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United States vs. Mexico

Introduction

United StatesMexico
Background

Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

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.

Geography

United StatesMexico
Location
North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
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
Geographic coordinates
38 00 N, 97 00 W
23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map references
North America
North America
Area
total: 9,833,517 sq km
land: 9,147,593 sq km
water: 685,924 sq km

note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia, no overseas territories

total: 1,964,375 sq km
land: 1,943,945 sq km
water: 20,430 sq km
Area - comparative
about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries
total: 12,048 km
border countries (2): Canada 8893 km (including 2477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3155 km

note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28.5 km

total: 4,389 km
border countries (3): Belize 276 km, Guatemala 958 km, US 3155 km
Coastline
19,924 km
9,330 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: not specified
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
Climate
mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
varies from tropical to desert
Terrain
vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 760 m
lowest point: Death Valley (lowest point in North America) -86 m
highest point: Denali 6,190 m (Mount McKinley) (highest point in North America)
note: the peak of Mauna Kea (4,207 m above sea level) on the island of Hawaii rises about 10,200 m above the Pacific Ocean floor; by this measurement, it is the world's tallest mountain - higher than Mount Everest (8,850 m), which is recognized as the tallest mountain above sea level
mean elevation: 1,111 m
lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,636 m
Natural resources
coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber, arable land, note, the US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
petroleum, silver, antimony, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use
agricultural land: 44.5% (2011 est.)
arable land: 16.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 27.4% (2011 est.)
forest: 33.3% (2011 est.)
other: 22.2% (2011 est.)
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.)
Irrigated land
264,000 sq km (2012)
65,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development

volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell, Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in Hawaii: Haleakala, Kilauea, Loihi; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

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"

Environment - current issues
air pollution; large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; deforestation; mining; desertification; species conservation; invasive species (the Hawaiian Islands are particularly vulnerable)
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

Environment - international agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
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
Geography - note

note 1: world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Denali (Mt. McKinley) is the highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent

note 2: the western coast of the United States and southern coast of Alaska lie 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 3: the Aleutian Islands are a chain of volcanic islands that divide the Bering Sea (north) from the main Pacific Ocean (south); they extend about 1,800 km westward from the Alaskan Peninsula; the archipelago consists of 14 larger islands, 55 smaller islands, and hundreds of islets; there are 41 active volcanoes on the islands, which together form a large northern section of the Ring of Fire

note 4: Mammoth Cave, in west-central Kentucky, is the world's longest known cave system with more than 650 km (405 miles) of surveyed passageways, which is nearly twice as long as the second-longest cave system, the Sac Actun underwater cave in Mexico - the world's longest underwater cave system (see "Geography - note" under Mexico);

note 5: Kazumura Cave on the island of Hawaii is the world's longest and deepest lava tube cave; it has been surveyed at 66 km (41 mi) long and 1,102 m (3,614 ft) deep

note 6: Bracken Cave outside of San Antonio, Texas is the world's largest bat cave; it is the summer home to the largest colony of bats in the world; an estimated 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats roost in the cave from March to October making it the world's largest known concentration of mammals

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

Population distribution
large urban clusters are spread throughout the eastern half of the US (particularly the Great Lakes area, northeast, east, and southeast) and the western tier states; mountainous areas, principally the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian chain, deserts in the southwest, the dense boreal forests in the extreme north, and the central prarie states are less densely populated; Alaska's population is concentrated along its southern coast - with particular emphasis on the city of Anchorage - and Hawaii's is centered on the island of Oahu
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

