Last updated on November 13th, 2019
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country between the U.S. and Central America. It has a total area of 1,964,375 square km. Mexico City is its capital and largest city. Spanish is one of its recognized regional languages. Its official currency is Peso (MXN). Mexico is bordered by the United State, Guatemala and Belize. It also shares maritime borders with Cuba and Honduras. 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
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.
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.
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.
Mexico on the map
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.
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