The poinsettia, the traditional holiday plant, is native to Mexico and Central America and is found in the wild in mid-elevation tropical dry forests and on Pacific-facing slopes in steep canyons. The Aztecs used the plant for red dye and for medicinal purposes. The poinsettia’s association with Christmas dates back to the 17th century when Franciscan friars in Mexico used them in holiday celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern came to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem and the red color Jesus’s sacrifice at the crucifixion. The plant derives its name from the first US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. In 1825, while visiting Taxco, he became fascinated with the plants and sent some to his home in South Carolina. Poinsett, a botanist, propagated the plants and gave them to friends and to botanical gardens. In 1833, the plant was named after him. Robert Buist, a nurseryman, received some of Poinsett’s plants and is believed to be the first person to sell the plant in the US. Poinsettias became popular beginning in the early 1900s and remain synonymous as a holiday decoration in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere across North America. Picture courtesy of USDA/Peggy Greb
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Introduction

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 independence early in the 19th century. 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. Left-leaning anti-establishment politician and former mayor of Mexico City (2000-05) Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR, from the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), became president in December 2018.

The global financial crisis in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn in Mexico the following year. Growth rebounded to about 5% in 2010, but then averaged roughly half that for the rest of the decade. Notwithstanding this challenge, Mexico is currently the largest goods trading partner of the US – with $614.5 billion in two-way goods trade during 2019. US exports of goods and services to Mexico supported 1.2 million jobs in the US in 2015 (the latest data available) according to estimates from the Department of Commerce. Mexico's GDP contracted by 8.2% in 2020 due to pandemic-induced closures, its lowest level since the Great Depression, but Mexico’s economy rebounded in 2021 when it grew by 4.8%, driven largely by increased remittances, despite supply chain and pandemic-related challenges.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA, or T-MEC by its Spanish acronym) entered into force on 1 July 2020 and replaced its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico amended its constitution on 1 May 2019 to facilitate the implementation of the labor components of USMCA.

Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, high underemployment, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely indigenous population in the impoverished southern states. Since 2007, Mexico's powerful transnational criminal organizations have engaged in a struggle to control criminal markets, resulting in tens of thousands of drug-related homicides and forced disappearances.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

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

land: 1,943,945 sq km

water: 20,430 sq km

country comparison to the world: 20

Area - comparative

slightly less than three times the size of Texas

<p>slightly less than three times the size of Texas</p>

Land boundaries

total: 4,389 km

border countries (3): Belize 276 km; Guatemala 958 km; US 3,155 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

highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,636 m

lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m

mean elevation: 1,111 m

Natural resources

petroleum, silver, antimony, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber

Land use

agricultural land: 54.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 33.3% (2018 est.)

other: 11.8% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

65,000 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Laguna de Chapala - 1,140 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Laguna de Terminos - 1,550 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rio Grande river mouth (shared with US [s]) - 3,057 km; Colorado river mouth (shared with US [s]) - 2,333 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Gulf of Mexico) Rio Grande/Bravo (607,965 sq km)
Pacific Ocean drainage: (Gulf of California) Colorado (703,148 sq km)

Major aquifers

Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains Aquifer

Population distribution

most of the population is found in the middle of the country between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz; approximately a quarter of the population lives in and around Mexico City

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 (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 (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; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

Geography - note

note 1: strategic location on southern border of the US; Mexico is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

note 2: some of the world's most important food crops were first domesticated in Mexico; the "Three Sisters" companion plants - winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans - served as the main agricultural crops for various North American Indian groups; all three apparently originated in Mexico but then were widely disseminated through much of North America; avocado, amaranth, and chili peppers also emanate from Mexico, as does vanilla, the world's most popular aroma and flavor spice; although cherry tomatoes originated in Ecuador, their domestication in Mexico transformed them into the larger modern tomato

note 3: the Sac Actun cave system at 348 km (216 mi) is the longest underwater cave in the world and the second longest cave worldwide, after Mammoth Cave in the United States (see "Geography - note" under United States)

note 4: the prominent Yucatan Peninsula that divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea is shared by Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; just on the northern coast of Yucatan, near the town of Chicxulub (pronounce cheek-sha-loob), lie the remnants of a massive crater (some 150 km in diameter and extending well out into the Gulf of Mexico); formed by an asteroid or comet when it struck the earth 66 million years ago, the impact is now widely accepted as initiating a worldwide climate disruption that caused a mass extinction of 75% of all the earth's plant and animal species - including the non-avian dinosaurs

Map description

Mexico map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and bodies of water.