Demographics

United StatesMexico
Population
329,256,465 (July 2018 est.)
125,959,205 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 18.62% (male 31,329,121 /female 29,984,705)
15-24 years: 13.12% (male 22,119,340 /female 21,082,599)
25-54 years: 39.29% (male 64,858,646 /female 64,496,889)
55-64 years: 12.94% (male 20,578,432 /female 22,040,267)
65 years and over: 16.03% (male 23,489,515 /female 29,276,951) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 26.61% (male 17,143,124 /female 16,378,309)
15-24 years: 17.35% (male 11,072,817 /female 10,779,029)
25-54 years: 40.91% (male 24,916,204 /female 26,612,272)
55-64 years: 7.87% (male 4,538,167 /female 5,375,867)
65 years and over: 7.26% (male 4,079,513 /female 5,063,903) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 38.2 years (2018 est.)
male: 37 years
female: 39.5 years
total: 28.6 years (2018 est.)
male: 27.5 years
female: 29.7 years
Population growth rate
0.8% (2018 est.)
1.09% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
12.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
18.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
3.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female NA
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
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: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 6.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births
total: 11.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 12.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.8 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 80.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 77.8 years
female: 82.3 years
total population: 76.3 years (2018 est.)
male: 73.5 years
female: 79.2 years
Total fertility rate
1.87 children born/woman (2017 est.)
2.22 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
NA
0.2% (2018 est.)
Nationality
noun: American(s)
adjective: American
noun: Mexican(s)
adjective: Mexican
Ethnic groups
white 72.4%, black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.9%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 est.)

note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total US population is Hispanic as of 2010

mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 62%, predominantly Amerindian 21%, Amerindian 7%, other 10% (mostly European) (2012 est.)

note: Mexico does not collect census data on ethnicity

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
NA
230,000 (2018 est.)
Religions
Protestant 46.5%, Roman Catholic 20.8%, Jewish 1.9%, Mormon 1.6%, other Christian 0.9%, Muslim 0.9%, Jehovah's Witness 0.8%, Buddhist 0.7%, Hindu 0.7%, other 1.8%, unaffiliated 22.8%, don't know/refused 0.6% (2014 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.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
NA
4,000 (2017 est.)
Languages
English only 78.2%, Spanish 13.4%, Chinese 1.1%, other 7.3% (2017 est.)

note: data represent the language spoken at home; the US has no official national language, but English has acquired official status in 32 of the 50 states; Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii, and 20 indigenous languages are official in Alaska

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

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2016)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2016)
Education expenditures
5% of GDP (2014)
5.2% of GDP (2015)
Urbanization
urban population: 82.5% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.95% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 80.4% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 1.59% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 92.1% of population
total: 96.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 7.9% of population
total: 3.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 88% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 74.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 85.2% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 12% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 25.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 14.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - population
18.805 million New York-Newark, 12.448 million Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, 8.862 million Chicago, 6.245 million Houston, 6.201 million Dallas-Fort Worth, 5.264 million WASHINGTON, D.C. (capital) (2019)
21.672 million MEXICO CITY (capital), 5.101 million Guadalajara, 4.793 million Monterrey, 3.145 million Puebla, 2.411 million Toluca de Lerdo, 2.099 million Tijuana (2019)
Maternal mortality rate
19 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
33 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
0.5% (2012)
4.2% (2016)
Health expenditures
16.8% (2015)
5.9% (2015)
Physicians density
2.59 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
2.25 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
2.9 beds/1,000 population (2013)
1.5 beds/1,000 population (2015)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
36.2% (2016)
28.9% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
26.4 years (2015 est.)
21.3 years (2008 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
75.9% (2015/17)
66.9% (2015)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 51.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 29 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 22.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 4.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.4 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 41.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 9.8 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 10.2 (2015 est.)

Government

United StatesMexico
Country name
conventional long form: United States of America
conventional short form: United States
abbreviation: US or USA
etymology: the name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) - Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer - using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America
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
Government type
constitutional federal republic
federal presidential republic
Capital
name: Washington, DC
geographic coordinates: 38 53 N, 77 02 W
time difference: UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

note: the 50 United States cover six time zones

etymology: named after George Washington (1732-1799), the first president of the United States

