101 Interesting Facts About Mexico

Last updated on July 31st, 2017 at 04:11 am

Estados Únidos Mexicanos, Mexico, is an interesting, thrilling, weird, and fun country. It is a beautiful country full of fascinating culture and rich history. Mexico is not all about tequila, enchiladas, beaches, and tacos. There is a lot going on beneath the hot, spicy surface. With these interesting Facts about Mexico, let’s learn more about its culture, history, people, economy, food and cuisine, and lots more…

#1. The word “Mexico” is a derivative of Mexica (pronounced “Me-shee-ka”).

#2. What today is Mexico City was the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.

#3. Mexico was a site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations – including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec.

#4. The Mayans and Aztecs (nomadic people indigenous to Mexico: existed between 12th and 15th century) resided in Mexico some 13,000 years ago.

#5. The Aztecs sacrificed about 250,000 people, or about 1% of their population, each year. They did this to please their gods. The sacrifices were usually slaves or prisoners.

#6. During the pre-Columbian era, highly developed Indian cultures populated the region.

#7. Between 1846 and 1848, Mexico fought a war with the U.S. and eventually lost it. As an after effect of the war, Mexico lost half of its territory to the U.S. The war is known as The Mexican–American War, the Mexican War, the U.S.–Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexico War. Learn more here.

#8. Mexico was under Spanish rule for more than 3 centuries between the 1500s and 1821.

#9. María de Jesús Patricio is the first indigenous Mexican woman to contest for president of Mexico. The country hasn’t had an indigenous president for 150 years, and no woman has held the highest office.

#10. A tower containing more than 650 human skulls of men, women, and children was unearthed in Mexico City in 2017. Archeologists are doing more excavation and it is potentially possible that many more skulls would be found in the near future.

#11. As of 2015, indigenous people make up 21.5% of Mexico’s population.

#12. Damiana is a wild shrub that grows in Mexico was historically used mostly to increase sexual desire.

#13. Mexico is the hardest working country in the world with an average citizen of Mexico working 2,246 hours a year, or 43.2 hours a week. Other countries that make to the top five in this category include Costa Rica, South Korea, Greece, and Chile. The list was compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

#14. “El Angel” the Angel of Independence Monument is located in Mexico City. The monument was built in 1900 and it is 150 feet tall. The structure symbolizes victory and independence for Mexican people.

#15. 8 out of the 52 U.S. states exist on the land that used to belong to Mexico.

#16. Mexico, Canada, and the United States are the members of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which entered into force on 1 January 1994. The agreement aimed at establishing a trilateral trade bloc in North America.

#17. Tourism is a major contributor to Mexico’s economy. Tourists from various countries including the U.S. flock the country to taste Mexico’s cultural diversity and natural environment at relatively low prices.

#18. After Brazil and Argentina, Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America and the fifth-largest in the Americas.

#19. Tequila, a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, is native to a town “Tequila” located in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.

#20. According to a source, the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico is the world’s third-largest pyramid.

#21. Prior to 1822; Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California were all Spanish colonies.

#22. According to a source, Mexico has the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers at 121 million in 2015. The U.S. stands second on the list with 52 million (41 million – native Spanish speakers and 11 million bilingual) ahead of Colombia (48 million) and Spain (46 million.) See the list of countries where Spanish is an official language.

#23. There are 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mexico.

#24. Mexico and the United States of America has one of the longest borders in the world ranking at the ninth spot on the list with countries sharing the longest borders. The length of the border between: 1. Canada-USA : 8,893 km; 2. Russia-Kazakhstan : 7,644 km; 3. Argentina-Chile : 6,691 km; 4. Mongolia-China : 4,630 km; 5. India-Bangladesh : 4,142 km; 6. Russia-China : 4,179 km; 7. Russia-Mongolia : 3,452 km; 8. Brazil-Bolivia : 3,423 km; 9. USA-Mexico : 3,155 km and 10. China-India : 2,659 km.

#25. Interestingly, Canada is the world’s largest country that borders only one country (U.S.)

#26. Mexico City has the largest taxi cab fleet in the world. They have over 100,000 taxis running every day.

#27. Surprisingly, there is only one gun shop in Mexico where people can buy guns legally. The majority of the guns in Mexico are smuggled in from the U.S.

#28. In 2016, there were 5.6 million Mexican nationals living in the U.S. without authorization – half of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2016.

#29. According to TomTom (a global navigation company), Mexico City is the most traffic-congested city in the world.

#30. Mexicans working in the U.S. send $2 billion every month to their families in Mexico. This is a whopping amount as it nearly amounts to 3% of the country’s economy. Source

#31. Bullfighting or corrida de toros is a 500-year-old traditional Mexican sport played in a bullring for the entertainment of the audience. The largest is the Plaza de Toros México in Mexico City. The stadium has 41,262 seats.

