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Mexico Geography Profile 2018

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LocationNorth 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 coordinates23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map referencesNorth America
Areatotal: 1,964,375 sq km
land: 1,943,945 sq km
water: 20,430 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 4,389 km
border countries (3): Belize 276 km, Guatemala 958 km, US 3,155 km
Coastline9,330 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatevaries from tropical to desert
Terrainhigh, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,111 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,636 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land useagricultural land: 54.9%
arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 1.4%; permanent pasture 41.7%
forest: 33.3%
other: 11.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land65,000 sq km (2012)
Population distributionmost 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
Natural hazardstsunamis 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
Environment - current issuesscarcity 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 agreementsparty 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 - notestrategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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