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

Administrative divisions
50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
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
Independence
4 July 1776 (declared independence from Great Britain); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
16 September 1810 (declared independence from Spain); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
National holiday
Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Independence Day, 16 September (1810)
Constitution
history: previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine of the 13 states 21 June 1788, effective 4 March 1789
amendments: proposed as a "joint resolution" by Congress, which requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by at least two thirds of the state legislatures; passage requires ratification by three fourths of the state legislatures or passage in state-held constitutional conventions as specified by Congress; the US president has no role in the constitutional amendment process; amended many times, last in 1992 (2018)
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 2019 (2019)
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, approved by the Senate
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by the Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held on 3 November 2020)
election results: Donald J. TRUMP elected president; electoral vote - Donald J. TRUMP (Republican Party) 304, Hillary D. CLINTON (Democratic Party) 227, other 7; percent of direct popular vote - Hillary D. CLINTON 48.2%, Donald J. TRUMP 46.1%, other 5.7%
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%
Legislative branch
description: bicameral Congress consists of:
Senate (100 seats; 2 members directly elected in each of the 50 state constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia and Louisiana which require an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 2 years)
House of Representatives (435 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia which requires an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 2-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 6 November 2018 (next to be held on 3 November 2020)
House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2018 (next to be held on 3 November 2020)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 53, Democratic Party 45, independent 2; composition - men 75, women 25, percent of women 25%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 234, Republican Party 200, 1 seat still undecided; composition - men 328, women 106, percent of women 24.4%; note - total US Congress percent of women 24.5%
note: in addition to the regular members of the House of Representatives there are 6 non-voting delegates elected from the District of Columbia and the US territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands; these are single seat constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term (except for the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico who serves a 4-year term); the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegates last held on 6 November 2018 (next to be held on 3 November 2020)
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)
elections:
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
Judicial branch
highest courts: US Supreme Court (consists of 9 justices - the chief justice and 8 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: president nominates and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints Supreme Court justices; justices serve for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (includes the US Court of Appeal for the Federal District and 12 regional appeals courts); 94 federal district courts in 50 states and territories

note: the US court system consists of the federal court system and the state court systems; although each court system is responsible for hearing certain types of cases, neither is completely independent of the other, and the systems often interact

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
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Party [Tom PEREZ]
Green Party [collective leadership]
Libertarian Party [Nicholas SARWARK]
Republican Party [Ronna Romney MCDANIEL]
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]
International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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
Flag description
13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship, red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory

note: the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico

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

National anthem
name: The Star-Spangled Banner
lyrics/music: Francis Scott KEY/John Stafford SMITH

note: adopted 1931; during the War of 1812, after witnessing the successful American defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore following British naval bombardment, Francis Scott KEY wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem; the lyrics were set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song"; only the first verse is sung

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

International law organization participation
withdrew acceptance of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in 2005; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)
bald eagle; national colors: red, white, blue
golden eagle; national colors: green, white, red
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no, but the US government acknowledges such situtations exist; US citizens are not encouraged to seek dual citizenship since it limits protection by the US
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: not specified
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

United StatesMexico
Economy - overview

The US has the most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $59,500. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, and medical, aerospace, and military equipment; however, their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. Based on a comparison of GDP measured at purchasing power parity conversion rates, the US economy in 2014, having stood as the largest in the world for more than a century, slipped into second place behind China, which has more than tripled the US growth rate for each year of the past four decades.

In the US, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, businesses face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.

Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.

The onrush of technology has been a driving factor in the gradual development of a "two-tier" labor market in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. But the globalization of trade, and especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.

Imported oil accounts for more than 50% of US consumption and oil has a major impact on the overall health of the economy. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the value of the dollar and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. Because the US economy is energy-intensive, falling oil prices since 2013 have alleviated many of the problems the earlier increases had created.

The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the US into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009, Congress passed and former President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012, the Federal Government reduced the growth of spending and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than those of most other countries.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through FY 2018, the direct costs of the wars will have totaled more than $1.9 trillion, according to US Government figures.

In March 2010, former President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a health insurance reform that was designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on healthcare - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010.

