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Mexico. By: Patsy Longoria & Aldo Cantu. Flag and Geography. Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, Belize and Guatemala to the southeast; Mexico is about one-fifth the size of the United States. History.

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By: Patsy Longoria & Aldo Cantu

flag and geography
Flag and Geography

Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, Belize and Guatemala to the southeast; Mexico is about one-fifth the size of the United States.


At least three great civilizations—the Mayas, the Olmecs, and later the Toltecs—preceded the wealthy Aztec empire, conquered in 1519–21 by the Spanish under Hernando Cortés.

population largest city
Population & Largest City

Population (2002 est.): 103,400,165 (average annual rate of natural increase: 1.7%); birth rate: 22.4/1000; infant mortality rate: 24.5/1000; density per sq mi: 136

Capital and largest city (2000 est.): Mexico City, 19,750,000 (metro. area)

language ethnicity and religion
Language,Ethnicity,and Religion

Spanish, Indian languages

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

nominally Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%


From 1821 to 1877, there were two emperors, several dictators, and enough presidents and provisional executives to make a new government on the average of every nine months. Mexico lost Texas (1836), and after defeat in the war with the U.S. (1846–48) it lost the area that is now California, Nevada, and Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1855, the Indian patriot Benito Juárez began a series of reforms, including the disestablishment of the Catholic Church, which owned vast property.



Vicente Fox Quesada (2000)

Estados Unidos Mexicanos


Economic summary:GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $915 billion; per capita $9,100. Real growth rate: 7.1%. Inflation: 9%.Unemployment: urban—2.2% (2000); plus considerable underemployment. Arable land: 12%. Agriculture: corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products.


The years after the fall of the dictator Porfirio Diaz (1877–80 and 1884–1911) were marked by bloody political-military strife and trouble with the U.S., culminating in the punitive U.S. expedition into northern Mexico (1916–17) in unsuccessful pursuit of the revolutionary Pancho Villa. Since a brief civil war in 1920, Mexico has enjoyed a period of gradual agricultural, political, and social reforms.

map transportation
Map & Transportation

Transportation: Railways: total: 18,000 km (2001 est.). Highways: total: 323,977 km; paved: 96,221 km (including 6,335 km of expressways); unpaved: 227,756 km (1997).