Mexico vs. Belize



The site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec - Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved independence early in the 19th century. Elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON, but Enrique PENA NIETO regained the presidency for the PRI in 2012. Left-leaning antiestablishment politician and former mayor of Mexico City (2000-05) Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR, from the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), became president in December 2018.

The global financial crisis in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn in Mexico the following year, although growth returned quickly in 2010. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, high underemployment, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely indigenous population in the impoverished southern states. Since 2007, Mexico's powerful drug-trafficking organizations have engaged in bloody feuding, resulting in tens of thousands of drug-related homicides.

Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1862. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Both nations have voted to send the dispute for final resolution to the International Court of Justice. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high crime rates, high unemployment combined with a majority youth population, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America.


North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States
Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Geographic coordinates
23 00 N, 102 00 W
17 15 N, 88 45 W
Map references
North America
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 1,964,375 sq km
land: 1,943,945 sq km
water: 20,430 sq km
total: 22,966 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
water: 160 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than three times the size of Texas
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries
total: 4,389 km
border countries (3): Belize 276 km, Guatemala 958 km, US 3155 km
total: 542 km
border countries (2): Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 276 km
9,330 km
386 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
varies from tropical to desert
tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 1,111 m
lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,636 m
mean elevation: 173 m
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,124 m
Natural resources
petroleum, silver, antimony, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower
Land use
agricultural land: 54.9% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.4% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 41.7% (2011 est.)
forest: 33.3% (2011 est.)
other: 11.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 6.9% (2011 est.)
arable land: 3.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.4% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 2.2% (2011 est.)
forest: 60.6% (2011 est.)
other: 32.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
65,000 sq km (2012)
35 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

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

volcanism: volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (3,850 m), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico's most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (5,426 m) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
Environment - current issues
scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural freshwater 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; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion

note: the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues

deforestation; water pollution, including pollution of Belize's Barrier Reef System, from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; inability to properly dispose of solid waste
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note

note 1: strategic location on southern border of the US; Mexico is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

note 2: the "Three Sisters" companion plants - winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans - served as the main agricultural crops for various North American Indian groups; all three apparently originated in Mexico but then were widely disseminated through much of North America; vanilla, the world's most popular aroma and flavor spice, also emanates from Mexico

note 3: the Sac Actun cave system at 348 km (216 mi) is the longest underwater cave in the world and the second longest cave worldwide, after Mammoth Cave in the United States (see "Geography - note" under United States)

note 4: the prominent Yucatan Peninsula that divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea is shared by Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; just on the northern coast of Yucatan, near the town of Chicxulub (pronounce cheek-sha-loob), lie the remnants of a massive crater (some 150 km in diameter and extending well out into the Gulf of Mexico); formed by an asteroid or comet when it struck the earth 66 million years ago, the impact is now widely accepted as initiating a worldwide climate disruption that caused a mass extinction of 75% of all the earth's plant and animal species - including the non-avian dinosaurs

only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean
Population distribution
most of the population is found in the middle of the country between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz; approximately a quarter of the population lives in and around Mexico City
approximately 25% to 30% of the population lives in the former capital, Belize City; over half of the overall population is rural; population density is slightly higher in the north and east


128,649,565 (July 2020 est.)
399,598 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 26.01% (male 17,111,199/female 16,349,767)
15-24 years: 16.97% (male 11,069,260/female 10,762,784)
25-54 years: 41.06% (male 25,604,223/female 27,223,720)
55-64 years: 8.29% (male 4,879,048/female 5,784,176)
65 years and over: 7.67% (male 4,373,807/female 5,491,581) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 32.57% (male 66,454/female 63,700)
15-24 years: 19% (male 39,238/female 36,683)
25-54 years: 37.72% (male 73,440/female 77,300)
55-64 years: 6.18% (male 12,235/female 12,444)
65 years and over: 4.53% (male 8,781/female 9,323) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 29.3 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 30.4 years (2020 est.)
total: 23.9 years
male: 23 years
female: 24.8 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
1.04% (2020 est.)
1.72% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
17.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
22 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
4.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 96.1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 100.3 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 10.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 76.7 years
male: 73.9 years
female: 79.6 years (2020 est.)
total population: 75.3 years
male: 73.7 years
female: 77 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
2.19 children born/woman (2020 est.)
2.7 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.2% (2018 est.)
1.9% (2018 est.)
noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican
noun: Belizean(s)
adjective: Belizean
Ethnic groups
mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 62%, predominantly Amerindian 21%, Amerindian 7%, other 10% (mostly European) (2012 est.)

