Introducing Mexico

I’ve been looking forward to taking this blog to Mexico since I began it. Now that our corriander is preparing to bolt (and needs using before it starts to taste like grass) its time to take a trip south of the border and soak up the spices.

Geography

Mexico is in North and Central America, between the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to the east. It shares a northern border with the United States of America, and southern borders with Belize and Guatemala.

Mexico is almost 2million Square Kilometers in size, and is the 15th largest country in the world, in terms of physical size. Its a little bigger than Indonesia, and about a quarter the size of Australia.

Economy, People and politics

  • Population: 111,211,789, 11th largest population in the world.
  • Median Age: 26.7 years old
  • Ubanisation: 77% of the population live in urban areas
  • Life expectancy at birth is 76 years.
  • Ethnicity groupings: mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)
  • GDP per capita: $13 200 (it was $14 300, however Mexico has been heavily impacted by the GFC).
  • Unemployments: 5.5% (has risen from 4% in 2008). However there is a note on the CIA age, stating that underemployment may be as high as 25%.
  • 18% of people are below the poverty line, using a food-based scale. Using an assets-based scale, 47% of people are below the poverty line.
  • The Government consists of a popularly elected President, appointed Ministers, and an elected Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
  • The main language is Spanish, though indigenous languages are also spoken.

Trivia

  • Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.
  • There are 62 Government-recognized indigenous languages.
  • Presidents are elected for only one single 6 year term.
  • Exports to the US generate more than a quarter of Mexico’s GDP
  • There is a special coming of age ceremony for girls in Mexico when they turn 15, called quincera.
  • The Mexican flag has an image of bird holding a snake and sitting on a cactus, because it is said that the people were told to settle in the place they saw this. The place they settled became Mexico City.

Onwards and upwards now… looking forward to sharing the food we’ve been eating over the last few days…

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