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Mexican(s)

adjective: Mexican

Ethnic groups

Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 62%, predominantly Amerindian 21%, Amerindian 7%, other 10% (mostly European) (2012 est.)

note: Mexico does not collect census data on ethnicity

Languages

Spanish only 93.8%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.4%, indigenous only 0.6%, unspecified 0.2%; note - indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2020 est.)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:

Religions

Roman Catholic 78%, Protestant/evangelical Christian 11.2%, other 0.002%, unaffiliated (includes atheism) 10.6% (2020 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.01% (male 17,111,199/female 16,349,767)

15-24 years: 16.97% (male 11,069,260/female 10,762,784)

25-54 years: 41.06% (male 25,604,223/female 27,223,720)

55-64 years: 8.29% (male 4,879,048/female 5,784,176)

65 years and over: 7.67% (2020 est.) (male 4,373,807/female 5,491,581)

This is the population pyramid for Mexico. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.3

youth dependency ratio: 38.8

elderly dependency ratio: 11.4

potential support ratio: 8.7 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 29.3 years

male: 28.2 years

female: 30.4 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 132

Birth rate

13.55 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 134

Death rate

7.71 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Net migration rate

-0.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Population distribution

most of the population is found in the middle of the country between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz; approximately a quarter of the population lives in and around Mexico City

Urbanization

urban population: 81.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

22.085 million MEXICO CITY (capital), 5.340 million Guadalajara, 5.037 million Monterrey, 3.295 million Puebla, 2.576 million Toluca de Lerdo, 2.221 million Tijuana (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.3 years (2008 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

33 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.86 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.11 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 121

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.32 years

male: 68.93 years

female: 75.88 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 0.3% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

2.43 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

1 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 96.4% of population

total: 99.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 3.6% of population

total: 0.8% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

note: a new coronavirus is causing sustained community spread of respiratory illness (COVID-19) in Mexico; sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing; illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe with fatalities reported; as of 6 June 2022, Mexico has reported a total of 5,782,405 cases of COVID-19 or 4,484.8 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 324,966 cumulative deaths or a rate of 252 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 20 May 2022, 66.68% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Tobacco use

total: 13.1% (2020 est.)

male: 19.9% (2020 est.)

female: 6.2% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 116

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 3.6% (2018)

women married by age 18: 20.7% (2018 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.2%

male: 96.1%

female: 94.5% (2020)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 15 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.1%

male: 7.8%

female: 8.7% (2020 est.)

Environment

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, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 20.08 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 486.41 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 135.77 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

varies from tropical to desert

Land use

agricultural land: 54.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 33.3% (2018 est.)

other: 11.8% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 81.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.03% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

note: a new coronavirus is causing sustained community spread of respiratory illness (COVID-19) in Mexico; sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing; illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe with fatalities reported; as of 6 June 2022, Mexico has reported a total of 5,782,405 cases of COVID-19 or 4,484.8 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 324,966 cumulative deaths or a rate of 252 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 20 May 2022, 66.68% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 53.1 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2.655 million tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 5% (2013 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Laguna de Chapala - 1,140 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Laguna de Terminos - 1,550 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rio Grande river mouth (shared with US [s]) - 3,057 km; Colorado river mouth (shared with US [s]) - 2,333 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Gulf of Mexico) Rio Grande/Bravo (607,965 sq km)
Pacific Ocean drainage: (Gulf of California) Colorado (703,148 sq km)

