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MexicoMexico is a federal constitutional republic in North America It is bordered on the north by the United States of America on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Covering almost two million square kilometres, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the America by total area and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish speaking country. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city.
In Pre-Columbian Mexico many culture matured into advanced civilizations such as the Olmec the Toltec the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec the Maya and the Aztec before the first contact with Europeans. In 1521, Spain conquered and colonized the territory from its base in México-Tenochtitlan, which was administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This territory would eventually become Mexico as the colony's independence was recognized in 1821.
The post-independence period was characterized by economic instability, the Mexican-America War and territorial cession to the United States, a civil war, two empires and a domestic dictatorship. The latter led to the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system. Elections held in July 2000 marked the first time that an opposition party won the presidency from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Since 2006 the country has been in the midst of a drug war which has claimed 60,000 lives.
Mexico has one of the world's largest economies, and is considered both a regional power and middle power. In addition, Mexico was the first Latin America member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD (since 1994), and considered an upper-middle income country by the World Bank.
Mexico is considered a newly industrialized country and an emerging power. It has the thirteenth largest nominal GDP and the eleventh largest by purchasing power parity. The economy is strongly linked to those of its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, especially the United States. Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the America by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 31, and in 2007 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 21.4 million international arrivals per year.
The country has the largest Spanish speaking population in the world with almost a third of all Spanish native speakers.
Mexico is home to a large number of indigenous languages, spoken by some 5.4% of the population – 1.2% of the population are monolingual speakers of an indigenous language. The indigenous languages with most speakers are Nahuatl, spoken by approximately 1,45 million people, Yukatek Maya spoken by some 750,000 people and the Mixtec and Zapotec languages each spoken by more than 400,000 people. The National Institute of Indigenous Languages INALI recognizes 68 linguistic groups and some 364 different specific varieties of indigenous languages.
Since the promulgation of the Law of Indigenous Linguistic Rights in 2003, these languages have had status as national languages, with equal validity with Spanish in all the areas and contexts in which they are spoken.
In addition to the indigenous languages other minority languages are spoken by immigrant populations such as the 80,000 German-speaking Mennonites in Mexico. And 5,000 the Chipilo dialect of the Venetian language spoken in Chipilo, Puebla.