Mexico ( (listen); Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (listen)), officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos (help·info)), is a federal republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; 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 (over 760,000 sq mi), Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most populous country in Latin America. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, its capital and largest city.
Mexico has one of the world's largest economies, it is the tenth largest oil producer in the world, the largest silver producer in the world and is considered both a regional power and middle power. In addition, Mexico was the first Latin American 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 fifteenth largest nominal GDP and the tenth largest GDP by purchasing power parity. The economy is strongly linked to those of its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, especially the United States. Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 32, and in 2010 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 22.5 million international arrivals per year. According to Goldman Sachs, by 2050 Mexico is expected to become the world's fifth largest economy. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated in January 2013 that by 2050 Mexico could be the world's seventh largest economy.
Mexico City (; Spanish: Ciudad de México American Spanish: [sjuˈðað ðe ˈmexiko], formerly known as México, D. F., or simply D. F.) is the federal district (distrito federal), capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the union. is the capital of Mexico, and it is one of the 32 Mexican states. Mexico City is the country's largest city as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.
As an "alpha" global city Mexico City is one of the most important financial centers in North America. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 metres (7,350 ft). The city consists of sixteen boroughs.
The 2009 estimated population for the city proper was around 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometres (573 sq mi). According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the Greater Mexico City population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere, the tenth largest agglomeration, and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
The Greater Mexico City has a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$411 billion in 2011, making Mexico City urban agglomeration one of the richest metropolitan areas in the world. The city was responsible for generating 15.8% of Mexico's Gross Domestic Product and the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of total national GDP. As a stand-alone country, in 2013, Mexico City would be the fifth-largest economy in Latin America—five times as large as Costa Rica's and about the same size as Peru's.
The flag of Mexico (Spanish: Bandera de México) is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country's War of Independence, and subsequent First Mexican Empire. The current flag was adopted in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created. The current law of national symbols, Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem, that governs the use of the national flag has been in place since 1984.
Red, white, and green are the colors of the national liberation army in Mexico. The central emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of the Aztec empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island. The form of the coat of arms was most recently revised in 1968. A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed several times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. The coat of arms is derived from an Aztec legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle on a nopal eating a serpent, which is now Mexico City. The current national flag is also used as the Mexican naval ensign by ships registered in Mexico.
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José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori (Spanish pronunciation: [porˈfiɾjo ˈðias]; 15 September 1830 – 2 July 1915), commonly known as Porfirio Díaz, was a Mexican soldier and politician, who served seven terms as President of Mexico, totaling nearly three decades between 1876 and 1911. A veteran of the Reform War and the French intervention in Mexico, Díaz rose to the rank of General, leading republican troops against the French-imposed Emperor Maximilian. Seizing power in a coup in 1876, Díaz and his allies ruled Mexico for the next thirty-five years, a period known as the Porfiriato.
Díaz is a controversial figure in Mexican history, with the status of villain among the revolutionaries who overthrew him, and something of a hero in the business community. The Porfiriato was marked by significant internal stability (known as the "paz porfiriana"), modernization, and economic growth. There was heavy investment in mining and railways from American and British business. However, Díaz's regime grew unpopular due to repression and political stagnation, and he fell from power during the Mexican Revolution, after he imprisoned his electoral rival and declared himself the winner of an eighth term in office. Díaz fled to France, where he died in exile four years later.