note: Mexico does not collect census data on ethnicity

mestizo 52.9%, Creole 25.9%, Maya 11.3%, Garifuna 6.1%, East Indian 3.9%, Mennonite 3.6%, white 1.2%, Asian 1%, other 1.2%, unknown 0.3% (2010 est.)

note: percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic origin

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
230,000 (2018 est.)
4,900 (2018 est.)
Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal 1.6%, Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, other Evangelical Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%, unspecified 2.7% (2010 est.)
Roman Catholic 40.1%, Protestant 31.5% (includes Pentecostal 8.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 4.7%, Mennonite 3.7%, Baptist 3.6%, Methodist 2.9%, Nazarene 2.8%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 10.5% (includes Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army), unspecified 0.6%, none 15.5% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
4,000 (2017 est.)
<200 (2018 est.)
Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8% (2005)

note: indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages

English 62.9% (official), Spanish 56.6%, Creole 44.6%, Maya 10.5%, German 3.2%, Garifuna 2.9%, other 1.8%, unknown 0.3%, none 0.2% (cannot speak) (2010 est.)

note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2018)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2019)
Education expenditures
4.9% of GDP (2016)
7.4% of GDP (2017)
urban population: 80.7% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 1.59% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 46% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.32% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 96.6% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 3.4% of population
total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 98.6% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 1.4% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 91.9% of population
total: 97.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 8.1% of population
total: 2.2% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 98.8% of population
rural: 95.3% of population
total: 96.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.2% of population
rural: 4.7% of population
total: 3.1% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
21.782 million MEXICO CITY (capital), 5.179 million Guadalajara, 4.874 million Monterrey, 3.195 million Puebla, 2.467 million Toluca de Lerdo, 2.140 million Tijuana (2020)
23,000 BELMOPAN (capital) (2018)
Maternal mortality rate
33 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
36 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
4.2% (2016)
4.6% (2015)
Health expenditures
5.5% (2017)
5.6% (2017)
Physicians density
2.38 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
1.12 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
1.5 beds/1,000 population (2015)
1 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
28.9% (2016)
24.1% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
73.1% (2018)
51.4% (2015/16)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 50.3
youth dependency ratio: 38.8
elderly dependency ratio: 11.4
potential support ratio: 8.7 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 52
youth dependency ratio: 44.4
elderly dependency ratio: 7.6
potential support ratio: 13.1 (2020 est.)


Country name
conventional long form: United Mexican States
conventional short form: Mexico
local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
local short form: Mexico
etymology: named after the capital city, whose name stems from the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Belize
former: British Honduras
etymology: may be named for the Belize River, whose name possibly derives from the Maya word "belix," meaning "muddy-watered"
Government type
federal presidential republic
parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
name: Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico)
geographic coordinates: 19 26 N, 99 08 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October

note: Mexico has four time zones

etymology: named after the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain

name: Belmopan
geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 46 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the decision to move the capital of the country inland to higher and more stable land was made in the 1960s; the name chosen for the new city was formed from the union of two words: "Belize," the name of the longest river in the country, and "Mopan," one of the rivers in the area of the new capital that empties into the Belize River
Administrative divisions
32 states (estados, singular - estado); Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Cuidad de Mexico, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, Zacatecas
6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo
16 September 1810 (declared independence from Spain); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
21 September 1981 (from the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day, 16 September (1810)
Battle of St. George's Caye Day (National Day), 10 September (1798); Independence Day, 21 September (1981)
history: several previous; latest approved 5 February 1917
amendments: proposed by the Congress of the Union; passage requires approval by at least two thirds of the members present and approval by a majority of the state legislatures; amended many times, last in 2020
history: previous 1954, 1963 (preindependence); latest signed and entered into force 21 September 1981
amendments: proposed and adopted by two-thirds majority vote of the National Assembly House of Representatives except for amendments relating to rights and freedoms, changes to the Assembly, and to elections and judiciary matters, which require at least three-quarters majority vote of the House; both types of amendments require assent of the governor general; amended several times, last in 2018
Legal system
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (since 1 December 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (since 1 December 2018)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; note - appointment of attorney general, the head of the Bank of Mexico, and senior treasury officials require consent of the Senate
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a single 6-year term; election last held on 1 July 2018 (next to be held in July 2024)
election results: Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR elected president; percent of vote - Andres Manuel LOPEZ OBRADOR (MORENA) 53.2%, Ricardo ANAYA (PAN) 22.3%, Jose Antonio MEADE Kuribrena (PRI) 16.4%, Jaime RODRIGUEZ Calderon 5.2% (independent), other 2.9%
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Colville Norbert YOUNG, Sr. (since 17 November 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Juan Antonio BRICENO (since 12 November 2020); Deputy Prime Minister Cordel HYDE (since 16 November 2020)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among members of the National Assembly
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
Legislative branch
description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso de la Union consists of:
Senate or Camara de Senadores (128 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 32 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (500 seats; 300 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 200 directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)
Senate - last held on 1 July 2018 (next to be held on 1 July 2024)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 1 July 2018 (next to be held on 1 July 2021)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MORENA 58, PAN 22, PRI 14, PRD 9, MC 7, PT 7, PES 5, PVEM 5, PNA/PANAL 1; composition - men 65, women 63, percent of women 49.3%
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MORENA 193, PAN 79, PT 61, PES 58, PRI 42, MC 26, PRD 23, PVEM 17, PNA/PANAL 1; composition - men 259, women 241, percent of women 48.2%; note - total National Congress percent of women 48.4%
note: for the 2018 election, senators will be eligible for a second term and deputies up to 4 consecutive terms
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Senate (14 seats, including the president); members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, non-governmental organizations in good standing, and the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; Senate president elected from among the Senate members or from outside the Senate; term of appointment NA
House of Representatives (31 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
Senate -  last appointed 11 November 2020 (next appointments in November 2025)
House of Representatives - last held on 11 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2025)
election results:
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PUP 59.6%, UDP 38.8%, other 1.6%; seats by party - PUP 26, UDP 5
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (consists of the chief justice and 11 justices and organized into civil, criminal, administrative, and labor panels) and the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (organized into the superior court, with 7 judges including the court president, and 5 regional courts, each with 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices nominated by the president of the republic and approved by two-thirds vote of the members present in the Senate; justices serve 15-year terms; Electoral Tribunal superior and regional court judges nominated by the Supreme Court and elected by two-thirds vote of members present in the Senate; superior court president elected from among its members to hold office for a 4-year term; other judges of the superior and regional courts serve staggered, 9-year terms
