Mexico Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Mexico – geography

Most of Mexico consists of a central plateau surrounded by mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Occidental to the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental to the east.

The plateau houses several drainless basins; some of these have a fertile soil of volcanic decomposition products, while others are covered with sand and salt marshes.

The southern part of the plateau is characterized by volcanic landscapes from the Tertiary period. Here are two rows of volcanoes with Mexico’s highest mountain, Citlaltépetl (5700 m). Some volcanoes, Popocatépetl, are still active. Crater lakes and lava flows are characteristic elements in this area.

South of the volcanoes, the narrow Tehuantepec Seaweed forms a natural geographical but not constitutional boundary between Mexico and Central America. The southernmost part of the country is formed to the west by a highland that geologically connects to the Cordilleras, and to the east by the low limestone peninsula Yucatán. Large parts of the lowlands along the Gulf of Mexico consist of swamps and lagoons.

States and territories
states capital city residents (1000) area (km2)
Aguascalientes Aguascalientes 862 5589
Baja California Norte Mexicali 2108 70,113
Baja California Sur La Paz 375 73677
Campeche Campeche 642 51,833
Coahuila Saltillo 2172 151,571
Colima Colima 487 5455
Chiapas Tuxtla Gutiérrez 3607 73,887
Chihuahua Chihuahua 2793 247,087
Durango Durango 1431 119,648
Guanajuato Guanajuato 4393 30,491
Guerrero Chilpancingo 2915 64,281
Hidalgo Pachuca 2112 20,800
Jalisco Guadalajara 5990 80,137
Mexico Toluca 11,075 21,461
Michoacán Morelia 3869 59,864
Morelos Cuernavaca 1443 4941
Nayarit Tepic 896 27,621
New Leon Monterrey 3549 64,555
Oaxaca Oaxaca 3224 95,364
Puebla Puebla 4624 33,919 th most common
Querétaro Querétaro 1249 11,769 th most common
Quintana Roo Chetumal 703 50,350
San Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí 2192 62,848
Sinaloa Culiacán 2425 58,092
Sonora Hermosillo 2084 184,934
Tabasco Villahermosa 1749 24,661
Tamaulipas Ciudad Victoria 2526 79,829
Tlaxcala Tlaxcala 884 3914
Veracruz Jalapa 6735 72,815
Yucatan Merida 1556 39,340
Zacatecas Zacatecas 1336 75,040
Federal District Mexico City 8484 1499


The climate in the highlands is predominantly subtropical, while the coastal signs and the lowlands generally have a tropical climate. Locally, there are four climate zones: Tierra caliente (‘the warm country’) is located between the sea and 750 m, tierra templada (‘the temperate country’) is between 750 and 1800 m and covers most of the central plateau with the country’s population, economic and cultural center of gravity, tierra fría (‘the cold country’) up to 3600 m with frost in the winter months and finally tierra helada (‘the frozen country’) on the highest mountain peaks with a polar climate.

To the north, the weather is characterized by stable high pressures, and several areas have annual precipitation below 100 mm and desert vegetation. Across the eastern and southern regions, trade winds blow in from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and here the annual rainfall is up to 3000 mm. In the summer, tropical hurricanes occur here. The central plateau and lowlands of the Pacific Ocean have summer rains.


From 1970 to 1996, the population doubled. The birth surplus was 3.5% annually in 1965, but has since fallen to close to 2%, which is still higher than in most countries in the region. Both the birth and death rates are declining; this is partly due to migration from agriculture and improvements in health. State family planning policy has also for many years sought to reduce the birth rate.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Mexico? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

Sharp ethnic boundaries between population groups are difficult to draw, but approximately 60% are mestizos, 30% Indians and 10% whites. In the past, shifting governments sought to “Mexicanize” the non-Spanish cultures that were seen as backward and as barriers to development and national unity. It happened without much success, and since 1982, the official policy has been “cultural pluralism” with two-cultural education and greater local self-determination.

Since the 1950’s, the originally agricultural-dominated country has been characterized by migrations from country to city, and today 70% live in the cities. At the same time, there has been a large emigration to the USA, where 17 million have been registered. Mexicans plus an estimated 3 million. illegal immigrants.

The employment opportunities in the Mexican cities have not been able to keep up with the rural-urban migration, so unemployment is high. Both at home and abroad, the underemployed Mexicans constitute a large labor reserve with low status.


Agriculture. 12% of the area is cultivated, of which about a third is irrigated. Most of the arable land is found on the central plateau, where the summer rains are stable and the soil fertile.

Maize, rice, wheat and vegetables are grown for the domestic market and cotton, coffee, tobacco and bananas for export. As in other Latin American countries, the distribution of land is skewed and poses a problem.

The unequal distribution was created in colonial times, when the Spaniards expelled the Indians from the good lands to the more marginal ones. After independence, the land was privatized, expropriated and sold. Many foreigners, especially from the north, bought land and established large cattle farms and plantations with coffee, sugar, sisala gifts, cocoa and cotton.

By the revolution of 1910, 40% of Mexico was subject to large estates, while 96% of the rural population did not own land. One of the results of the revolution was a land reform, and in 1940 the landless peasants accounted for 36%. Since then, follow-up to the reform has been slow.

