Facts on Mexico at a Glance

Full country name: United Mexican States
Area: 1,972,201 sq km
Population: 93.7 million
People: 60% mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent) and 30% indígena (Native Americans or Indians - including Nahua, Maya, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Totonacs, and Tarascos or Purépecha)
Language: Spanish and over 50 indigenous languages
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic
Government: Democracy
President: Ernesto Zedillo


Covering almost two million sq km, Mexico curves from north-west to south-east, narrowing to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec then continuing to the Yucatán Peninsula. On the west and south the country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, with the Gulf of California lying between the Baja California peninsula and the mainland. Mexico's east coast is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula faces the Caribbean Sea. Mexico shares borders with the USA (to the north), and Guatemala and Belize (to the south-east).

It's a mountainous country with two north-south ranges framing a group of broad central plateaux known as the Altiplano Central. In the south, the Sierra Madre del Sur stretches across the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. From the isthmus, a narrow stretch of lowlands runs along the Pacific coast south to Guatemala. These lowlands are backed by the Chiapas highlands which merge into a steamy tropical rainforest area stretching into northern Guatemala. The flat, low Yucatán Peninsula is tropical savanna to its tip, where there's an arid desert-like region.

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