There is no one Mexico. It is a huge, diverse country, home to welcoming, hard working and interesting people. The northern regions of Mexico are very different from the southern areas, and each coast has its own history and traditions. Yet, there are some basic facts about Mexico worth noting.
Facts About Mexico:
Official Name: Estados Unidos Méxicanos
Capital City: Mexico City (population estimates vary but about 337,000 live here)
National Language (there is no official language): Spanish, spoken by 97% of the population
Other Languages Spoken: Náhuatl, Maya and Zapoteco, plus 58 others
Government Structure: Federal Constitutional Republic
Date of Independence from Spain: September 16, 1810
Religion: Roman Catholic (90%), Protestant (6%) and Other (4%)
Official Currency: Peso (MXN)
Land Area: 1,958,200 sq. km.
Time Zone: GMT/UTC
Electricity: 127V 60HzHz
Country Dialing Code: 52
Legal System: Combination of U.S. civil law system and constitutional theory with judicial review of legislative acts
Literacy Rate: 91%
Number of States: 31
Life Expectancy: 75 years
Major Industries: Food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, tourism
-January 1 - Año Nuevo or New Year's Day
-February 5 - Día de la Constitución, commemorating the Mexican Constitution
-February 24 – Flag Day, honoring the Mexican flag
-March 5 – Carnaval, prior to the Catholic period of lent
-March 21 - The Birthday of Benito Juárez,, celebrating the Mexican president and national hero
-May 1 – Primero de Mayo, similar to the U.S. Labor Day
-May 5 – Cinco de Mayo, celebrating the Mexican victory over the French army in 1862
-September 16 - Mexican Independence Day, celebrating the day that rebel leader Miguel Hidalgo began the revolt against the Spanish
-November 1&2 - Dia de los Muertos, celebrating Mexico’s dead
-November 20 - Mexican Revolution Day, celebrating the Mexican Revolution of 1910
-December 25 - Navidad (Christmas Day), celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ
More Important Facts About Mexico:
Mexico has the second largest number (62) of indigenous languages in the world, ahead of China and behind India. Indigenous languages are also considered "national languages" and are protected by law.
Mexico is the 14th largest independent country in the world, the 11th most populous country in the world and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.
75% of the people live in Mexico cities. The five largest metropolitan areas, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla and Toluca, are home to 30% of the country’s population.
An interesting Mexico fact is that it is home to the largest number of U.S. citizens living abroad, representing 1% of Mexico’s population and 25% of all U.S. citizens abroad.
Mexico is an ethnically diverse country with a diverse culture. Nearly 60% of the population is made up of Mestizos, those with mixed European and Amerindian heritage. Indigenous peoples make up 30% of the population; whites make up 10% of the population and descendents of the French, Italians, Basque, Russian and other Europeans make up the remaining percentage.
An unknown fact about Mexico is that it has more than 200,000 different species, making it home to 10–12% of the world's biodiversity
Mexico has a free market economy and has the 11th largest GDP in the world. . An interesting Mexico fact is that remittances from Mexican citizens in the U.S. make up 2% of its GDP. Mexico is North America’s largest producer of automobiles, and oil is its largest source of income.
A particularly important fact about Mexico is its participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has had a huge impact on the country’s economy. Because of NAFTA, nearly 90% of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S. and Canada.
Low wages, inequitable distribution of income and underemployment are areas of concern for Mexico.
Mexico is considered a part of North America, along with Canada and the United States.
The countries that border Mexico are the United States, Guatemala and Belize, The bodies of water that border Mexico are the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
The Mexican border with the United States is 1,969 miles long.
Two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental which can be seen on detailed Mexico maps, cross Mexico from north to south, and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (Sierra Nevada) crosses it from east to west. The Sierra Madre del Sur, a fourth range, runs from the state of Michoacán to the state of Oaxaca. As a result, much of Mexico is at high altitudes.
An important Mexico fact is that, similar to the United States, it has three branches of government: the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch.
The Mexican Constitution establishes three levels of government: the federal Union, the state governments and the municipal governments.
Government officials are elected through first-past-the-post plurality (winner takes all) or through proportional representation.
Mexico has one of the most diverse weather systems in the world. The Tropic of Cancer essentially divides the country into tropical and temperate climate zones. Areas north of the 24th parallel are characterized by cooler temperatures during the winter months, and areas south of the 24th parallel are characterized by fairly consistent temperatures year round. These vary according to elevation.
Particularly interesting is the Mexico fact that the country is the seventh most popular tourist destination in the world. In fact, million tourists visit Mexico each year.
Telmex is the name of the Mexico telecommunications system, and it is managed by the Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones. Only 20% of Mexicans have a landline phone due to the expense of installing telephone wires across Mexico’s difficult geography. An interesting Mexico fact, though, is that nearly 60% of the population has a mobile phone.
Televisa, the largest Spanish media company in the Spanish-speaking world, is based in Mexico.