The lack of land and the rising poverty were and are the reason for the migration to the cities; in the 1980’s, 700,000 immigrants a year arrived in Mexico City alone. The continuing unrest in the southern state of Chiapas is also largely due to the ownership of the land.

Agriculture played a not insignificant role in the country’s industrialization. Agricultural exports provided currency for the country, and through mechanization, labor was freed up for industry, while the industry was able to produce cheap food for the growing urban population.

The state invested in irrigation systems and supported the production of export crops with credits. Together with the Rockefeller Foundation, high-yielding maize and wheat varieties were developed for what would later become known as the Green Revolution.

The result was an intensification of the imbalances with, on the one hand, market-oriented large holdings and, on the other hand, a farming sector with small farms, mainly on the marginal lands.

Economic development created a growing middle class, and its increased demand for meat led to a growth in livestock farming, which in many places is in direct competition with agriculture on the land. Mexico is now an importer of staple foods such as corn, soy and milk powder. In total, another 28% of the labor force is in agriculture, but the sector contributes only 8% of GDP.

Mining and oil. Historically, Mexico was known for its colossal mineral wealth, and many of the mines have been in operation since the Spanish conquest. Zinc, lead and copper make up 75% of the metal extraction; in addition, the world’s largest silver production in addition to molybdenum, antimony and mercury.

More important, however, are the oil and natural gas fields, which are mainly located on the Gulf Coast and offshore. The deposits were nationalized in 1938 and have been an important factor in the country’s industrial growth. With rising oil prices in the 1970’s, exploration intensified and large new fields were found. Since then, Mexico has positioned itself as the world’s 5th-6th largest oil producer.

Oil accelerated development, but it happened for borrowed money, and growth was uneven. Oil refineries, pipelines and the petrochemical industry were built, but much of the oil is still exported as crude oil. Much of the export revenue goes to repayments and interest on loans, and much has disappeared in the country’s extensive corruption.

In 1982, Mexico halted its foreign payments in a major economic collapse with a foreign debt among the largest in the world. The background was low oil prices, and the consequences were noticeable for large sections of the population.

Industry (including the oil sector) employs 11% of the working population and contributes 29% of GDP. A very large part is located around Mexico City and to a lesser extent Monterrey.

Important industries are iron and steel, textiles, chemical industry, cement and food. In 1965, free zones were established along the border with the United States with offers for foreign investment. Production is export-oriented, technology and semi-finished products are imported, while the workforce is Mexican.

The free zones sought to reduce unemployment in the border areas, stop illegal emigration, initiate decentralization and increase state revenues.

With the crisis of the 1980’s, industrial policy changed. Protective tariffs were abolished and the strategy of building import-substituting companies was replaced by a focus on the export industry. The establishment of the North American Common Market, NAFTA, in 1994 was a necessary precondition for this change in policy.

Tourism, especially from the United States, is a major source of income. On the coast there are major tourist centers such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cancún, offering sunny climates and beaches. The pre-Columbian centers in the south of the country hold great cultural treasures and attract an increasing number of North Americans and Europeans. In addition, there are several border towns that serve as excursion destinations from California and Texas.

Mexico – plant growth

The arid areas, especially in the north and NW, are dominated by cacti and other succulents such as agave and yucca. In the NE there are grass steppes and thorny bushes, called mesquite. The mountains in the temperate regions are for the most part covered with deciduous oak forest and higher up pine forest; known garden plants such as Dahlia and Zinnia originate from these areas.

In the warmest and wettest regions, especially on the Yucatán Peninsula, tropical rainforest with many palm trees, epiphytic ferns, orchids and species in the pineapple family occurs. In the drier hinterland and towards the Pacific coast, the vegetation is most often savannah-like.

Mexico – language

Official language is Spanish, which is the mother tongue of over 90% of the population. In addition, over 100 Native American languages ​​are spoken, especially in the southern and eastern states. The largest of these languages ​​is Nahuatl, spoken by approximately 1.4 million in Central Mexico, followed by the Yucatecan Maya, spoken on the Yucatan Peninsula by approximately 745,000 (1990). Other Mayan languages ​​include tzotzil and tzeltal. The mountainous southern state of Oaxaca is one of the most linguistic areas in the world; here oto-mangue and mixe-zoque languages ​​are spoken in particular. Uto-Aztec languages ​​are most prevalent in the northern part of the country. See also Central American languages. For culture and traditions of Mexico, please check calculatorinc.

Mexico – religion

In today’s Mexico is approximately 90% of the population are Catholics; among Protestant denominations, Presbyterians and the Pentecostal movement in particular have gained followers in recent times. The Roman Catholic Church came to Mexico with the Spanish conquest in the 1500’s. and was closely linked to colonization. In 1917, the state and church were separated, the church was banned from acquiring land, and the revolution was generally strongly anti-church, because the church was still associated with the colonizers by many. In the late 1900-t. it is trying to abolish the anti-religious laws.

In practice, many Mexicans mix forms from the original religion, such as the spirit and animal beliefs of Mayan culture, with Catholicism. The cult surrounding the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Latin America, has had a particularly popular impact.

The pre-Columbian religion is described under Indians (religion), Aztecs and Mayans.

Mexico Geography