Plaza de Toros México
Interesting facts about Mexico: Plaza de Toros México in Mexico City. Image source – Flickr

#32. Mexico has the second largest population of Roman Catholics after Brazil. An estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics live in the world.

#33. Mexican pyramids are different from the Egyptian ones. Egyptian pyramids are smooth sided and tend to taper to a point while Mexican pyramids are usually Step Pyramids. Their sides are like huge staircases that lead to a temple at the top. Moreover, Egyptian pyramids were places used to lay the dead while the Mexican pyramids were built for gods or as a military installation for defense purposes.

#34. Artists in the country can pay their taxes using artwork.

#35. Santa Anna, the famous Mexican general, had a state funeral for his amputated leg.

#36. Popcorn was domesticated 9,000 years ago in Mexico.

#37. The 34th Mexican president ruled for less than 60 minutes before quitting.

#38. Prior to the 1848 Mexican–American war, San Francisco was part of Mexico.

#39. Since 2000, illegal Mexico–US immigration has decreased by 80%.

#40. More than 90% of the country’s firearms are smuggled in from the United States.

Facts about Mexican culture

#41. Family plays a significant role in Mexican society.

#42. Mexicans like to host parties at their homes and making the visitor comfortable is an important part of their customs and values.

#43. Elders are well respected in the family, and the needs of the family might be given priority on individual needs and wants of the family members.

#44. Mexican culture is the result of mixing of indigenous culture and that of the Spanish during the Spanish rule of more than 300 years.

Map of Mexico

Mexico facts for kids

#45. In 2017, Mexico is the tenth most populated (approximately 130 million people) country in the world. Other countries that are among the top ten most populated are China, India, U.S, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Russia.

#46. By area, Mexico is the fourteenth largest country in the world.

#47. Dahlia is Mexico’s national flower.

#48. Colima (elev. 3,850 m), is Mexico’s most active volcano.

#49. Almost 34% of Mexico’s land area is covered with forest.

#50. There are 31 states in Mexico, and Chihuahua is the largest of all with a land area of 247,460 square kilometers. Mexico has one federal district.

#51. Mexico has 68 official languages.

#52. Mexico has a 9,330 km long coastline.

#53. At 5,636, Pico de Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico and the highest volcano in North America.

#54. Mexico’s lowest elevation point is Laguna Salada at 10 meters.

#55. Mexico is one of the top soda consuming countries in the world.

#56. Mexico uses four time zones.

#57. Mexico is divided into three geographical regions: the northern, the central and the southern.

#58. Rio Grande is the longest river in Mexico. The river is 3033.613 km in length and is 18 m deep.

Flag of Mexico

facts about Mexico: Flag of Mexico
Flag of Mexico. Image credit – CIA

Facts about Mexico city, cheap transport, air pollution, museums, drunk driving, tampons, colorful poultry, obesity and more

#59. It is a diverse and vast city built on a lake. It is so enormous that most visitors are amazed by its size when they fly into the city at night, witnessing the ocean of twinkling lights.

#60. Over the past 100 years, Mexico City has sunk over 9 meters in certain areas; in fact, it is constantly sinking. The phenomenon is due to the fact that the city is pumping water from the aquifer below the city at an alarming rate.

#61. The city has several interesting nicknames including City of Hope, City of the Palaces, and Capital in Movement.

#62. More than 5 million passengers use Mexico City’s Metro, which is the cheapest and largest in Latin America.

#63. The city’s international airport is the busiest and largest in Latin America.

#64. Interestingly, Mexico City boasts the most museums in the world, making it a cultural hub.

#65. It also has more than 30 concert halls and 100 art galleries.

#66. When it comes to the number of theaters, it only trails after New York, London, and Toronto.

#67. Each year, residents of Naco, Mexico, join those of Naco, Arizona, for a volleyball match over the fence separating the two countries.

#68. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of silver (5600 MT) followed by Peru (4100 MT) and China (3600 MT).

#69. The city suffered from extreme air pollution 10 years ago. In fact, the authorities announced it as a public risk for 355 days of the year. However, steps taken by the government have reduced pollution levels tremendously.

#70. In the early 2000s, an average of 478 crimes was reported daily in the city. Since then, however, there has been a huge decrease in crime rates. This is in contrast to certain parts of the country.

#71. It can take three hours to drive a distance that would usually take 20 to 30 minutes in Mexico City.

#72. Unlike what many people picture when they think of Mexico, cacti do not grow everywhere. In fact, it can be hard to find them in cities.

