Mexico 1999Mexico

 Mexico | | | | | |
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Mexico - Introduction 1999
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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 1999
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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

Map referenceNorth America

Total: 1,972,550 km²
Land: 1,923,040 km²
Water: 49,510 km²
Comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 4,538 km
Border countries: (3) 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 nm

Climate: varies from tropical to desert

Terrain: high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

Extremes lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
Extremes highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m

Natural resources: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 39%
Forests and woodland: 26%
Other: 22% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 61,000 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts

Note: strategic location on southern border of US

Mexico - People 1999
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Population: 100,294,036 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 1.73% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: 27% (1998 est.)

Noun: Mexican(s)
Adjective: Mexican

Ethnic groups: mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%

Languages: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages

Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 35% (male 17,987,500; female 17,289,875)
15-64 years: 61% (male 29,610,813; female 31,216,342)
65 years and over: 4% (male 1,873,986; female 2,315,520) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.73% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 24.99 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 4.83 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.84 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 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
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 signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 24.62 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72 years
Male: 68.98 years
Female: 75.17 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.85 children born/woman (1999 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 can read and write
Total population: 89.6%
Male: 91.8%
Female: 87.4% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Mexico - Government 1999
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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

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, 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 US 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: President Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon (since 1 December 1994); note_the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon (since 1 December 1994); note_the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with consent of the Senate
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 21 August 1994 (next to be held in July or August 2000)
Election results: Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon elected president; percent of vote_Ernesto ZEDILLO Ponce de Leon (PRI) 50.18%, Cuauhtemoc CARDENAS Solorzano (PRD) 17.08%, Diego FERNANDEZ DE CEVALLOS (PAN) 26.69%, other 6.05%

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of the Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; half are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, and half are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members are directly elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; remaining 200 members are allocated on the basis of each party's popular vote, also for three-year terms)
Elections: Senate_last held 6 July 1997 for one-quarter of the seats; Chamber of Deputies_last held 6 July 1997 (the next legislative elections will coincide with the presidential election in July or August 2000)
Election results: Senate_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_PRI 77, PAN 33, PRD 16, PVEM 1, PT 1; note_the distribution of seats as of May 1998 is as follows_PRI 77, PAN 31, PRD 15, PT 1, independents 4; Chamber of Deputies_percent of vote by party_PRI 39%, PAN 27%, PRD 26%; seats by party_PRI 239, PRD 125, PAN 121, PVEM 8, PT 7; note_the distribution of seats as of May 1998 is as follows_PRI 237, PRD 127, PAN 120, PT 7, PVEM 6, independents 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the president with consent of the Senate)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: APEC, BCIE, BIS, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, EBRD, ECLAC, FAO, G-3, G-6, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM (observer), NEA, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Jesus REYES HEROLES Gonzalez Garza
In the us chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,006
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Laredo (Texas), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Nogales (Arizona), Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
In the us consulates: Albuquerque, Brownsville (Texas), Calexico (California), Corpus Christi, Del Rio (Texas), Detroit, Douglas (Arizona), Eagle Pass (Texas), Fresno (California), McAllen (Texas), Midland (Texas), Orlando, Oxnard (California), Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, San Jose, Santa Ana (California), Seattle, Tucson
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffery DAVIDOW
From the us embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 6,500 Mexico, Distrito Federal
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 3,087, Laredo, TX 78,044-3,087
From the us telephone: [52] (5) 209-9,100
From the us FAX: [52] (5) 208-3,373, 511-9,980
From the us consulates general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana
From the us consulates: Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Nuevo Laredo, Nogales

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 1999
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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. The number of state-owned enterprises in Mexico has fallen from more than 1,000 in 1982 to fewer than 200 in 1998. The ZEDILLO administration is privatizing and expanding competition in sea ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports. A strong export sector helped to cushion the economy's decline in 1995 and led the recovery in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, private consumption became the leading driver of growth, which was accompanied by increased employment and higher wages. The government expects the economy to slow in 1999 because of low commodity prices, tighter international liquidity, and slacker demand for exports. Mexico still needs to overcome many structural problems as it strives to modernize its economy and raise living standards. Income distribution is very unequal, with the top 20% of income earners accounting for 55% of income. Trade with the US and Canada has nearly doubled since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. Mexico is pursuing additional trade agreements with most countries in Latin America and with the EU to lessen its dependence on the US.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.8% (1998 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: 6%
Industry: 26%
Services: 68% (1997)

Agriculture products: corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products

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

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 37.5 million (1998)
By occupation services: 28.8%
By occupation agriculture forestry hunting and fishing: 21.8%
By occupation commerce: 17.1%
By occupation manufacturing: 16.1%
By occupation construction: 5.2%
By occupation public administrationandnationaldefense: 4.4%
By occupation transportationandcommunications: 4.1%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 2.6% (1998) urban; plus considerable underemployment

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 27% (1998 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $117 billion
Expenditures: $123 billion, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1998 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

Exports: $117.5 billion (f.o.b., 1998), includes in-bond industries (assembly plant operations with links to US companies)
Commodities: crude oil, oil products, coffee, silver, engines, motor vehicles, cotton, consumer electronics
Partners: US 87.5%, Canada 1.3%, Japan 0.8%, Spain 0.6%, Chile 0.6%, Brazil 0.5% (1998 est.)

Imports: $111.5 billion (f.o.b., 1998), includes in-bond industries (assembly plant operations with links to US companies)
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 74.2%, Japan 3.7%, Germany 3.7%, Canada 1.8%, South Korea 1.5%, Italy 1.3%, France 1.2% (1998 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $154 billion (1997)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Mexican pesos (Mex$) per US$1_10.1104 (January 1999), 9.1360 (1998), 7.9141 (1997), 7.5994(1996), 6.4194 (1995), 3.3751 (1994)

Mexico - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 154.395 billion kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 71.46%
By source hydro: 20.16%
By source nuclear: 4.85%
By source other: 3.53% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 154.448 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 1.263 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 1.316 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Mexico - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: highly developed system with extensive microwave radio relay links; privatized in December 1990; opened to competition January 1997
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 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $6 billion (1998)
Percent of gdp: 1.3% (1998)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Mexico - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1,805 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 232
With paved runways over 3047 m: 10
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 27
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 91
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 78
With paved runways under 914 m: 26 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1,573
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 63
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 468
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 1,040 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 232
Over 3047 m: 10
2438 to 3047 m: 27
15-24 to 2437 m: 91
914 to 1523 m: 78
Under 914 m: 26 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1,573
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 63
914 to 1523 m: 468
Under 914 m: 1,040 (1998 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1998 est.)

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

Total: 31,048 km
Standard gauge: 30,958 km 1.435-m gauge (246 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 90 km 0.914-m gauge (1998 est.)


Waterways: 2,900 km navigable rivers and coastal canals

Merchant marine
Total: 52 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 852,004 GRT/1,236,475 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, container 4, liquefied gas tanker 7, oil tanker 28, roll-on/roll-off cargo 3, short-sea passenger 3 (1998 est.)

Ports and terminals

Mexico - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivation of opium poppy (cultivation in 1998_5,500 hectares; potential production_60 metric tons) and cannabis cultivation in 1998_4,600 hectares; government eradication efforts have been key in keeping illicit crop levels low; major supplier of heroin and marijuana to the US market; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America; involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamines

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