Mexico

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Geography

Republic in southern North and northern Central America with a long northern border to the USA on the Rio Grande, Caribbean and Pacific coasts, 1.96 million km², 106, 2 million inhabitants, capital Mexico City, official language Spanish.

The United Mexican States lies between the Gulf of Mexico to the east (Atlantic Ocean) and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country borders to the north with the United States of America, to the southeast with Belize and to the south with Guatemala. With an area of ​​around 1,959,000 km², Mexico is more than five times the size of Germany and the third largest country in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina. The island of Guadaloupe and the Revillagigedo Islands in the eastern Pacific also belong to the national territory.

A large part of the country geologically belongs to North America. The North American cordillera belt, which runs through the western United States, continues in the Mexican highlands, more than half of the total land area is above 1,500 m. The highlands are surrounded by high marginal mountains that run east to the Gulf of Mexico and into Drop off steeply towards the west towards the Pacific. From the border with the USA in the north, the country rises from around 900 m to over 2,300 m near the capital, Mexico City. The mountain ranges sometimes reach heights of more than 4,000 m: In the east of the highland plateau rises the Sierra Madre Oriental, which represents the continuation of the North American Rocky Mountains and branches out into numerous mountain ranges, in the west rises the Sierra Madre Occidental. Further west is the Gulf of California and the approximately 1,200 km long peninsula of Baja California (Lower California) with the Cerro de la Encantada (3,078 m) as its highest point.

In the south, the highland plateau is delimited by the Cordillera Volcánica, a chain of partially active volcanoes running in an east-west direction. Also in this area are the highest peaks in Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba (or Citlaltépetl) at 5,700 m, the still active Popocatépetl at 5,452 m and the Iztaccíhuatl at 5,286 m.

South of the volcanic chain – separated by the Río Balsas depression – runs the Sierra Madre del Sur, which stretches about 1,200 km parallel to the Pacific coast and reaches heights of up to 3,700 m. In the east, the isthmus of Tehuantepec forms the narrowest part of the country (with a north-south extension of about 216 km). Southeast of the isthmus are the highlands of Chiapas (up to 4 000 m), east of the isthmus are the lowlands of Tabasco and the flat, karstified Yucatán Peninsula, most of which is part of Mexico.

One of Mexico’s few major rivers, the Rio Bravo del Norte forms a 1,994 km border with the United States (here the river is called the Rio Grande) before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The capital Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico) is located inland at an altitude of around 2,300 m.

Kilma

Due to the large north-south extent of the country, the climate in northern Mexico is subtropical with greater temperature fluctuations, and tropical south of the Tropic of Cancer. There are also large climatic differences due to the differences in altitude. The northern parts of the country experience hot, dry summers and mild winter temperatures. In the south it is hot and humid all year round, the temperature differences are only small over the whole year. In Acapulco on the southwest coast, average values ​​of 26 °C are measured in January and 29 °C in July. In Mexico City, which lies at an altitude of around 2,300 m inland, it is around 12 °C in January and 19 °C in July. Four climate zones can be distinguished, particularly in the southern mountainous region: the so-called hot zone (Tierra caliente) reaches up to around 800 m with annual average temperatures between 25 °C and 30 °C, the temperate zone (Tierra templada) up to 1,700 m (17 ° C to 23 °C), the cold zone (Tierra fría) up to approx. 4,500 m (13 °C to 17 °C) and the zone of perpetual ice (Tierra helada) begins at around 4,500 m, where the mean annual temperature is below of 10 °C.

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The driest areas of Mexico are the steppe and desert areas on the border with the USA, where measurements are sometimes below 100 mm. The Baja California Peninsula is also extremely dry under the influence of the cold California Current. On the Pacific coast, the average values ​​are 800 to 1,000 mm, while on the Atlantic coast they are significantly higher at around 1,500 mm. The eastern side of the Sierra Madre Oriental receives the most precipitation, with up to 4,000 mm, and the Chiapas mountains (2,500 mm). In Mexico City, an average of 750 mm is measured.

Flora and fauna

Both North and South American species are found in Mexico’s rich flora and fauna. Although the tree population has already been severely decimated by humans, there are still large areas of forest. On the rainy slopes of the Cordillera there is rainforest or cloud forest, which at higher altitudes changes into mixed forest (pine, oak, juniper) and then into coniferous forest. The tree line is around 4,000 m. In the dry areas of northern Mexico there are thorn bush vegetation and countless types of cacti, one of the largest being the so-called candelabra cactus, which can reach a height of 15 m. Agaves, yucca palms and so-called mesquite plants are also typical of this zone. The lowlands of Tabasco in the south of the country have wide areas of swamp and tropical moist forest, while the Yucatán Peninsula has mostly dry forest and thorn bush savannah.

The wildlife of Mexico is also very rich in species, especially reptiles and birds. Larger mammals include bears, lynxes, prairie wolves, deer, jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, armadillos and various species of monkeys, although these are often only found in greater numbers in designated protected areas or inaccessible areas. In addition to alligators and turtles, there are numerous species of snakes, newts and lizards in the swamps and lagoons. In the tropical rainforests, the various bird species are particularly numerous (parrots, hummingbirds), on the coasts there are flamingos, herons and pelicans, among others.