Major aquifers

Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains Aquifer

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 14.23 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 6.814 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 66.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

461.888 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: United Mexican States

conventional short form: Mexico

local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos

local short form: Mexico

former: Mexican Republic, Mexican Empire

etymology: named after the capital city, whose name stems from the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain

Government type

federal presidential republic

Capital

name: Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico)

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

time zone note: Mexico has four time zones

etymology: named after the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain

Administrative divisions

32 states (estados, singular - estado); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Cuidad de Mexico, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, Zacatecas

Independence

16 September 1810 (declared independence from Spain); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 16 September (1810)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved 5 February 1917

amendments: proposed by the Congress of the Union; passage requires approval by at least two thirds of the members present and approval by a majority of the state legislatures; amended many times, last in 2020

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

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: not specified

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (since 1 December 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (since 1 December 2018)

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

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a single 6-year term; election last held on 1 July 2018 (next to be held in July 2024)

election results:
2018: Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR elected president; percent of vote - Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (MORENA) 53.2%, Ricardo ANAYA (PAN) 22.3%, Jose Antonio MEADE Kuribrena (PRI) 16.4%, Jaime RODRIGUEZ Calderon 5.2% (independent), other 2.9%

2012: Enrique PENA NIETO elected president; percent of vote - Enrique PENA NIETO (PRI) 38.2%, Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (PRD) 31.6%, Josefina Eugenia VAZQUEZ Mota (PAN) 25.4%, other 4.8%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of:
Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 32 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 200 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)

elections:
Senate - last held on 1 July 2018 (next to be held in July 2024)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 6 June 2021 (next to be held in July 2024)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MORENA 58, PAN 22, PRI 14, PRD 9, MC 7, PT 7, PES 5, PVEM 5, PNA/PANAL 1; composition (as of July 2018) - men 65, women 63, percent of women 49.2%
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MORENA 197, PAN 111, PRI 69, PVEM 44, PT 38, MC 25, PRD 16; composition - men 250, women 250, percent of women 50%; note - overall percent of women in National Congress 49.8%

note: as of the 2018 election, senators will be eligible for a second term and deputies up to 4 consecutive terms

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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 15-year terms; 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 4-year term; other judges of the superior and regional courts serve staggered, 9-year terms

subordinate courts: federal level includes circuit, collegiate, and unitary courts; state and district level courts

Note: in April 2021, the Mexican congress passed a judicial reform which changed 7 articles of the constitution and preceded a new Organic Law on the Judicial Branch of the Federation

Political parties and leaders

Citizen's Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano) or MC [Clemente CASTANEDA Hoeflich]
Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) or PRI [Claudia RUIZ Massieu]
Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo) or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]
Mexican Green Ecological Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico) or PVEM [Karen CASTREJON Trujillo]
Movement for National Regeneration (Movimiento Regeneracion Nacional) or MORENA [Mario DELGADO Carillo]
National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional) or PAN [Antonio CORTES Mendoza]
Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) or PRD [Jesus ZAMBRANO Grijalva]
Together We Make History (Juntos Hacemos Historia) - alliance that includes MORENA, PT, PVEM
This Is For Mexico (Va Por Mexico) – alliance that includes PAN, PRI, and PRD

International organization participation

APEC, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CE (observer), CELAC, CSN (observer), EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-3, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, 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, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, USMCA, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Esteban MOCTEZUMA Barragan (since 20 April 2021)

chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600

FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698

email address and website:
mexembussa@sre.gob.mx

https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/eua/index.php/en/

consulate(s) general: Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Boston (MA), Chicago (IL), Dallas (TX), Denver (GA), El Paso (TX), Houston (TX), Laredo (TX), Miami (FL), New York (NY), Nogales (AZ), Phoenix (AZ), Raleigh (NC), Sacramento (CA), San Antonio (TX), San Diego (CA), San Francisco (CA), San Jose (CA), San Juan (Puerto Rico)

