Mexico

Mexico

Background

The site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations – including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec – Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved its independence early in the 19th century. The global financial crisis beginning in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn the following year, although growth returned quickly in 2010. 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 indigenous 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, but Enrique PENA NIETO regained the presidency for the PRI in 2012. Since 2007, Mexico’s powerful drug-trafficking organizations have engaged in bloody feuding, resulting in tens of thousands of drug-related homicides.

Geography

Location:
North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States

Geographic coordinates:
23 00 N, 102 00 W

Map references:
North America

Area:
total: 1,964,375 sq km
country comparison to the world: 14
land: 1,943,945 sq km
water: 20,430 sq km

Area – comparative:
Area comparison map:

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: 12.98%
permanent crops: 1.36%
other: 85.66% (2011)

Irrigated land:
64,600 sq km (2009)

Total renewable water resources:
457.2 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 80.4 cu km/yr (14%/9%/77%)
per capita: 700.4 cu m/yr (2009)

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
volcanism: volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (elev. 3,850 m), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico’s most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (elev. 5,426 m) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana

Environment – current issues:
scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural freshwater 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 & Society

Nationality:
noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican

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

Languages:
Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%
note: indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal 1.6%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.4%, other Evangelical Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%, unspecified 2.7% (2010 est.)

Population:
120,286,655 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.9% (male 17,188,577/female 16,423,421)
15-24 years: 18.1% (male 10,999,445/female 10,741,999)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 23,385,321/female 25,200,511)
55-64 years: 7% (male 3,850,792/female 4,527,074)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 3,594,675/female 4,374,840) (2014 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 52.7 %
youth dependency ratio: 42.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 10.1 %
potential support ratio: 9.9 (2014 est.)

Median age:
total: 27.3 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 28.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.21% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Birth rate:
19.02 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91

Death rate:
5.24 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Net migration rate:
-1.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Urbanization:
urban population: 78.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.49% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:
MEXICO CITY (capital) 20.446 million; Guadalajara 4.525 million; Monterrey 4.213 million; Puebla 2.335 million; Tijuana 1.82 million; Toluca de Lerdo 1.748 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
21.3
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2006 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
50 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 108

Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.58 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 123
male: 14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.43 years
country comparison to the world: 94
male: 72.67 years
female: 78.32 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.29 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
70.9% (2006)

Health expenditures:
6.4% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 97

Physicians density:
1.96 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density:
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
96.1improved:
urban: 95.9% of population
rural: 90.8% of population
total: 94.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.9% of population
rural: 9.2% of population
total: 5.1% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 87% of population
rural: 79% of population
total: 85.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13% of population
rural: 21% of population
total: 14.7% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
174,300 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
NA

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne disease: dengue fever (2013)

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
32.1% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 23

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
2.8% (2012)
country comparison to the world: 115

Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 72

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.5%
male: 94.8%
female: 92.3% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2011)

Child labor – children ages 5-14:
total number: 1,105,617
percentage: 5 % (2009 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 9.4%
country comparison to the world: 113
male: 9.1%
female: 9.9% (2012)


Government

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 City (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 has three 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 de Ignacio de la Llave (Veracruz), Yucatan, Zacatecas

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

National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 September (1810)

Constitution:
several previous; latest approved 5 February 1917; amended many times, last in 2014 (2014)

Legal system:
civil law system with US constitutional law influence; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Enrique PENA NIETO (since 1 December 2012); note – the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Enrique PENA NIETO (since 1 December 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; note – appointment of attorney general, the head of the Bank of Mexico, and senior treasury officials require consent of the Senate
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single six-year term; election last held on 1 July 2012 (next to be held in July 2018)
election results: Enrique PENA NIETO elected president; percent of vote – Enrique PENA NIETO (PRI) 38.21%, Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (PRD) 31.59%, Josefina Eugenia VAZQUEZ Mota (PAN) 25.41%, other 4.79%

Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 seats allocated on the basis of each party’s popular vote) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara 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; members to serve three-year terms)
elections: Senate – last held on 1 July 2012 for all of the seats (next to be held on 1 July 2018); Chamber of Deputies – last held on 1 July 2012 (next to be held on 5 July 2015)
election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PRI 52, PAN 38, PRD 22, PVEM 9, PT 4, Movimiento Ciudadano 2, PANAL 1; Chamber of Deputies – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PRI 208, PAN 114, PRD 100, PVEM 33, PT 19, Movimiento Ciudadano 16, PANAL 10

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (consists of the chief justice and 11 justices and organized into civil, criminal, administrative, and labor panels) and the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (organized into the superior court, with 7 judges including the court president and 5 regional courts, each with 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices nominated by the president of the republic and approved by two-thirds vote of the members present in the Senate; justices serve for life; Electoral Tribunal superior and regional court judges nominated by the Supreme Court and elected by two-thirds vote of members present in the Senate; superior court president elected from among its members to hold office for a single-renewable 4-year term; other judges of the superior and regional courts serve staggered, single-renewable 9-year terms
subordinate courts: federal level includes circuit, collegiate, and unitary courts; state and district level courts

