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May 14, 2010Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Background Note: Mexico

Official Name: United Mexican States

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 1,972,550 sq. km. (761,600 sq. mi.); about three times the size of Texas.
Cities: Capital--Mexico City (22 million, estimate for metro area). Other major cities--Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Acapulco, Merida, Leon, Veracruz.Terrain: Coastal lowlands, central high plateaus, and mountains up to 5,400 m. (18,000 ft.).
Climate: Tropical to desert.

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Mexican(s).
Population (July 2009 est.): 111,211,789.
Annual growth rate (2009 est.): 1.13%.
Ethnic groups: Indian-Spanish (mestizo) 60%, Indian 30%, Caucasian 9%, other 1%.
Religions (2000 census): Roman Catholic 76.5%,Protestant 6%, other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1%.
Language: Spanish.
Education: Years compulsory--11 (note: preschool education was made mandatory in Dec. 2001). Literacy--91.4%.
Health (2009): Infant mortality rate--18.42/1,000. Life expectancy--male 73.25 years; female 79 years.
Work force (2008 est., 45.5 million): Agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing--21.0%; services--32.2%;commerce--16.9%; manufacturing--18.7%; construction--5.6%; transportation and communication--4.5%; mining and quarrying--1.0%.

Government
Type: Federal republic.
Independence: First proclaimed September 16, 1810; republic established 1824.
Constitution: February 5, 1917.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state and head of government). Legislative--bicameral. Judicial--Supreme Court, localand federal systems.
Administrative subdivisions: 31 states and a federal district.
Political parties: Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), National Action Party (PAN), Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), Green Ecological Party (PVEM), Labor Party (PT), and several small parties.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy
GDP (official exchange rate, 2008): $1.088 trillion; (2009) $876billion.
GDP (PPP method, 2008): $1.550 trillion; (2009 est.) $1.459 trillion.
Per capita GDP (PPP method (IMF), 2008): $14,534; (2009 est.) $13,542.
Annual real GDP growth: (2010 est.) 4%-5%; (2009) -6.5%; (2008) 1.3%; (2007) 3.3%; (2006) 5.1%; (2005) 3.2%; (2004) 4.0%; (2003) 1.4%.
Inflation rate: (2010 est.) 4%-5%; (2009) 3.57%; (2008) 6.5%; (2007) 3.8%; (2006) 3.4%; (2005) 3.3%; (2004)5.2%; (2003) 4.0%.
Natural resources: Petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.
Agriculture (4% of GDP): Products--corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes, beef, poultry, dairy products, wood products.
Industry (31% of GDP): Types--food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles,consumer durables.
Services (64% of GDP): Types--commerce and tourism, financial services, transportation and communications.
Trade (goods): Exports (2009)--$230 billion f.o.b. Imports (2009)--$234 billion f.o.b. Exports to U.S. (2009)--$185 billion (80% of total). Imports from U.S. (2009)--$112 billion (48% of total). Major markets--U.S., EU (5% of total), Canada (3.6% of total).

PEOPLEMexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About 76% of the people live in urban areas. Many Mexicans emigrate from rural areas that lack job opportunities--such as the underdeveloped southern states and the crowded central plateau--to the industrialized urban centers and the developing areasalong the U.S.-Mexico border. According to some estimates, the population of the area around Mexico City is nearly 22 million, which would make it the largest concentration of population in the Western Hemisphere. Cities bordering on the United States--such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez--and cities in the interior--such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla--have undergone sharp rises in...
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