Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatamala and the US.
total area: 1,972,550 sq km.
land area: 1,923,040 sq km.
comparative area: slightly less than three times the size of Texas.

Land boundaries: total 4,538 km, Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,326 km.
Coastline: 9,330 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin.
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 km

International disputes: claims Clipperton Island (French possession).
Climate: varies from tropical to desert.
Terrain: high, rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and desert.
Natural resources: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.
Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 39%
forest and woodland: 24%
other: 24%

Irrigated land: 51,500 sq km (1989 est.).
current issues: 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; serious air pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border.
natural hazards: tsunamis along the Pacific coast, destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Gulf and Caribbean coasts.
international agreements: party to - Bio-diversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification.

Population: 93,985,848 (July 1995 est.).
Age structure:
O-14 years: 37% (female 17,028,091; male 17,631,110).
15-64 years: 59% (female 28,429,663; male 26,866,886).
65 years and over: 4% (female 2,184,998; male 1,845,100) (July 1995 est.).

Population growth rate: 1.9% (1995 est.) .
Birth rate: 26.64 births/l ,000 population (1995 est.).
Death rate: 4.64 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.).
Net migration rate: -3.03 migrant(s)/1 ,000 population (1995 est.).
Infant mortality rate: 26 deaths/l ,000 live births (1995 est.)..
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.34 years.
male: 69.74 years.
female: 77.11 years (1995 est.).

Total fertility rate: 3.09 children born/woman (1995 est.).
Ethnic divisions: mestizo (Indian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, Caucasian or predominantly Caucasian 9%, other 1% .
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%.
Languages: Spanish, various Mayan dialects.
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990) total population: 88% male: 90% female: 85% Labor force: 26.2 million (1990) by occupation: services 31.7%, agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing 28%, commerce 14.6%, manufacturing 11.1%, construction 8.4%, transportation 4.7%, mining and quarrying 1.5% .

Names: conventional long form: United Mexican States
conventional short form: Mexico
local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
local short form: Mexico
Digraph: MX
Type: federal republic operating under a centralized government.
Capital: Mexico
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, Sinaba, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave, Yucatan, Zacatecas.
Independence: 16 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 16 September (1810)
Constitution: 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.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory (but not enforced).

Executive branch: chief of state and head of government President Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon (since 1 December 1994); election last held on 21 August 1994 (next to be held NA); results - Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon (PRI) 50.18%, Cuauhtemoc CARDENAS Solorzano (PRD) 17.08%, Diego FERNANDEZ de Cevallos (PAN) 26.69%; other 6.049% cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president.

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso de Ia Union) Senate (Camara de Senadores): elections last held on 21 August 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats in full Senate - (128 total; Senate expanded from 64 seats at the last election) PRI 93, PRD 25, PAN 10 Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados): elections last held on 24 August 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (500 total) PRI 300, PAN 119, PRD 71, PFCRN 10.

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia).

Political parties and leaders: (recognized parties) Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Maria de los Angeles MORENO; National Action Party (PAN), Carlos CASTILLO; Popular Socialist Party (PPS), Indalecio SAYAGO Herrera; Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Porfino MUNOZ Ledo; Cardenist Front for the National Reconstruction Party (PFCRN), Rafael AGUILAR Talamantes; Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution (PARM), Rosa Maria MARTINEZ Denagri; Democratic Forum Party (PFD), Pablo Emiho MADERO; Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM), Jorge GONZALEZ Torres.

Other political or pressure groups: Roman Catholic Church; Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM); Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN); Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce (CONCANACO); National Peasant Confederation (CNC); Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT); Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CROC); Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM); Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX); National Chamber of Transformation Industries (CANACINTRA); Coordinator for Foreign Trade Business Organizations (COECE); Federation of Unions Providing Goods and Services (FESEBES).


Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jesus SILVA HERZOG Flores.
chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006.
telephone: [1) (202) 728-1600
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico).
consulate(s): Albuquerque, Austin, Boston, Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Corpus Christi, Del Rio (Texas), Detroit, Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California), Loredo, McAllen (Texas), Midland (Texas), Nogales (Arizona), Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, San Jose, Santa Ana, Seattle.

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador James R. JONES
embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal.
mailing address: P.O. Box 3087, Laredo, TX 78044-3087
telephone: [52) (5) 211-0042 FAX: [52) (5)511-9980, 208-3373
consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana.
consulate(s): Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Nuevo Laredo

Flag: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; the coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in the white band.