Political parties and leaders:
Citizen’s Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano) [Dante DELGADO Rannaoro]
Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) or PRI [Cesar CAMACHO Quiroz]
Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo) or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]
Mexican Green Ecological Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico) or PVEM [vacant]
National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional) or PAN [Gustavo MADERO Munoz]
New Alliance Party (Partido Nueva Alianza) or PNA/PANAL [Luis CASTRO Obregon]
Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) or PRD [Jesus ZAMBRANO Grijalva]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
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 Confederation of Popular Organizations or CNOP
National Coordinator for Education Workers or CNTE
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), CD, CDB, CE (observer), CELAC, CSN (observer), EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-3, G-15, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAFTA, NAM (observer), NEA, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Eduardo MEDINA MORA Icaza (since 11 January 2013)
chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698
consulate(s) general: Anchorage (AK), Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso (TX), Houston, Laredo (TX), Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Nogales (AZ), Phoenix, Sacramento (CA), San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Saint Paul (MN)
consulate(s): Albuquerque, Boise (ID), Brownsville (TX), Calexico (CA), Del Rio (TX), Detroit, Douglas (AZ), Eagle Pass (TX), Fresno (CA), Indianapolis (IN), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas (NV), Little Rock (AR), McAllen (TX), New Orleans, Omaha (NE), Orlando (FL), Oxnard (CA), Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Presidio (TX), Raleigh (NC), Salt Lake City, San Bernardino (CA), Santa Ana (CA), Seattle, Tucson (AZ), Yuma (AZ); note – Washington DC Consular Section located in a separate building from the Mexican Embassy and has jurisdiction over DC, parts of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Anthony WAYNE (since 2 August 2011)
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) 5080-2834
consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana

Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico’s coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; green signifies hope, joy, and love; white represents peace and honesty; red stands for hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City
note: similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter, uses lighter shades of red and green, and does not have anything in its white band

National symbol(s):
golden eagle

National anthem:
name: “Himno Nacional Mexicano” (National Anthem of Mexico)


Economy

Economy – overview:
Mexico’s $1.3 trillion economy has become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing in the 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal. Mexico has become the United States’ second-largest export market and third-largest source of imports. In 2013, two-way merchandise trade reached nearly $507 billion. Mexico has free trade agreements with over 50 countries including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the European Free Trade Area, and Japan – putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. In 2012 Mexico formally joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and formed the Pacific Alliance with Peru, Colombia and Chile. Mexico’s current government, led by President Enrique PENA NIETO, emphasized economic reforms during its first year in office, passing education, energy, financial, fiscal and telecommunications reform legislation. The three-party “Pact for Mexico” reform agenda aims to improve competitiveness and economic growth across the Mexican economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.845 trillion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$1.823 trillion (2012 est.)
$1.76 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.327 trillion (2013 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
1.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
3.6% (2012 est.)
4% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$15,600 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$15,600 (2012 est.)
$15,200 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
21% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
21.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
21.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 69.1%
government consumption: 11.8%
investment in fixed capital: 22.7%
investment in inventories: -1%
exports of goods and services: 31.2%
imports of goods and services: -33.8%
(2013 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 36.6%
services: 59.8% (2013 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:
3.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Labor force:
51.48 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 13.4%
industry: 24.1%
services: 61.9% (2011)

Unemployment rate:
4.9% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
5.3% (2012 est.)
note: underemployment may be as high as 25%

Population below poverty line:
52.3%
note: based on food-based definition of poverty; asset based poverty amounted to more than 47% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 37.5% (2010)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
48.3 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 24
53.1 (1998)

Budget:
revenues: $291.2 billion
expenditures: $324.1 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
21.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Public debt:
37.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
35.8% of GDP (2012 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
3.6% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
4.5% (31 December 2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
4.7% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
4.73% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$174.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$170.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$713 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
$671.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$444.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$404.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$525.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$408.7 billion (31 December 2011)
$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:
-$14.18 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
-$11.84 billion (2012 est.)

Exports:
$370.9 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
$349.6 billion (2012 est.)

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

Exports – partners:
US 78% (2012)

Imports:
$370.7 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
$350.9 billion (2012 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 49.9%, China 15.4%, Japan 4.8% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$167.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$149.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt – external:
$354.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$286.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$435.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$400.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$141.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$133 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:
Mexican pesos (MXN) per US dollar –
12.76 (2013 est.)
13.17 (2012 est.)
12.636 (2010 est.)
13.514 (2009)
11.016 (2008)


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