In July 2010, the former president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans in December 2012 to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates, and to keep short-term rates near zero until unemployment dropped below 6.5% or inflation rose above 2.5%. The Fed ended its purchases during the summer of 2014, after the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, inflation stood at 1.7%, and public debt fell below 74% of GDP. In December 2015, the Fed raised its target for the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25%, the first increase since the recession began. With continued low growth, the Fed opted to raise rates several times since then, and in December 2017, the target rate stood at 1.5%.

In December 2017, Congress passed and President Donald TRUMP signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which, among its various provisions, reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%; lowers the individual tax rate for those with the highest incomes from 39.6% to 37%, and by lesser percentages for those at lower income levels; changes many deductions and credits used to calculate taxable income; and eliminates in 2019 the penalty imposed on taxpayers who do not obtain the minimum amount of health insurance required under the ACA. The new taxes took effect on 1 January 2018; the tax cut for corporations are permanent, but those for individuals are scheduled to expire after 2025. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) under the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new law will reduce tax revenues and increase the federal deficit by about $1.45 trillion over the 2018-2027 period. This amount would decline if economic growth were to exceed the JCT’s estimate.

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.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$19.49 trillion (2017 est.)
$19.06 trillion (2016 est.)
$18.77 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$2.463 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.413 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.346 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
2.2% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
2% (2017 est.)
2.9% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$59,800 (2017 est.)
$58,900 (2016 est.)
$58,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$19,900 (2017 est.)
$19,700 (2016 est.)
$19,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 0.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 19.1% (2017 est.)
services: 80% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 31.9% (2017 est.)
services: 64.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
15.1% (2010 est.)
46.2% (2014 est.)

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

Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 40% (2014)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.1% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
6% (2017 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force
160.4 million (2017 est.)

note: includes unemployed

54.51 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 0.7% (2009)
industry: 20.3% (2009)
services: 37.3% (2009)
industry and services: 24.2% (2009)
manufacturing: 17.6% (2009)
farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7% (2009)
manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3% (2009)
managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3% (2009)
sales and office: 24.2% (2009)
other services: 17.6% (2009)

note: figures exclude the unemployed

agriculture: 13.4%
industry: 24.1%
services: 61.9% (2011)
Unemployment rate
4.4% (2017 est.)
4.9% (2016 est.)
3.4% (2017 est.)
3.9% (2016 est.)

note: underemployment may be as high as 25%

Distribution of family income - Gini index
45 (2007)
40.8 (1997)
48.2 (2014)
48.3 (2008)
Budget
revenues: 3.315 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.981 trillion (2017 est.)

note: revenues exclude social contributions of approximately $1.0 trillion; expenditures exclude social benefits of approximately $2.3 trillion

revenues: 261.4 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 273.8 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
highly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second-largest industrial output in the world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism
Industrial production growth rate
2.3% (2017 est.)
-0.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruit, tomatoes; beef, poultry, dairy products; wood products
Exports
$1.553 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.456 trillion (2016 est.)
$409.8 billion (2017 est.)
$374.3 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 est.)
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
Exports - partners
Canada 18.3%, Mexico 15.7%, China 8.4%, Japan 4.4% (2017)
US 79.9% (2017)
Imports
$2.361 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.208 trillion (2016 est.)
$420.8 billion (2017 est.)
$387.4 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2008 est.)
metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, automobile parts for assembly and repair, aircraft, aircraft parts, plastics, natural gas and oil products
Imports - partners
China 21.6%, Mexico 13.4%, Canada 12.8%, Japan 5.8%, Germany 5% (2017)
US 46.4%, China 17.7%, Japan 4.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$17.91 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$17.85 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
note: approximately 4/5ths of US external debt is denominated in US dollars; foreign lenders have been willing to hold US dollar denominated debt instruments because they view the dollar as the world's reserve currency
$445.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$450.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
British pounds per US dollar: 0.7836 (2017 est.), 0.738 (2016 est.), 0.738 (2015 est.), 0.607 (2014 est), 0.6391 (2013 est.)
Canadian dollars per US dollar: 1, 1.308 (2017 est.), 1.3256 (2016 est.), 1.3256 (2015 est.), 1.2788 (2014 est.), 1.0298 (2013 est.)
Chinese yuan per US dollar: 1, 6.7588 (2017 est.), 6.6445 (2016 est.), 6.2275 (2015 est.), 6.1434 (2014 est.), 6.1958 (2013 est.)
euros per US dollar: 0.885 (2017 est.), 0.903 (2016 est.), 0.9214(2015 est.), 0.885 (2014 est.), 0.7634 (2013 est.)
Japanese yen per US dollar: 111.10 (2017 est.), 108.76 (2016 est.), 108.76 (2015 est.), 121.02 (2014 est.), 97.44 (2013 est.)
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.)
Fiscal year
1 October - 30 September
calendar year
Public debt
78.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
81.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as "Debt Held by the Public," which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital and Supplemental Medical Insurance (Medicare), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intragovernment debt were added, "gross debt" would increase by about one-third of GDP

