- Art Gallery -



Mexico, See : Flags, Maps

Mexico, Charles Reginald Enock

Mexico, Susan Hale

Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2), Carl Lumholtz

The American Egypt, by Channing Arnold and Frederick J. Tabor Frost

California Mexican-Spanish Cook Book , Bertha Haffner-Ginger

In the Land of Cave and Cliff Dwellers , Frederick Schwatka

Mexico (North America)

Introduction ::Mexico


The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The global financial crisis beginning in late 2008 caused another massive economic downturn the following year. As the economy recovers, ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON. In January 2009, Mexico assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.

Geography ::Mexico

View Larger Map


Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States

Geographic coordinates:
23 00 N, 102 00 W

Map references:

North America


total: 1,964,375 sq km country comparison to the world: 15 land: 1,943,945 sq km

water: 20,430 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 4,353 km

border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km

Mexico postcard (front)


9,330 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


varies from tropical to desert


high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m

highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m

View of Mexico City

Natural resources:

petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber

Land use:

arable land: 12.66%

permanent crops: 1.28%

other: 86.06% (2005)

Irrigated land:

63,200 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

457.2 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 78.22 cu km/yr (17%/5%/77%)

per capita: 731 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts

volcanism: Mexico experiences volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (elev. 3,850 m, 12,631 ft), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico's most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (elev. 5,426 m, 17,802 ft) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana

Environment - current issues:

scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion

note: the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico

People ::Mexico


112,468,855 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11

Age structure:

0-14 years: 29.1% (male 16,544,223/female 15,861,141)

15-64 years: 64.6% (male 34,734,571/female 37,129,793)

65 years and over: 6.2% (male 3,130,518/female 3,811,543) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 26.7 years

male: 25.6 years

female: 27.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.118% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Birth rate:

19.39 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103

Death rate:

4.83 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 192

Net migration rate:

-3.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 190


urban population: 77% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 17.84 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 106 male: 19.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 15.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.26 years country comparison to the world: 71 male: 73.45 years

female: 79.22 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.31 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 88

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

200,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

11,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: dengue fever

water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)


noun: Mexican(s)

adjective: Mexican

Ethnic groups:

mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%


Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)


Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%; note - indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.1%

male: 86.9%

female: 85.3% (2005 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

4.8% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 82

Government ::Mexico

Country name:

conventional long form: United Mexican States

conventional short form: Mexico

local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos

local short form: Mexico

Government type:

federal republic


name: Mexico City (Distrito Federal)

geographic coordinates: 19 26 N, 99 08 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October

note: Mexico is divided into three time zones

Administrative divisions:

31 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district*
(distrito federal); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California
Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Colima,
Distrito Federal*, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco,
Mexico, Michoacan de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca,
Puebla, Queretaro de Arteaga, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi,
Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave,
Yucatan, Zacatecas


16 September 1810 (declared); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 16 September (1810)


5 February 1917

Legal system:

mixture of US constitutional theory and civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal and compulsory (but not enforced)

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Felipe de Jesus CALDERON Hinojosa (since 1 December 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; note - appointment of attorney general, the head of the Bank of Mexico, and senior treasury officials require consent of the Senate (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a single six-year term; election last held on 2 July 2006 (next to be held 1 July 2012)

election results: Felipe CALDERON elected president; percent of vote - Felipe CALDERON 35.9%, Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR 35.3%, Roberto MADRAZO 22.3%, other 6.5%

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and 32 seats allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members are elected by popular vote; remaining 200 members are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote; members to serve three-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 2 July 2006 for all of the seats (next to be held on 1 July 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 5 July 2009 (next to be held on 1 July 2012)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAN 52, PRI 33, PRD 26, PVEM 6, CD 5, PT 5, independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRI 237, PAN 143, PRD 72, PVEM 21, PT 13, CD 6, other 8; note - as of 1 January 2011, the current composition of the Senate is: PAN 50, PRI 33, PRD 25, PVEM 6, CD 6, PT 5, independent 3; the current composition of the Chamber of Deputies is: PRI 237, PAN 142, PRD 69, PVEM 21, PT 13, CD 8, other 10

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (justices or ministros are appointed by the president with consent of the Senate)

Political parties and leaders:

Convergence for Democracy or CD [Luis WALTON Aburto]; Institutional
Revolutionary Party or PRI [Beatriz PAREDES Rangel]; Labor Party or
PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]; Mexican Green Ecological Party or PVEM
[Jorge Emilio GONZALEZ Martinez]; National Action Party (Partido
Accion Nacional) or PAN [Gustavo MADERO Munoz]; New Alliance Party
(Partido Nueva Alianza) or PNA/PANAL [Jorge Antonio KAHWAGI Macari];
Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion
Democratica) or PRD [Jesus ORTEGA Martinez]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Businessmen's Coordinating Council or CCE; Confederation of
Employers of the Mexican Republic or COPARMEX; Confederation of
Industrial Chambers or CONCAMIN; Confederation of Mexican Workers or
CTM; Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce or CONCANACO;
Coordinator for Foreign Trade Business Organizations or COECE;
Dialogue for the Reconstruction of Mexico or DIA; Federation of
Unions Providing Goods and Services or FESEBES; National Chamber of
Transformation Industries or CANACINTRA; National Peasant
Confederation or CNC; National Small Business Chamber or CANACOPE;
National Syndicate of Education Workers or SNTE; National Union of
Workers or UNT; Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca or APPO;
Roman Catholic Church

International organization participation:

APEC, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CSN
(observer), EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-3, G-15, G-24, IADB, IAEA,
Paris Club (associate), PCA, RG, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Arturo SARUKHAN Casamitjana

chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, El Paso, Houston, Laredo (Texas), Los Angeles, Miami, New
York, Nogales (Arizona), Phoenix, Raleigh (North Carolina),
Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San
Juan (Puerto Rico)

consulate(s): Albuquerque, Anchorage (Alaska), Boise (Idaho),
Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Del Rio (Texas),
Detroit, Douglas (Arizona), Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California),
Indianapolis (Indiana), Kansas City (Missouri), Laredo (Texas), Las
Vegas, Little Rock (Arkansas), McAllen (Texas), New Orleans, Omaha,
Orlando, Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon),
Presidio (Texas), Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, Santa Ana
(California), Seattle, Tucson, Washington DC, Yuma (Arizona); note -
Washington DC Consular Section located in a separate building from
the Mexican Embassy and has jurisdiction over DC, parts of Virginia,
Maryland, and West Virginia

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos PASCUAL

embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal

mailing address: P. O. Box 9000, Brownsville, TX 78520-9000

telephone: [52] (55) 5080-2000
FAX: [52] (55) 5511-9980

consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana

consulate(s): Merida, Nogales

Flag description:

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico's coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; green signifies hope, joy, and love; white represents peace and honesty; red stands for hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a catus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City

note: similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter, uses lighter shades of red and green, and does not have anything in its white band

National anthem:

name: "Himno Nacional Mexicano" (National Anthem of Mexico)

lyrics/music: Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA/Jaime Nuno ROCA

note: adopted 1943, in use since 1854; the anthem is also known as "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra" (Mexicans, to the War Cry); according to tradition, Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA, an accomplished poet, was uninterested in submitting lyrics to a national anthem contest; his fiancee locked him in a room and refused to release him until the lyrics were completed

Economy ::Mexico

Economy - overview:

Mexico has a free market economy in the trillion dollar class. It contains a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Recent administrations have expanded competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution, and airports. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Mexico's share of US imports has increased from 7% to 12%, and its share of Canadian imports has doubled to 5%. Mexico has free trade agreements with over 50 countries including, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the European Free Trade Area, and Japan, putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements. In 2007, during its first year in office, the Felipe CALDERON administration was able to garner support from the opposition to successfully pass pension and fiscal reforms. The administration passed an energy reform measure in 2008, and another fiscal reform in 2009. Mexico's GDP plunged 6.5% in 2009 as world demand for exports dropped and asset prices tumbled, but GDP posted positive growth of 5% in 2010, with export growth leading the way. The administration continues to face many economic challenges, including improving the public education system, upgrading infrastructure, modernizing labor laws, and fostering private investment in the energy sector. CALDERON has stated that his top economic priorities remain reducing poverty and creating jobs.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.56 trillion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 12 $1.485 trillion (2009 est.)

$1.589 trillion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.004 trillion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59 -6.5% (2009 est.)

1.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$13,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84 $13,400 (2009 est.)

$14,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4.2%

industry: 33.3%

services: 62.5% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

46.99 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 13.7%

industry: 23.4%

services: 62.9% (2005)

Unemployment rate:

5.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 55 5.5% (2009 est.)

note: underemployment may be as high as 25%

Population below poverty line:

18.2% using food-based definition of poverty; asset based poverty amounted to more than 47% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 36.3% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

48.2 (2008) country comparison to the world: 28 53.1 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed):

21.1% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73

Public debt:

41.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 65 39.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 119 3.6% (2009)

Central bank discount rate:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7.07% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 108 8.71% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$135.7 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 25 $119.5 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$583.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 $493 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$342.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30 $288.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$340.6 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 24 $232.6 billion (31 December 2008)

$397.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products


food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Electricity - production:

245 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Electricity - consumption:

181.5 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Electricity - exports:

1.288 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

584 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

3.001 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Oil - consumption:

2.078 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

Oil - exports:

1.225 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Oil - imports:

521,100 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

Oil - proved reserves:

12.42 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 18

Natural gas - production:

60.35 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Natural gas - consumption:

59.8 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

Natural gas - exports:

688 million cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Natural gas - imports:

11.84 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - proved reserves:

359.7 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Current account balance:

-$7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 173 -$6.23 billion (2009 est.)