#73. Anyone who wants to find the best tacos should stay away from the posh restaurants and buy from a street stall. When it comes to street food, Mexico is comparable to Asia.

#74. The dress code in Mexico is quite strict. Some bus drivers wear suits.

#75. In Mexico, tampons are a sensitive subject. Although most Mexicans argue that this makes them look bad, most people are either scared of them or have not heard about them.

#76. It is possible to see signs in Mexican public toilets urging people to flush toilet paper rather than throwing it in the trash.

#77. In Mexico, drunk drivers have it easy. It is common for the police to stop cars and ask drivers whether they have been drinking. If a driver says no, he/she is free to go.

#78. There are numerous words for corn in Mexico. Peru produces more than 55 varieties of corn in a wild range of colors. Read some interesting facts about Peru.

#79. Torreon, a Mexican City, imposed fines for shaving with an electric razor or putting on make–up while driving.

#80. People can purchase colorful poultry in Mexico.

About Mexican sports

#81. Mexican sports range from the ordinary sports to others that most people in other countries have never heard of. In fact, the diversity of sports within the country is as rich as the culture.

#82. The national sport in the country is called Charreira, which displays distinctive horsemanship techniques.

#83. Futbol, or soccer, is one of the most popular sports in Mexico.

#84. Mexican bullfighting, also called fiesta brava, is similar to the Spanish version. It has been popular for around 400 years.

#85. Mexican professional wrestling, called lucha libre, is very popular. It involves rapid action, a succession of holds, and impressive high–flying moves that astound the audience.

#86. Mexico holds second place to the United States in the number of boxing world titles won.

#87. Mexico hosted the FIFA Football World Cup twice; in 1970 and 1986.

#88. Sports such as golf, basketball, and baseball are widely watched in Mexico due to influence from the US.

#89. There are excellent surfing sports in Mexico, such as Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum, and others.

#90. Mexico hosted the world championships of the traditional sport of Basque Pelota in 1982, 98, and 2006. This is a name given for several sports played with ball using a racket, one’s hand, against a wall, or a wooden bat.

Fun/amazing/weird facts about Mexico

#91. Mexican tamale weighs around 150 pounds and is 3 feet long.

#92. The country introduced corn, chilies, and chocolate to the world.

#93. It is home to a rare breed of rabbit, which usually lives near volcanoes.

Interesting facts about Mexico - Volcano Rabbit.
Interesting facts about Mexico – Volcano Rabbit. Image source

#94. The earliest printing press in North America was used in 1539 in Mexico City.

#95. The oldest university in North America, the National University of Mexico, was established in 1551. It was founded by Charles V of Spain.

#96. Mexican kids rarely receive gifts on Christmas day.

#97. Mexico is located in one of the most violent volcano and earthquake zones on earth. The country is a part of the circum-Pacific “Ring of Fire”—a region of active volcanism and frequent seismic activity.

#98. Mexico City was built over the ruins of Tenochtitlan, a great Aztec city built on a lake.

The Chihuahua
The Chihuahua from Mexico. Image source – Wikipedia

#99. The Chihuahua, named after a Mexican city, is the smallest dog in the world.

#100. The first great Mexican civilization, the Olmecs, build numerous cities and curved great colossal heads around 1400 to 300 B.C.

#101. The Caesar salad was invented in Mexico by Caesar Cardini, an Italian-American restaurateur, and chef.

Quick facts on drug trafficking in Mexico

Mexico quick facts

Independence16 September 1810 (declared); 27 September 1821 (recognized by Spain)
Capital CityMexico City
(19°26′N 99°08′W)
Largest CityMexico City
(19°26′N 99°08′W)
Total area1,964,375 sq km
Population123,166,749 (July 2016 est.)
Official LanguageSpanish
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
BordersUnited States, Belize and Guatemala
CurrencyPeso (MXN)
ReligionRoman Catholic
Life expectancy75.9 years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatevaries from tropical to desert
Terrainhigh, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Literacy rate95.1%
Government typefederal presidential republic
PresidentEnrique Peña Nieto
Natural resourcespetroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Agricultural land54.9%
Birth rate18.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
National symbolgolden eagle
National anthem"Himno Nacional Mexicano" (National Anthem of Mexico)
National colorsgreen, white, red
Industriesfood and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism
Exports$373.7 billion (2016 est.)
manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton
Imports$387 billion (2016 est.)
metalworking machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, automobile parts for assembly and repair, aircraft, aircraft parts
GDP - per capita (PPP)$18,900 (2016 est.)
Time Zone(UTC−8 to −5)
Internet country code.mx
Calling Code+52
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJuly 29, 2017