consulate(s): Albuquerque (NM), Boise (ID), Brownsville (TX), Calexico (CA), Del Rio (TX), Detroit (MI), Douglas (AZ), Eagle Pass (TX), Fresno (CA), Indianapolis (IN), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas (NV), Little Rock (AR), Los Angeles (CA), McAllen (TX), Milwaukee (WI), New Orleans (LA), Omaha (NE), Orlando (FL), Oxnard (CA), Philadelphia (PA), Portland (OR), Presidio (TX), Salt Lake City (UT), San Bernardino (CA), Santa Ana (CA), Seattle (WA), St. Paul (MN), Tucson (AZ), Yuma (AZ)

 

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ken SALAZAR (since 14 September 2021)

embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, CDMX

mailing address: 8700 Mexico City Place, Washington DC  20521-8700

telephone: (011) [52]-55-5080-2000

FAX: (011) 52-55-5080-2005

email address and website:
ACSMexicoCity@state.gov

https://mx.usembassy.gov/

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 green and red, and does not display anything in its white band

National symbol(s)

golden eagle; national colors: green, white, red

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional Mexicano" (National Anthem of Mexico)

lyrics/music: Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA/Jaime Nuno ROCA

note: adopted 1943, in use since 1854; also known as "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra" (Mexicans, to the War Cry); according to tradition, Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA, an accomplished poet, was uninterested in submitting lyrics to a national anthem contest; his fiancee locked him in a room and refused to release him until the lyrics were completed

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 35 (27 cultural, 6 natural, 2 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Historic Mexico City (c); Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl (c); Teotihuacan (c); Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino (n); Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (n); Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley (m); Historic Puebla (c); El Tajin (c); Historic Tlacotalpan (c); Historic Oaxaca and Monte Albán (c); Palenque (c); Chichen-Itza (c); Uxmal (c)

Economy

Economic overview

Mexico's $2.4 trillion economy – 11th largest in the world - has become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force in 1994. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal.

 

Mexico has become the US' second-largest export market and third-largest source of imports. In 2017, two-way trade in goods and services exceeded $623 billion. Mexico has free trade agreements with 46 countries, putting more than 90% of its trade under free trade agreements. In 2012, Mexico formed the Pacific Alliance with Peru, Colombia, and Chile.

 

Mexico's current government, led by President Enrique PENA NIETO, has emphasized economic reforms, passing and implementing sweeping energy, financial, fiscal, and telecommunications reform legislation, among others, with the long-term aim to improve competitiveness and economic growth across the Mexican economy. Since 2015, Mexico has held public auctions of oil and gas exploration and development rights and for long-term electric power generation contracts. Mexico has also issued permits for private sector import, distribution, and retail sales of refined petroleum products in an effort to attract private investment into the energy sector and boost production.

 

Since 2013, Mexico’s economic growth has averaged 2% annually, falling short of private-sector expectations that President PENA NIETO’s sweeping reforms would bolster economic prospects. Growth is predicted to remain below potential given falling oil production, weak oil prices, structural issues such as low productivity, high inequality, a large informal sector employing over half of the workforce, weak rule of law, and corruption. Mexico’s economy remains vulnerable to uncertainty surrounding the future of NAFTA — because the United States is its top trading partner and the two countries share integrated supply chains — and to potential shifts in domestic policies following the inauguration of a new a president in December 2018.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,306,320,000,000 (2020 est.)

$2,513,410,000,000 (2019 est.)

$2,514,780,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 13

Real GDP growth rate

-0.3% (2019 est.)

2.19% (2018 est.)

2.34% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

Real GDP per capita

$17,900 (2020 est.)

$19,700 (2019 est.)

$19,900 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 95

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1,269,956,000,000 (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.6% (2019 est.)

4.9% (2018 est.)

6% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB- (2020)

Moody's rating: Baa1 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB (2020)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 31.9% (2017 est.)

services: 64.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 67% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 22.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 37.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, maize, milk, oranges, sorghum, tomatoes, poultry, wheat, green chillies/peppers, eggs

Industries

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 13.4%

industry: 24.1%

services: 61.9% (2011)

Unemployment rate

3.49% (2019 est.)

