The name Mexico conjures up images of sombreros, jumping beans, tacos and tequila. Find out about Mexico's population, economy, geography, history and more.
Mexico is a country in the south of North America that is bordered by the United States to the north and Belize and Guatemala to the south. It spans from the North Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in the east. It is also known as the United Mexican States and is home to 111 million people.
The country has an area of 1,972,550 square kilometres (761,601 square miles) which is nearly three times the size of Texas. The coastline is 9,330 kilometres. The capital city is Mexico City in the south-central part of the country and it is also the largest city in Mexico. The metropolitan area was estimated to have a population of over 21 million people in 2009, making it one of the largest metropolises in the world.
Population of Mexico
The population of Mexico was estimated at 111.2 million in July 2010 and around a fifth of the population live in Mexico City. The population is highly urbanized with 77% of the total population living in urban areas. The average life expectancy is 73.3 years for men and 79 years for women. 64.6% of the population are aged between 15 and 64 years of age.
Economy of Mexico
Mexico has a large free market economy and its trade regime is one of the most open in the world, with free trade agreements with over 50 countries. The economy is highly dependent on exporting to the US and therefore the economy is linked to the US business cycle. Mexico's largest source of foreign income is oil and the economy contains rapidly developing modern industrial and service sectors.
Mexican Geography and Climate
About two-thirds of Mexico is mountainous and steep with a central high plateau, while the remaining third is low. There are narrow valleys, broad basins, swampy coast and an extensive limestone plain with underground rivers. The highest points are Pico de Orizaba at 5,700m (18,701 ft) and Popocatepetl at 5,462m (17,920 ft).
History of Mexico
The first European to land on the coast of Mexico was the Spaniard Hernando Cortes in 1519. Over the next few years he conquered the Aztec people and millions of Aztecs were killed by smallpox which the Spanish inadvertently introduced. Before the Aztecs there had been other great civilizations such as the Toltecs and before them the Mayans with highly developed cultures.
The flag of Mexico has three vertical bands of Green, white and red. In the middle is the coat of arms which is an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak. The official flag was adopted 16 September 1968 as the coat of arms was redeveloped for the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City. The coat of arms is based on a legend that the wandering Aztecs were told to settle where they saw an eagle on a cactus eating a snake and that city was Tenochtitlan, which became Mexico City.
Mexican Food and Drink
Main Attractions in Mexico
Mexico has a large tourist industry and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Most tourists come from the United States and Canada and the peak seasons are December and mid-summer. During the spring break many US college students visit the beach resorts. Major attractions are the beach resorts, the Meso American ruins and the colonial cities.
Mexico City gets many visitors and popular tourist attractions there are the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, the Mexican National Palace, the metropolitan cathedral and the National Museum of Anthropology and History. Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest city and is home to many museums, art galleries and theatres. Mexico has a lot of biodiversity and has plenty of national parks and reserves to visit.
2010 World Atlas