subordinate courts: federal level includes circuit, collegiate, and unitary courts; state and district level courts
Note: in mid-February 2020, the Mexican president endorsed a bill on judicial reform, which proposes changes to 7 articles of the constitution and the issuance of a new Organic Law on the Judicial Branch of the Federation
highest courts: Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with the court president and 3 justices, and the Supreme Court with the chief justice and 10 justices); note - in 2010, Belize acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal, replacing that of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal president and justices appointed by the governor-general upon advice of the prime minister after consultation with the National Assembly opposition leader; justices' tenures vary by terms of appointment; Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the prime minister and the National Assembly opposition leader; other judges appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Section of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the prime minister after consultation with the National Assembly opposition leader; judges can be appointed beyond age 65 but must retire by age 75; in 2013, the Supreme Court chief justice overturned a constitutional amendment that had restricted Court of Appeal judge appointments to as short as 1 year
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; Family Court
Political parties and leaders
Citizen's Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano) or MC [Clemente CASTANEDA]
Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) or PRI [Claudia RUIZ Massieu]
Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo) or PT [Alberto ANAYA Gutierrez]
Mexican Green Ecological Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico) or PVEM [Carlos Alberto PUENTE Salas]
Movement for National Regeneration (Movimiento Regeneracion Nacional) or MORENA [Andres Manuel LOPEZ Obrador]
National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional) or PAN [Damian ZEPEDA Vidales]
Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) or PRD [Manuel GRANADOS]
Belize Progressive Party or BPP [Patrick ROGERS] (formed in 2015 from a merger of the People's National Party, elements of the Vision Inspired by the People, and other smaller political groups)
People's United Party or PUP [Johnny BRICENO]
United Democratic Party or UDP [Dean Oliver BARROW]
Vision Inspired by the People or VIP [Hubert ENRIQUEZ]
International organization participation
APEC, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (observer), Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CE (observer), CELAC, CSN (observer), EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-3, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAFTA, NAM (observer), NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Martha BARCENA Coqui (since 11 January 2019); note - Ambassador BARCENA Coqui is Mexico'a first-ever female ambassador to the US
chancery: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 728-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 728-1698
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso (TX), Houston, Laredo (TX), Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Nogales (AZ), Phoenix, Sacramento (CA), San Antonio (TX), San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Saint Paul (MN)
consulate(s): Albuquerque (NM), Anchorage (AK), Boise (ID), Brownsville (TX), Calexico (CA), Del Rio (TX), Detroit, Douglas (AZ), Eagle Pass (TX), Fresno (CA), Indianapolis (IN), Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas, Little Rock (AR), McAllen (TX), Minneapolis (MN), New Orleans, Omaha (NE), Orlando (FL), Oxnard (CA), Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Presidio (TX), Raleigh (NC), Salt Lake City, San Bernardino (CA), Santa Ana (CA), Seattle, Tucson (AZ), Yuma (AZ); note - Washington DC Consular Section is located in a separate building from the Mexican Embassy and has jurisdiction over DC, parts of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia
Ambassador Francisco Daniel GUTIEREZ (since 21 July 2017)
chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636
FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): Miami
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher LANDAU (since 26 August 2019)
telephone: (011) [52]-55-5080-2000
embassy: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico, Distrito Federal
mailing address: P. O. Box 9000, Brownsville, TX 78520-9000
FAX: (011) 52-55-5080-2005
consulate(s) general: Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Keith R. GILGES (since 24 July 2018)
telephone: [011] (501) 822-4011
embassy: Floral Park Road, Belmopan City, Cayo District
mailing address: P.O. Box 497, Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize
FAX: [011] (501) 822-4012
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico's coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; green signifies hope, joy, and love; white represents peace and honesty; red stands for hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City

