Statistical information Mexico 1996Mexico

Map of Mexico | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Mexico in the World
Mexico in the World


Mexico - Introduction 1996
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Background: 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. Ongoing 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.

Mexico - Geography 1996
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Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the U.S. and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatamala and the U.S.

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 1,972,550 km²
Land: 1,923,040 km²
Comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries: Total 4,538 km, Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, U.S. 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 nm

Climate: Varies from tropical to desert

Terrain: High, rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and desert
Lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
Highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m


Natural resources:
Natural gas

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 39%
Forests and woodland: 24%
Other: 24%

Irrigated land: 51,500 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Mexico - People 1996
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95,772,462 (July 1996 est.)
93,985,848 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.87% (1996 est.)
1.9% (1995 est.)

Noun: Mexican(s)
Adjective: Mexican

Ethnic groups:
Mestizo (Indian-Spanish) 60%
Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%
Caucasian or predominantly Caucasian 9%
Other 1%

LanguagesSpanish, various Mayan dialects

Nominally Roman Catholic 89%
Protestant 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
36% (male 17,732,725; female 17,125,562) (July 1996 est.)
37% (male 17,631,110; female 17,028,091) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
59% (male 27,562,285; female 29,165,138) (July 1996 est.)
59% (male 26,866,886; female 28,429,663) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
5% (male 1,911,968; female 2,274,784) (July 1996 est.)
4% (male 1,845,100; female 2,184,998) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.87% (1996 est.)
1.9% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
26.24 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
26.64 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
4.58 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
4.64 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-2.97 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-3.03 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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
Current issues 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_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements note: Strategic location on southern border of U.S.

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.97 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:25 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
26 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 73.67 years (1996 est.), 73.34 years (1995 est.)
Male: 70.07 years (1996 est.), 69.74 years (1995 est.)
Female: 77.45 years (1996 est.), 77.11 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.03 children born/woman (1996 est.)
3.09 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 89.5%
Male: 91.8%
Female: 87.4%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Mexico - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: United Mexican States
Conventional short form: Mexico
Local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Local short form: Mexico

Government type: Federal republic operating under a centralized government


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, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz-Llave, Yucatan, Zacatecas

Dependent areas

Independence: 16 September 1810 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 16 September (1810)

Constitution: 5 February 1917

Legal system: Mixture of U.S. constitutional theory and civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


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 la 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), judges are appointed by the president with consent of the Senate

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AG (observer), APEC, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, EBRD, ECLAC, FAO, G- 6, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM (observer), OAS, OECD, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Mexico: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Mexico - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Mexico has a free market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector. Mexico entered 1996 on the heels of its worst recession since the 1930s. Economic activity contracted about 7% in 1995 in the aftermath of the peso devaluation in late 1994. Although Mexico City was able to correct imbalances in its external accounts, meet international payments obligations, and dramatically improve its trade balance in 1995, the domestic economy suffered harshly as the ZEDILLO administration stuck to a strict austerity program. The tight monetary and fiscal policies helped prevent spiraling inflation and kept government spending under control but drove interest rates to record heights, making it difficult for most Mexicans to service their debts. At the same time, consumers' reduced purchasing power made buying even necessities difficult for some. Many small- and medium-sized firms were unable to survive under the twin burdens of high interest rates and depressed domestic demand for their goods. Business closures and cutbacks fueled unemployment; more than 1 million Mexicans lost their jobs. According to the government and most private sector observers, the recession bottomed out in the third quarter of 1995, but the difficult year fed growing dissatisfaction with the ruling party, led to a crisis of confidence in President ZEDILLO'S ability to lead, and spurred increased tensions within the ruling party. While the ZEDILLO administration is optimistic that 1996 will bring some recovery_the government is forecasting 3% growth and 21% inflation_Mexico will face several key vulnerabilities, including the financial health of the banking sector, shaky investor confidence that could be easily jarred by more political or economic shocks, and increasingly emboldened dissenters within the ruling party.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
-6.9% (1995 est.)
3.5% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: 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

Food and beverages
Iron and steel
Motor vehicles
Consumer durables

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate -7.5% (1995 est.), 4.5% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 33.6 million (1994)
By occupation Services:

By occupation forestry hunting and fishing: 28%
By occupation commerce: 14.6%
By occupation manufacturing: 11.1%
By occupation construction: 8.4%
By occupation transportation: 4.7%
By occupation mining and quarrying: 1.5%
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
10% (1995 est.) plus considerable underemployment
9.8% (1994 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $56 billion (1995 est.), $96.99 billion (1994 est.)
Expenditures: $54 billion (1995 est.), including capital expenditures of $NA, $96.51 billion (1994 est.), including capital expenditures of NA (1994 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $80 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.), includes in-bond industries
$60.8 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.), includes in-bond industries

Crude oil
Oil products
Motor vehicles
Consumer electronics

U.S. 85%
Japan 1.6%
EU 4.6% (1994 est.)

Total value:
$72 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.), includes in-bond industries
$79.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.), includes in-bond industries

Metal-working machines
Steel mill products
Agricultural machinery
Electrical equipment
Car parts for assembly
Repair parts for motor vehicles
And aircraft parts

U.S. 69%
Japan 6%
EU 12% (1993 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external:
$155 billion (1995 est.)
$128 billion (1994 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates

Mexico - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 122 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,239 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Mexico - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 11,890,868 telephones (1993 est.); highly developed system with extensive microwave radio relay links; privatized in December 1990
Domestic: adequate telephone service for business and government, but the population is poorly served; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network
International: satellite earth stations_5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean); launched Solidaridad I satellite in November 1993 and Solidaridad II in October 1994, giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications; linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Mexico - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2.24 billion, 0.9% of GDP (1996)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Mexico - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1,411
With paved runways over 3047 m: 9
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 25
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 50
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 358 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 815

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 9
2438 to 3047 m: 25
15-24 to 2437 m: 50
914 to 1523 m: 358 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 815

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil 28,200 km; petroleum products 10,150 km; natural gas 13,254 km; petrochemical 1,400 km



Waterways: 2,900 km navigable rivers and coastal canals

Merchant marine
Total: 51 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 875,314 GRT/1,245,932 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, container 4, liquefied gas tanker 7, oil tanker 29, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, short-sea passenger 3 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Mexico - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Illicit cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis continues in spite of government eradication program; major supplier of heroin and marijuana to the U.S. 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


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