Essay: Mexico

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  • Subject area(s): Geography essays
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  • Published: 9 September 2015*
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  • Words: 736 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Introduction to the report

This report is going to describe the main features of Mexico, including background information, geographical features, politics, economy and social indicators.

1.2 Background of Mexico

Mexico is the cradle of various highly developed Amerindian civilizations, including the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec (Country Watch, 2014).It is also the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world (Baird et al, 2009; Country Watch, 2014). It was conquered and colonised by Spain for three centuries and declares its independence in 1821 (Baird et al, 2009; CIA, 2014). In 1836, Mexico lost Texas and from 1846 to 1848 after the Mexican War of territory flight with the U.S., it lost the territory in the northern Rio Grande (Boardman, 2006; Infoplease, 2005). In 1994, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes effect among Mexico, the U.S. and Canada (Scholastic, 2014; O’Neil, 2014).

2.0 Geographical features

2.1 Location & size

Mexico is located in the North America, between the northern border with the United States (3,141 km) and southern border with Belize (250 km) and Guatemala (962km), as well as bordering the North Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (Baird et al, 2009; CIA, 2014; STRATFOR, 2012). It is fully accessible by air, sea, car, taxi, bus and passenger train (Baird et al, 2009; Frommer’s, 2014a; Frommer’s, 2014b; Visit Mexico, 2012).

Mexico is vaguely less than three times the size of Texas and ranked 14 in the world (CIA, 2014). The total surface area is 1,964,375 square kilometres which is compounded of 1,943,945 sq km land area and 20,430 sq km water area (CIA, 2014). It also has a total of 9,330 km coastline (CIA, 2014).

Map 1. Map of Mexico. Source: CIA (2014)

2.2 Weather & time zone

Mexico’s climate varies from tropical to desert in accordance to its varied geography (see map2) . It has two main climate seasons: rainy (May to mid-Oct) and dry (mid-Oct to Apr) (Frommer’s, 2014c). Hurricane season (June to October) affects weather on the Yucat??n Peninsula and the southern Pacific coast (Frommer’s, 2014c).
There are three time zones in Mexico: the Northeast, the Pacific and Central time zone (see map3).

Map 2. Climate Zones of Mexico (ERM, 2014)

Map 3. Mexico time zone map (Time temperature, 2014)

3.0 Social indicators

According to HDI 2012, Mexico is a high human development country in terms of life expectancy, education, and income (UNDP, 2013). However, there is still a high degree of income inequality and disproportional benefit from the economy growth among certain socio-economic groups such as health care (Leiner et al, 2012; Mckee and Todd, 2011; Ruiz-Beltran and Kamau, 2001; Van Ginneken, 1979). According to the World Bank (2014f), more than half of Mexican live at national poverty line. The uneven geographical spread of benefit from economic growth is due to rapid urbanisation (Durr, 2012; UN data, 2014).

4.0 Economic indicators
The economic indicators below illustrated a steady growth of the country’s economy (see table 1). However it doesn’t reflect the income distribution and real currency value within a country such as urban/rural.
Mexico is a one of the ten largest oil producer and exporter in the world (EIA, 2012). Since NAFTA takes effect, intraregional trade has multiplied from roughly $290 billion in 1993 to over $1.1 trillion in 2012 (O’Neil, 2014). United States is Mexico primary export partner account for 78 percent of total exports and they share a 2,000-mile border (CIA, 2014; BWHA, 2013; O’Neil, 2014). The main industries in Mexico are food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables and tourism (CIA, 2014; IHS Global, 2013; Wilson, 2008).

2009 2010 2011 2012 Source

GDP per capita (current US$) 7,691 8,885 9,717 9,749 World Bank (2014d)

Gross national income per capita, PPP (current international $) 13,800 14,600 15,800 16,450 World Bank (2014e)

Table 1 Summary of economic indicators

5.0 Politics

Mexico is a federal republic, governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (CIA, 2014). It consists of 31 states and 1 federal district of which is also the capital, Mexico City (CIA, 2014).
Since 2010, Mexico has plagued by rampant violence and crime (Baird et al, 2009; BBC, 2013; Country Watch, 2014;, 2014; STRATFOR, 2012; Watt and Zepeda, 2012).Narco-trafficking is one of Mexico’s biggest sources of revenue, as well as its most crime with over 12,000 drug-rated executions in 2011 (Baird et al, 2009; Watt and Zepeda, 2012). The new president announced a new national police force in early 2013 due to increasing concern of security. However, it will take several years before it takes effect (BMI, 2014).

6.0 Conclusion

Mexico is relatively accessible with rich natural resources such as oil, as well as its diverse cultures. It has excellent economic performance. However, its economic benefit is disproportionally spread. Moreover, its economy is too dependent on the U.S. market. The other major concern is its security.

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