious air pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border.
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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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

More Geography

People of Mexico

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About 70% of the people live in urban areas. Many Mexicans emigrate from rural areas that lack job opportunities--such as the underdeveloped southern states and the crowded central plateau--to the industrialized urban centers and the developing areas along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to some estimates, the population of the area around Mexico City is about 18 million, which would make it the largest concentration of population in the Western Hemisphere. Cities bordering on the United States--such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez--and cities in the interior--such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla--have undergone sharp rises in population in recent years.

Although educational levels in Mexico have improved substantially in recent decades, the country still faces daunting problems. Education is one of the Government of Mexico's highest priorities. The education budget for 2000--$23 billion--represented a 6.8% increase over the previous year's figure and 23% more funding in real terms for education in 2000 than in 1994. Educational funding now represents 27% of the budget. Education in Mexico also is being decentralized from federal to state authority in order to improve accountability.

Education is mandatory from ages 6 through 18. In addition, the Mexican Congress voted in December of 2001 to make one year of preschool mandatory by 2004. The increase in school enrollments during the past two decades has been dramatic. By 1999, 94% of the population between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in school. Primary, including preschool, enrollment totaled 17.2 million in 2000. Enrollment at the secondary public school level rose from 1.4 million in 1972 to 5.4 million in 2000. A rapid rise also occurred in higher education. Between 1959-2000 college enrollments rose from 62,000 to more than 2.0 million.

Population: 106,202,903 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  33.32% 
15-64 years:  62.28% 
65 years and over:  4.4%
Population growth rate: 1.5% 
Birth rate: 22.77 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 5.02 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -2.77 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 25.36 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  71.76 years
male:  68.73 years
female:  74.93 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.62 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican
Ethnic groups: mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%
Languages: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89.6%
male: 91.8%
female: 87.4% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Mexico > Map Economy History