note: similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter, uses lighter shades of green and red, and does not display anything in its white band

royal blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize

note: Belize's flag is the only national flag that depicts human beings; two British overseas territories, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands, also depict humans

National anthem
name: "Himno Nacional Mexicano" (National Anthem of Mexico)
lyrics/music: Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA/Jaime Nuno ROCA

note: adopted 1943, in use since 1854; also known as "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra" (Mexicans, to the War Cry); according to tradition, Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA, an accomplished poet, was uninterested in submitting lyrics to a national anthem contest; his fiancee locked him in a room and refused to release him until the lyrics were completed

name: Land of the Free
lyrics/music: Samuel Alfred HAYNES/Selwyn Walford YOUNG

note: adopted 1981; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)
golden eagle; national colors: green, white, red
Baird's tapir (a large, browsing, forest-dwelling mammal), keel-billed toucan, Black Orchid; national colors: red, blue
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: not specified
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


Economy - overview

Mexico's $2.4 trillion economy – 11th largest in the world - has become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force in 1994. Per capita income is roughly one-third that of the US; income distribution remains highly unequal.

Mexico has become the US' second-largest export market and third-largest source of imports. In 2017, two-way trade in goods and services exceeded $623 billion. Mexico has free trade agreements with 46 countries, putting more than 90% of its trade under free trade agreements. In 2012, Mexico formed the Pacific Alliance with Peru, Colombia, and Chile.

Mexico's current government, led by President Enrique PENA NIETO, has emphasized economic reforms, passing and implementing sweeping energy, financial, fiscal, and telecommunications reform legislation, among others, with the long-term aim to improve competitiveness and economic growth across the Mexican economy. Since 2015, Mexico has held public auctions of oil and gas exploration and development rights and for long-term electric power generation contracts. Mexico has also issued permits for private sector import, distribution, and retail sales of refined petroleum products in an effort to attract private investment into the energy sector and boost production.

Since 2013, Mexico’s economic growth has averaged 2% annually, falling short of private-sector expectations that President PENA NIETO’s sweeping reforms would bolster economic prospects. Growth is predicted to remain below potential given falling oil production, weak oil prices, structural issues such as low productivity, high inequality, a large informal sector employing over half of the workforce, weak rule of law, and corruption. Mexico’s economy remains vulnerable to uncertainty surrounding the future of NAFTA — because the United States is its top trading partner and the two countries share integrated supply chains — and to potential shifts in domestic policies following the inauguration of a new a president in December 2018.

Tourism is the number one foreign exchange earner in this small economy, followed by exports of sugar, bananas, citrus, marine products, and crude oil.

The government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in September 1998, led to GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in 1999-2007, but GPD growth has averaged only 2.1% from 2007-2016, with 2.5% growth estimated for 2017. Belize’s dependence on energy imports makes it susceptible to energy price shocks.

Although Belize has the third highest per capita income in Central America, the average income figure masks a huge income disparity between rich and poor, and a key government objective remains reducing poverty and inequality with the help of international donors. High unemployment, a growing trade deficit and heavy foreign debt burden continue to be major concerns. Belize faces continued pressure from rising sovereign debt, and a growing trade imbalance.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$2.463 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.413 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.346 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$3.218 billion (2017 est.)
$3.194 billion (2016 est.)
$3.21 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
-0.3% (2019 est.)
2.19% (2018 est.)
2.34% (2017 est.)
0.8% (2017 est.)
-0.5% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$19,900 (2017 est.)
$19,700 (2016 est.)
$19,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$8,300 (2017 est.)
$8,500 (2016 est.)
$8,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 31.9% (2017 est.)
services: 64.5% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 10.3% (2017 est.)
industry: 21.6% (2017 est.)
services: 68% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
46.2% (2014 est.)

note: from a food-based definition of poverty; asset-based poverty amounted to more than 47%

41% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 40% (2014)
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
6% (2017 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
1.1% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
Labor force
50.914 million (2020 est.)
120,500 (2008 est.)

note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel

Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 13.4%
industry: 24.1%
services: 61.9% (2011)
agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 18.1%
services: 71.7% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate
3.49% (2019 est.)
3.33% (2018 est.)

note: underemployment may be as high as 25%

9% (2017 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
revenues: 261.4 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 273.8 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 553.5 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 572 million (2017 est.)
food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism
garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil
Industrial production growth rate
-0.6% (2017 est.)
-0.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products
bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber
$409.8 billion (2017 est.)
$374.3 billion (2016 est.)
$457.5 million (2017 est.)
$442.7 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
manufactured goods, electronics, vehicles and auto parts, oil and oil products, silver, plastics, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton; Mexico is the world's leading producer of silver
sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil
Exports - partners
US 79.9% (2017)
UK 33.9%, US 22%, Jamaica 6.7%, Italy 6.4%, Barbados 5.9%, Ireland 5.5%, Netherlands 4.3% (2017)
$420.8 billion (2017 est.)
$387.4 billion (2016 est.)
$845.9 million (2017 est.)
$916.2 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, automobile parts for assembly and repair, aircraft, aircraft parts, plastics, natural gas and oil products
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco
Imports - partners
US 46.4%, China 17.7%, Japan 4.3% (2017)
US 35.6%, China 11.2%, Mexico 11.2%, Guatemala 6.9% (2017)
Debt - external
$445.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$450.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.315 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.338 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Mexican pesos (MXN) per US dollar -
18.26 (2017 est.)
18.664 (2016 est.)
18.664 (2015 est.)
15.848 (2014 est.)
13.292 (2013 est.)
Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar -
2 (2017 est.)
2 (2016 est.)
2 (2015 est.)
2 (2014 est.)
2 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
1 April - 31 March
Public debt
54.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
56.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
99% of GDP (2017 est.)
95.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$175.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$178.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

