Mexico Country Information
Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, Guatemala, Belize and the Caribbean Sea on the southeast and by the Gulf of Mexico to the east.
With over 2 million kilometers of territory, Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world and the 5th largest country in the Americas. Made up of a federation of 31 states, Mexico has a population of over 110 million inhabitants and is the 11th most populated country in the world. Their capital Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world and also has the highest pollution rates of any major city. Mexico is also the 12th largest economy throughout the world as determined by their |gross Domestic Product or GDP.
Invaded by Spain in the early 1500’s, Mexico was held under the Spanish authority until independence was finally won in 1824 after 10 years of war. This same year, their constitution was created declaring the United Mexican States and Guadalupe Victoria was positioned as their first president.
In 1845 the state of Texas broke away from Mexico and was admitted the Union. After the Mexican American War in 1848, Mexico lost over 1/3 of its territory as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo including Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, Nevada, and Utah.
The treaty or otherwise known as the Mexican Cession, granted the United States over 500,000 square miles or 1.36 million square kilometers of Mexican land for 15 million dollars. Also, the United States forgave a debt of over 3 million dollars, which Mexico had with American citizens. Mexico has a total area of almost 2 million square kilometers and approximately 6,000 sq. kilometers of islands in the Pacific Ocean, which include Guadalupe Island, the Revillagigedo Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, and the Caribbean Sea.
Mexico shares over 3,000 km of border with the U.S., 871 km with Guatemala, and 251 km with Belize.
Although the law does not require you to purchase Mexican car insurance, it is highly recommended that you do if you will be driving your car into the country. This would be the less costly route if you were to have an accident there as you probably would wind up in jail if the accident was your fault until you either paid or could prove you have the money to pay any and all repairs including legal fees which would be incurred at the time of such an accident.
Mexico is known as one of the 17 mega diverse countries of the world having over 200,000 different species and is home to over 10% of the world’s biodiversity. Ranking # 1 in Reptiles with over 700 species, # 2 in Mammals with over 435 species, #4 in Amphibians with almost 300 species, and 4th in Flora with 26,000 different species, Mexico is the second country in the world in ecosystems and is ranked # 4in overall species.
Mexico has 170,000 square kilometers of National protected areas, including 34 reserve status biospheres, 64 National Parks, 4 Natural Monuments, 26 areas of protected flora and fauna, along with 17 animal and plant sanctuaries.
Mexico has a free market economy that is the 12th largest in the world measured in GDP. Extreme poverty makes up 17.6% of the general population and surprisingly, only 30% of the rural population falls in this category. With almost 90% of Mexican trade being under free trade status with over 40 countries, approximately 88% of their exports go to the United States and Canada with 65% of their imports coming from these 2 countries. Other trading partners include the European Union, Israel, Japan and others in Central and South America.
With the U.S. accounting for over 88% of Mexico’s exports and over 68% of their imports, one of Mexico’s ongoing concerns is their financial and commercial dependency on the United States along with low wages, high unemployment and an inequitable distribution of income. 0ver 75% of the population live in urban areas and Mexico is home to the largest number of ex patriots living abroad from the U.S., with over a million estimated before the year 2000. Having signed 12 free trade agreements with 44 countries, the industrial sector of Mexico accounts for almost 90% of all export revenues.
Mexico is the second largest bottler of Coca Cola, has the 3rd largest cement conglomerate “Cemex” and “Gruma” is the largest producer of corn flour and tortillas world wide.