54.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
56.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$123.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$117.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$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

Current Account Balance
-$449.1 billion (2017 est.)
-$432.9 billion (2016 est.)
-$19.35 billion (2017 est.)
-$23.32 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$19.49 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.151 trillion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$4.08 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.614 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$554.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$473.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$5.711 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.352 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$243.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$148.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$25.07 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.33 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$24.03 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$402.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$480.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$526 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate
0.5% (31 December 2010)
0.5% (31 December 2009)
7.25% (31 December 2017)
5.75% (31 December 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
4.1% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.51% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.34% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.72% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$21.59 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.24 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$431.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$393.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$3.512 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.251 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$215.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$186.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$3.512 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.251 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$215.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$186.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
17% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

note: excludes contributions for social security and other programs; if social contributions were added, taxes and other revenues would amount to approximately 22% of GDP

22.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 8.6%
male: 9.5%
female: 7.7% (2018 est.)
total: 6.9%
male: 6.5%
female: 7.6% (2018 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 68.4% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 17.3% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 17.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 12.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -15% (2017 est.)
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.)
Gross national saving
18.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

United StatesMexico
Electricity - production
4.095 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
302.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
3.902 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
258.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
9.695 billion kWh (2016 est.)
7.308 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
72.72 billion kWh (2016 est.)
3.532 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
10.962 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
1.852 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
7.969 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - exports
1.158 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
1.214 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
NA bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
6.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
279.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
772.8 billion cu m (2017 est.)
31.57 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
767.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)
81.61 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
89.7 billion cu m (2017 est.)
36.81 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
86.15 billion cu m (2017 est.)
50.12 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
1.087 billion kW (2016 est.)
72.56 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
70% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
71% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
17% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
20.3 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
844,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
19.96 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
1.984 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
5.218 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
155,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
2.175 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
867,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
5.242 billion Mt (2017 est.)
454.1 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

United StatesMexico
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 119.902 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 20,602,668
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (2017 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 395.881 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 121 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 114,326,842
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 92 (2017 est.)
Telephone system
general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system; mobile subscriber penetration rate of about 127%; 5G technologies and commercial services into 2019 and 2020; developing technologies based on 5G for non-commercial customers as well; FttP rather than FttN efforts (2018)
domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country; fixed-line 27 per 100 and mobile-cellular 121 per 100 (2018)
international: country code - 1; multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions)
general assessment: adequate telephone service for business and government; improving quality and increasing mobile cellular availability, with mobile subscribers far outnumbering fixed-line subscribers; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable and coaxial cable; two main MNOs despite efforts for competition; preparation for 5G and LTE-M services; Mexico’s first local Internet Exchange Point opens in Mexico City (2018)
domestic: competition has spurred the mobile-cellular market; fixed-line teledensity exceeds 17 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is about 92 per 100 persons (2018)
international: country code - 52; Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Spain, and Italy; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (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)
Internet country code
.us
.mx
Internet users
total: 246,809,221
percent of population: 76.2% (July 2016 est.)
total: 73,334,032
percent of population: 59.5% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast media
4 major terrestrial TV networks with affiliate stations throughout the country, plus cable and satellite networks, independent stations, and a limited public broadcasting sector that is largely supported by private grants; overall, thousands of TV stations broadcasting; multiple national radio networks with many affiliate stations; while most stations are commercial, National Public Radio (NPR) has a network of some 900 member stations; satellite radio available; in total, over 15,000 radio stations operating (2018)
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