Overview: Mexico, under the guidance of new President Ernesto ZEDILLO, entered 1995 in the midst of a severe financial crisis. Mexico's membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Canada, its solid record of economic reforms, and its strong growth in the second and third quarters of 1994 - at an annual rate of 3.8% and 4.5% respectively -seemed to augur bright prospects for 1995. However, an overvalued exchange rate and widening current account deficits created an imbalance that ultimately proved unsustainable. To finance the trade gap, Mexico City had become increasingly reliant on volatile portfolio investment. A series of political shocks in 1994 - an uprising in the southern state of Chiapas, the assassination of a presidential candidate, several high profile kidnappings, the killing of a second high-level political figure, and renewed threats from the Chiapas rebels - combined with rising international interest rates and concerns of a devaluation to undermine investor confidence and prompt massive outflows of capital. The dwindling of foreign exchange reserves, which the central bank had been using to defend the currency, forced the new administration to change the exchange rate policy and allow the currency to float freely in the last days of 1994. The adjustment roiled Mexican financial markets, leading to a 30% to 40% weakening of the peso relative to the dollar. ZEDILLO announced an emergency economic program that included federal budget cuts and plans for more privatizations, but it failed to restore investor confidence quickly. While the devaluation is likely to help Mexican exporters, whose products are now cheaper, it also raises the specter of an inflationary spiral if domestic producers increase their prices and workers demand wage hikes. Although strong economic fundamentals bode well for Mexico's longer-term outlook, prospects for solid growth and low inflation have deteriorated considerably, at least through 1995.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $728.7 billion (1994 est.) National product real growth rate: 3.5% (1994 est.)
National product per capita: $7,900 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.1% (1994 est.)
Unemployment rate: 9.8% (1994 est.)
revenues: $96.99 billion (1994 est.)
expenditures: $96.51 billion (1994 est.), including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $60.8 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.), includes in-bond industries.
commodities: crude oil, oil products, coffee, silver, engines, motor vehicles, cotton, consumer electronics.
partners: US 82%, Japan 1.4%, EC 5% (1993 est.)

Imports: $79.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.), includes in-bond industries.
commodities: metal-working machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, car parts for assembly, repair parts for motor vehicles, aircraft, and aircraft parts.
partners: US 74%, Japan 4.7%, EC 11% (1993 est.)

External debt: $128 billion (1994 est.)
Industrial production: growth rate 4.5% (1994 est.)
capacity: 28,780,000 kW
production: 122 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,239 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 7% of GDP; large number of small farms at subsistence level; major food crops - corn, wheat, rice, beans; cash crops - cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes.

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis continues in spite of government eradication program; major supplier of heroin and marijuana to the US market; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine and marijuana from South America; increasingly involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamine.

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY7O-89), $3.1 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $7.7 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $110 million.

Currency: 1 New Mexican peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos.
Exchange rates: market rate of Mexican pesos (Mex$) per US$1 - 6.736 (average in March 1995), 5.5133 (January 1995), 3.3751 (1994), 3.1156(1993), 3,094.9(1992), 3,018.4(1991), 2,812.6(1990).
note: the new peso replaced the old peso on 1 January 1993; 1 new peso = 1,000 old pesos.

Fiscal year: calendar year.

total: 24,500 km
standard gauge: 24,410 km 1.435-m gauge.
narrow gauge: 93 km 0.914-m gauge.

total: 242,300 km.
paved: 84,800 km (including 3,166 km of expressways).
unpaved: gravel and earth 157,500 km.

Inland waterways: 2,900 km navigable rivers and coastal canals.
Pipelines: crude oil 28,200 km; petroleum products 10,150 km; natural gas 13,254 km; petrochemical 1,400 km.
Ports: Acapulco, Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Ensenada, Guaymas, La Paz, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Progreso, Salina Cruz, Tampico, Topolobampo, Tuxpan, Veracruz.

Merchant marine:
total: 59 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 949,271 GRT/1 ,340,595 DWT.
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 4, container 7, liquefied gas tanker 7, oil tanker 30, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, short-sea passenger 4.

total: 2,055
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 9
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 82
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 75
with paved runways under 914 m: 1,262
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m:1
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 60
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 539

Telephone system: 6,410,000 telephones; highly developed system with extensive microwave radio relay links; privatized in December 1990
local: adequate phone service for business and government, but, at a density of less than 7 telephones/100 persons, the population is poorly served.
intercity: includes 120 domestic satellite terminals and an extensive network of microwave radio relay links.
international: 5 INTELSAT (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) earth stations; connected into Central America Microwave System; launched Solidarity I satellite in November 1993.

broadcast stations: AM 679, FM 0, short-wave 22.
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 238
televisions NA

Defense Forces
Branches: National Defense (includes Army and Air Force), Navy (includes Marines).
Manpower availability: males age 15-49 23,354,445; males fit for military service 17,029,788; males reach military age (18) annually 1,054,513 (1995 est.).