3.33% (2018 est.)

note: underemployment may be as high as 25%

country comparison to the world: 49

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.1%

male: 7.8%

female: 8.7% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 40% (2014)

Budget

revenues: 261.4 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 273.8 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

54.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

56.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$4.351 billion (2019 est.)

-$25.415 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 181

Exports

$434.93 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$492.73 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$480.1 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 16

Exports - partners

United States 75% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, computers, delivery trucks, crude petroleum, insulated wiring (2019)

Imports

$410.66 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$495.79 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$505.05 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 16

Imports - partners

United States 54%, China 14% (2019)

Imports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, cars and vehicle parts, office machinery/parts, telephones (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$175.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$178.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

note: Mexico also maintains access to an $88 million Flexible Credit Line with the IMF

country comparison to the world: 14

Debt - external

$456.713 billion (2019 est.)

$448.268 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Exchange rates

Mexican pesos (MXN) per US dollar -

19.8 (2020 est.)

19.22824 (2019 est.)

20.21674 (2018 est.)

15.848 (2014 est.)

13.292 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 24,500,456 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 122,898,392 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: with a large population and relatively low broadband and mobile penetration, (86 lines for mobile broadband for every 100 habitants in June 2021) Mexico’s telecom sector has potential for growth; adequate telephone service for business and government; improving quality and increasing mobile cellular availability, with mobile subscribers far outnumbering fixed-line subscribers (24.6 million fixed line subscribers and 125 million mobile line subscribers in June 2021); relatively low broadband and mobile penetration, potential for growth and international investment; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable and coaxial cable; 5G development slow in part due to high costs (AT&T announced 5G rollout in some sections of Mexico City in December 2021 and Telcel announced a plan to launch 5G network in 18 cities in February 2022); IXP in Mexico City; exporter of computers and broadcasting equipment to USA and importer of same from China (2021)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity exceeds 65 lines per every 100 households; mobile-cellular teledensity is about 99 per 100 persons; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations (2021)

international: country code - 52; Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Spain, and Italy; the ARCOS-1 and the MAYA-1 submarine cable system together provide access to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the U.S.; Pan-American Crossing (PAC) submarine cable system provides access to Panama, California, U.S., and Costa Rica; Lazaro Cardenas-Manzanillo Santiago submarines cable system (LCMSSCS) provides access to Michoacan, Guerrero, and Colima, Mexico; AMX-1 submarine cable system with access to Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Gulf of California Cable submarine cable systems that connects La Paz, Baja California Sur and Topolobambo, Sinaloa; and Aurora submarine cable system provides access to Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, and the U.S. satellite earth stations - 124 (36 Intelsat, 1 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications), 9 Panamsat, numerous Inmarsat mobile earth stations); linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections (2022)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

telecom reform in 2013 enabled the creation of new broadcast television channels after decades of a quasi-monopoly; Mexico has 885 TV stations and 1,841 radio stations and most are privately owned; the Televisa group once had a virtual monopoly in TV broadcasting, but new broadcasting groups and foreign satellite and cable operators are now available; in 2016, Mexico became the first country in Latin America to complete the transition from analog to digital transmissions, allowing for better image and audio quality and a wider selection of programming from networks (2022)

Internet users

total: 92,831,582 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 72% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 21,936,131 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 16 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 370

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 64,569,640 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,090,380,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 243

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 32

1,524 to 2,437 m: 80

914 to 1,523 m: 86

under 914 m: 33 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1,471

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 42

914 to 1,523 m: 281

under 914 m: 1,146 (2021)

Heliports

1 (2021)

Pipelines

17,210 km natural gas (2022), 9,757 km oil (2017), 10,237 km refined products (2020)