Transportation

United StatesMexico
Railways
total: 293,564 km (2014)
standard gauge: 293,564.2 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 20,825 km (2017)
standard gauge: 20,825 km 1.435-m gauge (27 km electrified) (2017)
Roadways
total: 6,586,610 km (2012)
paved: 4,304,715 km (includes 76,334 km of expressways) (2012)
unpaved: 2,281,895 km (2012)
total: 398,148 km (2017)
paved: 174,911 km (includes 10,362 km of expressways) (2017)
unpaved: 223,237 km (2017)
Waterways
41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012)
2,900 km (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast) (2012)
Pipelines
1,984,321 km natural gas, 240,711 km petroleum products (2013)
15,986 km natural gas (2019), 10,365 km oil (2017), 8,946 km refined products (2016)
Ports and terminals
oil terminal(s): LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Charleston (2,177,000), Hampton Roads (2,841,000), Houston (2,459,000), Long Beach (7,544,000), Los Angeles (9,343,000), New York/New Jersey (6,710,000), Oakland (2,420,000), Savannah (4,046,000), Seattle/Tacoma (3,665,000) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Kenai (AK)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Cove Point (MD), Elba Island (GA), Everett (MA), Freeport (TX), Golden Pass (TX), Hackberry (LA), Lake Charles (LA), Neptune (offshore), Northeast Gateway (offshore), Pascagoula (MS), Sabine Pass (TX)
cargo ports: Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines (LA), Tampa, Texas City
cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009)
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
Merchant marine
total: 3,692
by type: bulk carrier 5, container ship 61, general cargo 115, oil tanker 71, other 3440 (2018)
total: 617
by type: bulk carrier 6, general cargo 11, oil tanker 35, other 565 (2018)
Airports
total: 13,513 (2013)
total: 1,714 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 5,054 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 189 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 235 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,478 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2,249 (2013)
under 914 m: 903 (2013)
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)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 8,459 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 140 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1,552 (2013)
under 914 m: 6,760 (2013)
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)
Heliports
5,287 (2013)
1 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 92 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6,817 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 798.23 million (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 37.219 billion mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 21 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 357 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 45,560,063 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 713,985,467 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
N (2016)
XA (2016)

Military

United StatesMexico
Military branches
United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard (administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy), National Guard (Army National Guard and Air National Guard) (2019)
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, 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
Military service age and obligation
18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 34 (Army), 39 (Air Force), 39 (Navy), 28 (Marines), 31 (Coast Guard); 8-year service obligation, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard); all military occupations and positions open to women (2019)
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)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
3.16% of GDP (2018)
3.11% of GDP (2017)
3.21% of GDP (2016)
3.27% of GDP (2015)
3.48% of GDP (2014)
0.54% of GDP (2018)
0.47% of GDP (2017)
0.56% of GDP (2016)
0.66% of GDP (2015)
0.66% of GDP (2014)

Transnational Issues

United StatesMexico
Disputes - international

the US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution

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

Illicit drugs
world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
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
Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 30,000 refugees during FY2019 including: 12,958 (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 4,932 (Burma), 4,451 (Ukraine), 1,757 (Eritrea), 1,198 (Afghanistan)

note: 72,722 Venezuelans have claimed asylum since 2014 because of the economic and political crisis (2018)

refugees (country of origin): 5,155 (El Salvador) (2018); 62,363 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2019)
IDPs: 338,000 (government's quashing of Zapatista uprising in 1994 in eastern Chiapas Region; drug cartel violence and government's military response since 2007; violence between and within indigenous groups) (2018)
stateless persons: 13 (2018)

Source: CIA Factbook