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(PD) Flag: CIA World Factbook
National flag of Mexico.
(PD) Map: CIA World Factbook
Map of Mexico.

Mexico (Spanish: México[1]) or officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is a country in North America, bordering the United States on the north and Guatemala and Belize on the south.

The site of advanced American Indian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation continues to make an impressive recovery. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states.

Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that the opposition defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (known as PRI from its initials in Spanish). Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (known as PAN) was sworn in on December 1, 2000, as the first chief executive elected in free and fair elections. Fox was succeeded by Felipe Calderón, also of the PAN, in 2006.


  1. The Spanish name is usually written México or rarely Méjico; both spellings are pronounced the same way: [ˈmexiko]. In this Spanish name, the letters x or j or the phonetic sign [x] have the Scottish English sound of ch in loch.