note: Mexico also maintains access to an $88 million Flexible Credit Line with the IMF

$312.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$376.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$4.351 billion (2019 est.)
-$25.415 billion (2018 est.)
-$143 million (2017 est.)
-$163 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.151 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.854 billion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$554.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$473.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares
$402.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$480.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$526 billion (31 December 2013 est.)


Central bank discount rate
7.25% (31 December 2017)
5.75% (31 December 2016)
9.58% (1 November 2017)
9.14% (1 November 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
7.34% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.72% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.46% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.84% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$431.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$393.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.323 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.278 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$215.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$186.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$768.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$735.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$215.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$186.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$768.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$735.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
22.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
29.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 6.9%
male: 6.5%
female: 7.6% (2018 est.)
total: 15.3%
male: 9.5%
female: 24.8% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 67% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 22.3% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.8% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 37.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -39.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 75.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 15.2% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 49.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -63.2% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
21.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
11.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
13.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.2% of GDP (2015 est.)


Electricity - production
302.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
280 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
258.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
453 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
7.308 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
3.532 billion kWh (2016 est.)
243 million kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
1.852 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
2,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
1.214 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
1,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
6.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
6.7 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
279.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Natural gas - production
31.57 billion cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
81.61 billion cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
36.81 million cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
50.12 billion cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
72.56 million kW (2016 est.)
198,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
71% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
51% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
17% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
27% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
22% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
844,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
36 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
1.984 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
4,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
155,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
867,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
4,161 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
454.1 million Mt (2017 est.)
556,700 Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
electrification - total population: 99.5% (2018)
electrification - urban areas: 97.1% (2016)
electrification - rural areas: 88.4% (2016)


Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 22,471,647
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17.65 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 18,617
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4.74 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 121,117,720
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95.13 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 256,479
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 65.3 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
Internet users
total: 82,843,369
percent of population: 65.77% (July 2018 est.)
total: 181,660
percent of population: 47.08% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: adequate telephone service for business and government; improving quality and increasing mobile cellular availability, with mobile subscribers far outnumbering fixed-line subscribers; relatively low broadband and mobile penetration, potential for growth; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable and coaxial cable; two main MNOs despite efforts for competition; 5G development slow given the existing capabilities of LTE; Mexico’s first local Internet Exchange Point opens in Mexico City; regulator strives to bring competition and foreign investment to Mexico; regulator brings back SIM card registration program (2020)
domestic: competition has spurred the mobile-cellular market; fixed-line teledensity exceeds 18 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is about 95 per 100 persons; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations (2019)
international: country code - 52; Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Spain, and Italy; the ARCOS-1 and the MAYA-1 submarine cable system together provide access to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 120 (32 Intelsat, 2 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications), 1 Panamsat, numerous Inmarsat mobile earth stations); linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections (2016)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable, and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: govt. telecom company, Belize Telemedia Ltd., continues to hold a monopoly in fixed-line services, mobile and broadband fixed-line teledensity; it is a small market; fixed-line teledensity and mobile penetration below regional average; lack of competition and underinvestment in telecom system, make it pricey for consumer (2020)
domestic: 5 per 100 fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity approaching 65 per 100 persons; mobile sector accounting for over 90% of all phone subscriptions (2019)
international: country code - 501; landing points for the ARCOS and SEUL fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 8 (Intelsat - 2, unknown - 6) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 18,359,028
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2018 est.)
total: 24,658
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media
telecom reform in 2013 enabled the creation of new broadcast television channels after decades of a quasi-monopoly; Mexico has 821 TV stations and 1,745 radio stations and most are privately owned; the Televisa group once had a virtual monopoly in TV broadcasting, but new broadcasting groups and foreign satellite and cable operators are now available; in 2016, Mexico became the first country in Latin America to complete the transition from analog to digital transmissions, allowing for better image and audio quality and a wider selection of programming from networks
8 privately owned TV stations; multi-channel cable TV provides access to foreign stations; about 25 radio stations broadcasting on roughly 50 different frequencies; state-run radio was privatized in 1998 (2019)