Railways

total: 23,389 km (2017)

standard gauge: 23,389 km (2017) 1.435-m gauge (27 km electrified)

country comparison to the world: 12

Roadways

total: 817,966 km (2017)

paved: 175,526 km (2017) (includes 10,845 km of expressways)

unpaved: 529,358 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 10

Waterways

2,900 km (2012) (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast)

country comparison to the world: 33

Merchant marine

total: 671

by type: container ship 1, bulk carrier 4, general cargo 11, oil tanker 31, other 624 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 36

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Veracruz

oil terminal(s): Cayo Arcas terminal, Dos Bocas terminal

cruise port(s): Cancun, Cozumel, Ensenada

container port(s) (TEUs): Lazaro Cardenas (1,318,732), Manzanillo (3,069,189), Veracruz (1,144,156) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Altamira, Ensenada

Military and Security

Military and security forces

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), Mexican Naval Infantry Corps (Cuerpo de Infanteria de Marina, Mexmar or CIM)); Secretariat of Public Security and Civilian Protection (Secretaria de Seguridad y Proteccion Ciudadana): National Guard (Guardia Nacional) (2022)

note(s) - the National Guard was formed in 2019 and consists of personnel from the former Federal Police (disbanded in December 2019) and military police units of the Army and Navy; while the Guard is part of the civilian-led Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection, the Secretariat of National Defense has day-to-day operational control; in addition, the armed forces provide the commanders and the training; the Guard, along with state and municipal police are responsible for enforcing the law and maintaining order; the military also actively supports police operations

Military expenditures

0.8% of GDP (2022 est.)

0.8% of GDP (2021)

0.6% of GDP (2020)

0.5% of GDP (2019) (approximately $13.4 billion)

0.5% of GDP (2018) (approximately $12.5 billion)

country comparison to the world: 144

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 218,000 armed forces personnel (160,000 Army; 8,000 Air Force; 50,000 Navy, including about 20,000 marines); approximately 110,000 National Guard (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Mexican military inventory includes a mix of domestically-produced and imported equipment from a variety of mostly Western suppliers; since 2010, the US is the leading supplier of military hardware to Mexico; Mexico's defense industry produces naval vessels and light armored vehicles, as well as small arms and other miscellaneous equipment (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory military service for males (selection for service determined by lottery); conscript service obligation is 12 months; those selected serve on Saturdays in a Batallón del Servicio Militar Nacional (National Military Service Battalion) composed entirely of 1-year Servicio Militar Nacional (SMN) conscripts; conscripts remain in reserve status until the age of 40; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; cadets enrolled in military schools from the age of 15 are considered members of the armed forces; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2022)

note - as of 2022, women comprised about 15% of the active duty military

Military - note

the constitution was amended in 2019 to grant the president the authority to use the armed forces to protect internal and national security, and courts have upheld the legality of the armed forces’ role in law enforcement activities in support of civilian authorities through 2024; as of 2022, Mexican military operations were heavily focused on internal security duties, particularly in countering drug cartels and organized crime groups, as well as border control and immigration enforcement; the armed forces also administered most of the country's land and sea ports and customs services, and it built and ran approximately 2,700 branches of a state-owned development bank; in addition, President LOPEZ OBRADOR has placed the military in charge of a growing number of infrastructure projects, such as building a new airport for Mexico City and sections of a train line in the country’s southeast (2022)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Mexico-Belize: Mexico and Belize are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty

Mexico-Guatemala: Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the US

Mexico-US: the US has intensified security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal persons, transport, and commodities across its border with Mexico

 

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 22,254 (Honduras), 10,662 (El Salvador) (mid-year 2021); 82,976 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2021)

IDPs: 379,000 (government's quashing of Zapatista uprising in 1994 in eastern Chiapas Region; drug cartel violence and government's military response since 2007; violence between and within indigenous groups) (2021)

stateless persons: 13 (mid-year 2021)

Illicit drugs

major source and transit country for heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and illicit synthetic drugs including fentanyl and counterfeit pills destined for the United States; main transit country for cocaine from South America, a transit route and destination for fentanyl and associated precursors originating from China