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 nation continues to make an impressive recovery. On-going 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.

 

Geography:
Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US
Geographic coordinates: 23 00 N, 102 00 W
People:
Population: 114,975,406 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.2% (male 16,395,974/female 15,714,182)

15-64 years:  65.2% (male 35,842,495/female 38,309,528)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 3,348,495/female 4,113,552) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: United Mexican States

conventional short form: Mexico

local long form: EstadosUnidosMexicanos

local short form: Mexico

Government type: federal republic
Capital: name: Mexico (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

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 19.892 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 91.363 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 1,724 (2007)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 249

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 82

914 to 1,523 m: 88

under 914 m: 37 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Secretariat of National Defence (Secretaria de DefensaNacional, Sedena): Army (Ejercito, includes Mexican Air Force (FuerzaAerea Mexicana, FAM)); Secretariat of the Navy (Secretaria de Marina, Semar): Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico, ARM, includes Naval Air Force (FAN) and naval infantry) (2011)
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)

Transnational Issues:

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.