total: 398,148 km (2017)
paved: 174,911 km (includes 10,362 km of expressways) (2017)
unpaved: 223,237 km (2017)
total: 3,281 km (2017)
paved: 601 km (2017)
unpaved: 2,680 km (2017)
2,900 km (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast) (2012)
825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2011)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Veracruz
oil terminal(s): Cayo Arcas terminal, Dos Bocas terminal
cruise port(s): Cancun, Cozumel, Ensenada
container port(s) (TEUs): Manzanillo (2,830,370), Lazaro Cardenas (1,149,079) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Altamira, Ensenada
major seaport(s): Belize City, Big Creek
Merchant marine
total: 637
by type: bulk carrier 6, general cargo 10, oil tanker 35, other 586 (2019)
total: 786
by type: bulk carrier 56, container ship 4, general cargo 398, oil tanker 65, other 263 (2019)
total: 1,714 (2013)
total: 47 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 243 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 12 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 32 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 80 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 86 (2017)
under 914 m: 33 (2017)
total: 6 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
under 914 m: 3 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 1,471 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 42 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 281 (2013)
under 914 m: 1,146 (2013)
total: 41 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 11 (2013)
under 914 m: 29 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 16 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 370
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 64,569,640 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,090,380,000 mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 28
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,297,533 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 3.78 million mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
XA (2016)
V3 (2016)


Military branches
Secretariat of National Defense (Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, SEDENA): Army (Ejercito), Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Mexicana, FAM); Secretariat of the Navy (Secretaria de Marina, SEMAR): Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico (ARM), includes Naval Air Force (FAN), Mexican Naval Infantry Corps (Cuerpo de Infanteria de Marina, Mexmar or CIM)); Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection: Federal Police (includes Gendarmerie), National Guard (2019)
note: the National Guard was formed in 2019 and consists of personnel from the Federal Police and military police units of the Army and Navy
Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, Air Wing; Belize Coast Guard (2019)
Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service (selection for service determined by lottery), conscript service obligation is 12 months; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; cadets enrolled in military schools from the age of 15 are considered members of the armed forces; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2012)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1; initial service obligation 12 years (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
0.5% of GDP (2019)
0.5% of GDP (2018)
0.5% of GDP (2017)
0.6% of GDP (2016)
0.7% of GDP (2015)
1.2% of GDP (2019)
1.3% of GDP (2018)
1.6% of GDP (2017)
1.2% of GDP (2016)
1.1% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; the US has intensified security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across its border with Mexico; Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the US; Belize and Mexico are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty

Guatemala persists in its territorial claim to approximately half of Belize, but agrees to the Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interior; both countries agreed in April 2012 to hold simultaneous referenda, scheduled for 6 October 2013, to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution, but this vote was suspended indefinitely; Belize and Mexico are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty

Illicit drugs
major drug-producing and transit nation; Mexico is estimated to be the world's third largest producer of opium with poppy cultivation in 2015 estimated to be 28,000 hectares yielding a potential production of 475 metric tons of raw opium; government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America, with an estimated 95% of annual cocaine movements toward the US stopping in Mexico; major drug syndicates control the majority of drug trafficking throughout the country; producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the US market
major transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of cannabis, primarily for local consumption; offshore sector money-laundering activity related to narcotics trafficking and other crimes

Source: CIA Factbook