United Mexican States

Estados Unidos Mexicanos  (Spanish)
Motto: La Patria es Primero
(English: The Homeland is First)
"Himno Nacional Mexicano"
(English: "Mexican National Anthem")
Location of Mexico
and largest city
Mexico City
19°26′N 99°08′W / 19°26′N 99°08′W / 19.433; -99.133
Official languages
Recognized regional languagesSpanish and 68 native languages[a]
National languageSpanish (de facto)[b]
GovernmentFederal presidential
constitutional republic[2]
• President
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Martí Batres
Porfirio Muñoz Ledo
Chamber of Deputies
from Spain
• Declared
September 16, 1810[3]
September 27, 1821
December 28, 1836
October 4, 1824
February 5, 1857
February 5, 1917
• Total
1,972,550 km2 (761,610 sq mi) (13th)
• Water (%)
• 2019 estimate
126,577,691[4] (10th)
• Density
61/km2 (158.0/sq mi) (142nd)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$2.575 trillion[5] (11th)
• Per capita
$20,645[5] (64th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$1.199 trillion[5] (16th)
• Per capita
$9,614[5] (69th)
Gini (2016)Negative increase 49.8[6]
HDI (2017)Increase 0.774[7]
high · 74th
CurrencyPeso (MXN)
Time zoneUTC−8 to −5 (See Time in Mexico)
• Summer (DST)
UTC−7 to −5 (varies)
Driving sideright
Calling code+52
ISO 3166 codeMX
  1. ^ Article 4.° of the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.[8][9]
  2. ^ Spanish is de facto the official language in the Mexican federal government.

Mexico (Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (About this soundlisten); Nahuatl languages: Mēxihco), officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos[10][11][12][13] [esˈtaðos uˈniðos mexiˈkanos] (About this soundlisten)), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.[14] Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi),[13] the nation is the fourth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 129 million people,[15] Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil.[15] Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states plus Mexico City (CDMX),[16] which is the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the country include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, and León.[17]

Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of six cradles of civilization[18] and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan (part of Mexico City), which was administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain. The Roman Catholic Church played a powerful role in governing the country as millions were converted to the faith, although King Charles III expelled the Jesuits in the 1770s.[19] The territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence.[19] The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes. The Mexican–American War (1846–1848) led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, and the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century.[19] The Porfiriato ended with the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated in the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of an authoritarian one-party state.[20][21][22][23] once described as the "perfect dictatorship",[24][25][26] that ruled for much of the 20th century until the opposition victories led Mexico to democratic transition in the 1990s.[27][28][29][30]

Mexico has the 15th largest nominal GDP[31] and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity.[32] The Mexican economy is strongly linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, especially the United States.[33][34] In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank[35] and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.[36][37][38][39] The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power,[40][41][42][43] and is often identified as an emerging global power.[44] Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[45][46][47] Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fifth in the world for its biodiversity.[48] Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals.[49] Mexico is a member of the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, and the Pacific Alliance trade bloc.


Depiction of the founding myth of Mexico-Tenochtitlan from the Codex Mendoza

Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica. The terms are plainly linked; it is generally believed that the toponym for the valley was the origin of the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance, but it may have been the other way around.[50] In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain, this territory became the Intendency of Mexico. After New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire, it came to be known as the Kingdom of New Spain, with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was believed to come from Nahuatl tetl [ˈtetɬ] ("rock") and nōchtli [ˈnoːtʃtɬi] ("prickly pear") and is often thought to mean "Among the prickly pears [growing among] rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain.[51]

The suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word Mexico a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain. It has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".[52] Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" (Mētztli) and navel (xīctli).[53] This meaning ("at the navel of the moon") might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco. The system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey.[53]

The name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ]. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative [ʒ], represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative [x] during the 16th century. This led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish language, determined that both variants are acceptable in Spanish but that the normative recommended spelling is México.[54] The majority of publications in all Spanish-speaking countries now adhere to the new norm, even though the alternative variant is still occasionally used.[55] In English, the 'x' in Mexico represents neither the original nor the current sound, but the consonant cluster [ks].

The official name of the country has changed as the form of government has changed. The declaration of independence signed on November 6, 1813 by the deputies of the Congress of Anáhuac called the territory América Septentrional (Northern America). On two occasions (1821–1823 and 1863–1867), the country was known as Imperio Mexicano (Mexican Empire). All three federal constitutions (1824, 1857 and 1917, the current constitution) used the name Estados Unidos Mexicanos[56]—or the variant Estados-Unidos Mexicanos,[57] all of which have been translated as "United Mexican States". The phrase República Mexicana, "Mexican Republic", was used in the 1836 Constitutional Laws.[58]