Population

Around 106.21 million people live in the United Mexican States. Today, around three quarters of people live in cities or their immediate surroundings. Mexico City alone has 22.1 million people (metropolitan area); other larger cities are Guadalajara with around 1.74 million and Ecatepec with 1.77 million (each in the urban area).

75% of the Mexican population consists of mestizos, i.e. descendants of Indians and whites. The proportion of Indians is declining and is around 14%. The largest groups among the Indians are the Nahua, Otomí and Rarasca in the central highlands, Totonac and Huaxtec on the Gulf Coast, Maya in the Yucatán Peninsula and Zapotec and Mazatec in the southern highlands of Chiapas. Altogether there are more than 40 Indio groups. Around 9% of the total population are white, almost all of whom are of Old Spanish origin (Creoles). The national language is Spanish and is spoken by the majority of the population. In addition, around 40 Indio languages ​​are still used today. Around 90% of the population belong to the Catholic Church, Protestants have a share of 6%.

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Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 14, state schools are free. However, only 92% of Mexicans can read and write, since primary school is often not completed, especially in rural areas. Among the Indios, the literacy rate is 60%.

In principle, the social and health care system is well developed, but in rural areas and in the fast-growing slums of the big cities, medical care in particular is often inadequate. The average life expectancy is 75 years. The population is growing by an average of 1.2%, with this rate also being due to emigration, mainly northwards to the USA.

Political System

The Federal Republic of the United Mexican States has a presidential system based on the 1917 constitution (which has since been amended and supplemented several times). The head of state and at the same time head of government is the President (since December 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto). He is elected by the people for a six-year term and appoints the members of the government. Legislative power rests with the National Congress (Congreso de la Union), which consists of two chambers. The 128 senators represent the individual states, the candidates are elected for a term of six years, some directly, some via party lists. The House of Representatives has 500 seats, 300 members are elected directly by the people and 200 are elected via party lists for three-year terms. Draft laws require the approval of both chambers. The largest parties are the left-wing “Partida Revolucionario Institucional” (PRI) and the bourgeois “Partido Acción Nacional” (PAN).

Mexico consists of 31 states (Estados) and a federal district with the capital Mexico City. The states have a certain internal autonomy and have their own constitutions, which are based on the federal constitution. The legal system is based on Spanish and French models.

Economy

Mexico is one of the most important economies in Latin America and one of the most industrialized countries in the region. The export-strong country has oil and natural gas deposits and extensive other mineral resources. However, wealth is very unequally distributed within the population; Around 45% of Mexicans still live below the poverty line. Economic growth was 3.9% in 2012, unemployment was 5.2%, but underemployment is high. Mexico’s economy has been heavily deregulated and privatized since the 1990s. Nevertheless, there are still numerous oligopolies and monopolies that hinder competition and cause high costs for the economy.

Agriculture contributes around 4% to the gross domestic product and employs 13% of all workers. The haciendas of the large landowners are important for the export economy, while many Mexicans grow food for their own use as part of subsistence farming. The large-scale haciendas are mostly located in areas where good irrigation allows for intensive land use. Cotton, tobacco, coffee, vegetables and fruit are mainly grown here. In the central highlands, small farms mainly cultivate corn, beans, rice and vegetables for their own use. Forestry plays a subordinate role, livestock farming is also mostly done on haciendas.

The service sector contributes around 62% to the gross domestic product and employs 61% of the workforce. Tourism is also an important economic factor.

Mexico has rich deposits of mineral resources, even the conquistadors mined silver and gold. Today, the focus is on oil and natural gas. According to finds in the 1990s, Mexico is among the ten countries in the world with the largest oil reserves. Since 1938, promotion and marketing has been in the hands of the state (PEMEX). In addition to covering our own energy requirements (about three quarters with fossil fuels), crude oil is an important export good. The main production areas are in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Campeche. Other mineral resources play a minor role in the Mexican economy, although the country is one of the largest silver producers in the world, for example; gold, copper, zinc, iron, lead, manganese and bismuth are also mined.

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Industry generates around 34% of GDP; The most important areas are the food and petrochemical industries, as well as electrical engineering and electronics. Four-fifths of exports (electrical machinery and equipment, vehicles, mineral fuels, mechanical apparatus and parts) go to the United States; most imports (machinery and electronic equipment, vehicles and vehicle parts) also come from the United States. Mexico has free trade agreements with 45 countries worldwide.

The country’s infrastructure is well developed. Around 330,000 km of roads and 19,500 km of rails are available. There are several large seaports (e.g. Veracruz, Salina Cruz) on both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific coast. There are around 40 international airports in the country.

The currency is the Mexican peso (= 100 centavos).


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🇲🇽Top 10 Countries That Love Mexico 🇲🇽| Allies Of Mexico

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  • Match search results: Mexico shares a border with three other countries: the United States, Belize, and Guatemala.

What are Mexicos current allies and enemies?

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