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Flag of Mexico

Country Profile

Capital City: México (Distrito Federal; pop. 13 million, 2000 census metro area)

Other Cities: Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Acapulco, Merida, Leon, Veracruz.

Local Time: UTC -5h

Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the USA and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the USA.
Area: 1,972,500 sq. km. (761,600 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Coastal lowlands, central high plateaus, and mountains up to 5,400 m. (18,000 ft.).
Border countries: Belize, Guatemala, USA

Climate: Tropical to desert.

Type: Federal Republic. Independence: First proclaimed 16 September 1810; republic established 1824.
Constitution: 5 February 1917.

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Mexican(s).
Population (2004 estimate): 105 million.
Ethnic groups: Indian-Spanish (mestizo) 60%, Amerindian 30%, European 9%, other 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Protestant 5%, other 5%.
Language: Spanish (official); 66 regional indigenous languages.
Literacy: 90%


Currency: Mexican Peso (M$) (MXN)

Natural resources: Petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

Agriculture products: Corn, beans, oilseeds, feed grains, fruit, cotton, coffee, sugarcane, winter vegetables.

Industries: Food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism.

Exports partners:
USA 89%, Canada 1.7%, Japan, Spain, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil 2%, Germany 1.2% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 74.8%, China 5.5%, Germany (3.8%); Japan (3.5%); Canada, Italy, South Korea, France (6.2%) (2003)

(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Mexico and others)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Mexico

Presidencia de la República

Senado de la República

Citizen Portal of Mexico

Portal e-México

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores - México

Diplomatic Missions
Misión Permanente de México ante la ONU

Consulate General of Mexico

Embassy of Mexico

Diplomatic Missions of Mexico

Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Mexico

National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics

Consejo Nacional de Población (CONAPO)

Centro Nacional de Metrología (CENAM)

Servicio Meteorológico Nacional

Map of Mexico

Map of Middle America



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. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first
time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that the opposition defeated the
party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Vicente
FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) was sworn in on 1 December 2000
as the first chief executive elected in free and fair elections.

Geography 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

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:   12 NM exclusive economic zone: Climate:  varies from
tropical to desert

Terrain:  high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus;

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% permanent crops: 1% other: 86% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  65,000 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:  strategic
location on southern border of US

People Mexico

Population:  103,400,165 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:   32.8% (male 17,310,230; female 16,630,935) 15-64 years:
(male 2,069,826; female 2,589,629) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.47% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  22.36 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  4.99 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -2.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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 total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  24.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75.21 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.57 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.29% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  150,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  4,700 (1999 est.)

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

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 89.6% male: 91.8% female: 87.4% (1995 est.)

Government Mexico

Country name:   United Mexican States conventional short form: Government
type:  federal republic

Capital:  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,

Independence:  16 September 1810 (from 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 Vicente FOX Quesada (since 1
December 2000); note - the president is both the 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:  2 July 2000 (next to be held NA July 2006) cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president; note - appointment of attorney
general requires consent of the Senate head of government: President
Vicente FOX Quesada (since 1 December 2000); note - the president is
both the chief of state and head of government

Legislative branch:  bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la
Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 are
elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 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
directly elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; remaining
200 members are allocated on the 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 211, PAN 207, PRD 50, PVEM 16, PT 8, PSN 3, PAS 2, CD 1,
independents 2 elections: Senate - last held 2 July 2000 for all of the
seats (next to be held NA 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 2 July
2000 (next to be held NA 2003)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia
(judges are appointed by the president with consent of the 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 the Democratic Revolution or PRD [Amalia GARCIA Medina];
Party of the 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
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 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), CCC, CDB, CE (observer), EBRD, ECLAC, FAO, G-3, G-6, G-15,
G-19, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer),
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU,
UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR,

Diplomatic representation in the 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), McAllen (Texas), Midland (Texas), Omaha, Orlando, Oxnard
(California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Presidio (Texas), Raleigh,
St.  Louis, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, Santa Ana (California),
Seattle, Tucson 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 the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Jeffery DAVIDOW embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc,
06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal mailing address:  [52] 55 5080-2005,
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; the coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a
snake in its beak) is centered in the 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
the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition
in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural
gas distribution, and airports. Income distribution remains highly
unequal. Trade with the US and Canada has tripled since the implementation
of NAFTA in 1994. Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in
2001, with the US slowdown the principal cause. Positive developments in
2001 included a drop in inflation to 6.5%, a sharp fall in interest rates,
and a strong peso that appreciated 5% against the dollar.  Mexico City
implemented free trade agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,
and the 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 the purchase of
Mexico's second largest bank, Banamex, by Citigroup.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $920 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -0.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $9,000 (2001 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:  51.9 (1996)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  6.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  39.8 million (2000)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 20%, industry 24%, services 56%

Unemployment rate:  urban - 3% plus considerable underemployment (2001)

Budget:  revenues: $136 billion expenditures: $140 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel,
petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables,

Industrial production growth rate:  -3.4% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  194.367 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 75.91% hydro: 16.88%
other: 3.19% (2000) nuclear: 4.02%

Electricity - consumption:  182.829 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  77 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  2.145 billion kWh (2000)

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

Exports:  $159 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

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

Exports - partners:  US 88.4%, Canada 2%, Germany 0.9%, Spain 0.8%,
Netherlands Antilles 0.6%, Japan 0.4%, UK 0.4%, Venezuela 0.4%,
(2001 est.)

Imports:  $168 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

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 68.4%, Japan 4.7%, Germany 3.6%, Canada 2.5%,
China 2.2%, South Korea 2.1%, Taiwan 1.6%, Italy 1.3%, Brazil 1.1%
(2001 est.)

Debt - external:  $191 billion (2001)

Economic aid - recipient:  $1.166 billion (1995)

Currency:  Mexican peso (MXN)

Currency code:  MXN

Exchange rates:  Mexican pesos per US dollar - 9.1614 (January 2002),
9.3423 (2001), 9.4556 (2000), 9.5604 (1999), 9.1360 (1998), 7.9185 (1997)

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; the opening to
competition in January 1997 improved prospects for development domestic:
adequate telephone service for business and government, but the 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 the 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 the US,
Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, and Italy (1997)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 851, FM 598, shortwave 16 (2000)

Radios:  31 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  236 (plus repeaters) (1997)

Televisions:  25.6 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .mx

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  51 (2000)

Internet users:  3.42 million (2001)

Transportation Mexico

Railways:  total: 18,000 km standard gauge: 18,000 km 1.435-m gauge (2001)

Highways:  total: 323,977 km paved: 96,221 km (including 6,335 km of
expressways) unpaved: 227,756 km (1997)

Waterways:  2,900 km note: navigable rivers and coastal canals

Pipelines:  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: 44 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 656,594
GRT/987,822 DWT ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 1, chemical tanker 4,
liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 27, roll on/roll off 3, short-sea
passenger 3 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as
a flag of convenience: Canada 2, Denmark 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  1,852 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 235 over 3,047 m: 11 2,438 to
3,047 m: 28 914 to 1,523 m: 86 under 914 m: 25 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 85

Airports - with unpaved runways:   1 2,438 to 3,047 m: Heliports:  2

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 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 27,229,581 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 19,761,440
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 1,077,536
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $4 billion (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1% (FY99)

Transnational Issues Mexico

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  illicit cultivation of opium poppy (cultivation in 2001 -
4,400 hectares; potential heroin production - 7 metric tons) and cannabis
cultivation 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 the
US market; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound
cocaine from South America; major drug syndicates control majority of
drug trafficking throughout the country; growing producer and distributor
of ecstasy

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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