mexico

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize,...

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Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square kilometres, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the world's eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city.

In pre-Columbian Mexico many cultures matured into advanced civilizations such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec, the Maya and the Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, Spain conquered and colonized the territory from its base in México-Tenochtitlan, which was administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This territory would eventually become Mexico following recognition of the colony's independence in 1821. The post-independence period was characterized by economic instability, the Mexican-American War and territorial cession to the United States, a civil war, two empires and a domestic dictatorship. The latter led to the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time that an opposition party won the presidency from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Since 2006 the country has been in the midst of a drug war which has caused 60,000 deaths.

Mexico has one of the world's largest economies, and is considered both a regional power and middle power. In addition, Mexico was the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, and considered an upper-middle income country by the World Bank. Mexico is considered a newly industrialized country and an emerging power. It has the thirteenth largest nominal GDP and the eleventh largest GDP by purchasing power parity. The economy is strongly linked to those of its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, especially the United States of America. Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 31, and in 2007 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 21.4 million international arrivals per year.

After New Spain won independence from Spain, it was decided that the new country would be named after its capital, Mexico City, which was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Aztec capital of México-Tenochtitlan. The name comes from the Nahuatl language, but its meaning is unknown.

some cities

experiences (1)

have you spent time in mexico? share your experiences

4

mexico city, mexico - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/29/13.

How much time have you spent in Mexico?

In total 6 years. In between I lived in Belgium for 3 years. (2 years Mexico, 3 years Belgium, 4 years Mexico)

How old were you when you came to Mexico? Where were you before?

I was 22, almost 23. Before I lived in the Netherlands (my home country).

What brought you to Mexico? What made you choose Mexico over any other place you could've gone?

I went here to study in an exchange program where I could study one semester abroad. I applied to schools in Mexico and Peru. Mexico was my first choice because I really wanted to learn Spanish and from what I heard on TV the Spanish in Mexico sounded a bit more understandable than the Spanish in other countries. I knew I wanted to go to Latin America for sure. A year back I went to Guatemala to study spanish for 7 weeks and completely fell in love with the country and the Latin American culture. Not to mention the climate :)

When studying I met the man who is now my husband, so I decided to stay here.

Describe the city you live in in Mexico and your impressions of it.

I live in Mexico City and it is absolutely AMAZING! It is one of the largest cities in the world, and has a unique...

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demographics

population

114,975,406 (July 2012 est.)

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%

religions

Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 5.2% (Pentecostal 1.4%, other 3.8%), Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)

age structure

0-14: 0-14 years: 27.8% (male 16,329,415/ female 15,648,127)

15-64: 15-64 years: 65.5% (male 36,385,426/ female 38,880,768)

65+: 65 years and over: 6.7% (male 3,459,939/ female 4,271,731) (2012 est.)

urbanization

78% of total population (2010)

life expectancy

76.66 years

obesity rate

23.6% (2000)

literacy rate

86.1%

average years of education

14 years

economics

cost of living

3/10 (low)

economic overview

Mexico has a free market economy in the trillion dollar class. It contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private...

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Mexico has a free market economy in the trillion dollar class. It contains 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 generation, natural gas distribution, and airports. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Mexico's share of US imports has increased from 7% to 12%, and its share of Canadian imports has doubled to 5%. 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 2007, during its first year in office, the Felipe CALDERON administration was able to garner support from the opposition to successfully pass pension and fiscal reforms. The administration passed an energy reform measure in 2008 and another fiscal reform in 2009. Mexico's GDP plunged 6.2% in 2009 as world demand for exports dropped, asset prices tumbled, and remittances and investment declined. GDP posted positive growth of 5.4% in 2010 and 3.8% in 2011, with exports - particularly to the United States - leading the way. The administration continues to face many economic challenges, including improving the public education system, upgrading infrastructure, modernizing labor laws, and fostering private investment in the energy sector. CALDERON has stated that his top economic priorities remain reducing poverty and creating jobs.

major industries

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

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

gdp per capita

$14,700 (2011 est.)

gdp growth rate

3.9% (2011 est.)

gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 3.8% industry: 34.5% services: 61.7% (2011 est.)

unemployment rate

5.2% (2011 est.)

population below poverty line

51.3% note: based on food-based definition of poverty; asset based poverty amounted to more than 47% (2010 est.)

gini index

51.7 (2008) country comparison to the world: 18 53.1 (1998)