Study Abroad in Mexico

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Facts about Mexico. Mexico People. Mexican History.



Mexican FlagThe United Mexican States, or simply Mexico is a country located in North America, bordered at the north by the United States, and at the south by Central America with Guatemala and Belize. Its capital is Mexico City which is one of the largest cities on earth.


Covering almost 2 million km² makes Mexico one of the largest countries in America and the 15th worldwide. It is also the 11th most populous country with approximately 108 million people and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Racially and ethnically Mexico is a diverse country. Its three main ethnic groups are mestizos (mixed Spanish and Amerindian people; 60% of the population); Amerindians (11.4-30%); and Europeans (9-15% ([4]); mostly of Spanish descent and to a lesser degree, some German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Polish, Russian, British, and Swedish immigrants). Mestizo is a term that can be very ambigous to people outside Mexico because the features of a mestizo can dramatically vary between those who look almost European and those who look more Amerindian. European Mexicans are mostly Spanish; the remaining minorities are largely comprised of Afro-Mexican, Middle Eastern and East Asian people. A large Chinese community exists in Mexicali, Baja California and there has been a small but steady influx of Filipinos since the late sixteenth century.

Life expectancy in Mexico increased from 34.7 for men and 33.0 years for women in 1930 to 72.1 for men and 77.1 years for women in 2002. The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo Leon (75.6 years). The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California. The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years), although the first two have had the highest increase (19.9 and 22.3% respectively).

The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7 per 1000 people; by 2001, the rate had dropped to 4.9 men per 1000 men and 3.8 women per 1000 women. The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women).


The Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Land north of the twenty-fourth parallel experiences cooler temperatures during the winter months. South of the twenty-fourth parallel, temperatures are fairly constant year round and vary solely as a function of elevation.

Areas south of the twentieth-fourth parallel with elevations up to 1,000 meters (the southern parts of both coastal plains as well as the Yucatán Peninsula), have a yearly median temperature between 24°C and 28°C. Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5°C difference between winter and summer median temperatures. Although low-lying areas north of the twentieth-fourth parallel are hot and humid during the summer, they generally have lower yearly temperature averages (from 20°C to 24°C) because of more moderate conditions during the winter.

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