$303 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15 $229.8 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton

Exports - partners:

US 80.5%, Canada 3.6%, Germany 1.4% (2009)


$306 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16 $234.4 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, car parts for assembly, repair parts for motor vehicles, aircraft, and aircraft parts

Imports - partners:

US 48%, China 13.5%, Japan 4.8% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$116.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 12 $99.86 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$212.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 $204.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$328.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15 $308.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$62.93 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 $53.46 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Mexican pesos (MXN) per US dollar - 12.687 (2010), 13.514 (2009), 11.016 (2008), 10.8 (2007), 10.899 (2006)

Communications ::Mexico

Telephones - main lines in use:

19.425 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 14

Telephones - mobile cellular:

83.528 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 12

Telephone system:

general assessment: adequate telephone service for business and government; improving quality and increasing mobile cellular availability, with mobile subscribers far outnumbering fixed-line subscribers; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable and coaxial cable

domestic: despite the opening to competition in January 1997, Telmex remains dominant; Fixed-line teledensity is less than 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 75 per 100 persons in 2009

international: country code - 52; Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Spain, and Italy; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the MAYA-1 submarine cable system together provide access to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 120 (32 Intelsat, 2 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications), 1 Panamsat, numerous Inmarsat mobile earth stations); linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections (2009)

Broadcast media:

large number of television stations and more than 1,400 radio stations, most are privately owned; the Televisa group once had a virtual monopoly in TV broadcasting, but new broadcasting groups and foreign satellite and cable operators are now available (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

12.854 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 9

Internet users:

31.02 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 12

Transportation ::Mexico


1,819 (2010) country comparison to the world: 3

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 250

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 85

914 to 1,523 m: 83

under 914 m: 40 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1,569

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 66

914 to 1,523 m: 438

under 914 m: 1,063 (2010)


1 (2010)


gas 22,705 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,875 km; oil 8,688 km; oil/gas/water 228 km; refined products 6,520 km (2009)


total: 17,516 km country comparison to the world: 16 standard gauge: 17,516 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)


total: 366,095 km country comparison to the world: 17 paved: 132,289 km (includes 6,279 km of expressways)

unpaved: 233,806 km (2008)


2,900 km (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast) (2010) country comparison to the world: 34

Merchant marine:

total: 60 country comparison to the world: 65 by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 3, chemical tanker 12, liquefied gas 4, passenger/cargo 11, petroleum tanker 22, roll on/roll off 4

foreign-owned: 5 (Denmark 2, Greece 1, South Africa 1, UAE 1)

registered in other countries: 18 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Honduras 1, Marshall Islands 4, Panama 6, Portugal 1, Spain 2, Venezuela 1, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Salina Cruz,

Military ::Mexico

Military branches:

Secretariat of National Defense (Secretaria de Defensa Nacional,
Sedena): Army (Ejercito, includes Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea
Mexicana, FAM)); Secretariat of the Navy (Secretaria de Marina,
Semar): Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico, ARM, includes Naval Air
Force (FAN), naval infantry) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation - 12 months; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; conscripts serve only in the Army; Navy and Air Force service is all voluntary; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2007)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 28,475,126

females age 16-49: 30,048,077 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 22,893,649

females age 16-49: 25,401,642 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,108,032

female: 1,069,885 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 163

Transnational Issues ::Mexico

Disputes - international:

abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; the US has intensified security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across its border with Mexico; Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the United States

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 5,500-10,000 (government's quashing of Zapatista uprising in 1994 in eastern Chiapas Region) (2007)

Illicit drugs:

major drug-producing nation; cultivation of opium poppy in 2007 rose to 6,900 hectares yielding a potential production of 18 metric tons of pure heroin, or 50 metric tons of "black tar" heroin, the dominant form of Mexican heroin in the western United States; marijuana cultivation increased to 8,900 hectares in 2007 and yielded a potential production of 15,800 metric tons; government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America, with an estimated 90% of annual cocaine movements toward the US stopping in Mexico; major drug syndicates control the majority of drug trafficking throughout the country; producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the US market (2007)


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