Mexico is a federal republic situated in the south of the North American continent. The country covers 770,000 square miles (making it the 13th largest independent state in the world) and is bordered by the United States (north), the Pacific Ocean (south and west), Guatemala, Belize and Caribbean (southeast), and the Gulf of Mexico (east). Mexico has a population of over 120 million people, and is the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the entire world; it is made up of 31 states plus Mexico City, set apart as a special federal entity as well as the capital of the country.
Mexico has the 15th largest nominal GDP in the world and is classified as an upper-middle income country that is both a regional power and a growing global power; it also ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourism is a key aspect of Mexico – in 2016, it was ranked as the eighth most-visited country in the world (35 million international arrivals).
Mexico is part of the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the G20, and the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. It is estimated that by 2050, Mexico could become the world's fifth largest economy.
The Federal Government of Mexico is the central government of the United Mexican States. It shares sovereignty with the governments of the 31 individual Mexican states, and represents them all internationally. It has three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches. It is a representative, democratic and republican government based on the presidential system established in the 1917 Constitution.
The executive branch is overseen by the President and the Cabinet, who can exercise executive power. Legislative power is granted to the Congress of the Union, which is made up of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The Judiciary (the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Council of the Federal Judiciary, and the collegiate) exercises judicial power throughout the country. Mexico City is the central point from which the Union powers operate; all branches of the Mexican Government are independent of one another.
There are three dominant parties in the Mexican Government: the National Action Party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and the Party of the Democratic Revolution.
The Mexican Congress has the power to pass laws, impose taxes, declare war, and ratify diplomatic appointments, among others. Within Congress, the Senate addresses all foreign policy matters and confirms presidential appointments. The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 500 representatives of the nation, all of whom are elected every three years in a free election. Deputies cannot be re-elected for the next upcoming term.
The President of Mexico, who is officially known as the President of the United Mexican States, is the head of state and the government; the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces. Enrique Peña Nieto is the current President and has served since December 1, 2012; Andrés Manuel López Obrador is President-elect after winning the presidential election on July 1, 2018.
Mexican presidents can only serve for a maximum of six years (a sexenio) and are forbidden to serve ever again.
The Supreme Court of Justice is made up of eleven judges or ministers who are appointed by the President. The judges and ministers serve by interpreting laws and judging cases of federal competency. Supreme Court ministers serve for 15 years at max and cannot be appointed a second time. Other judiciary institutions are the Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary.
Mexico City belongs to the federation rather than any particular state. It is the capital of Mexico and seat of the powers of the Union, and was thus constituted as a Federal District, administered by the Union. Certain autonomy and powers have been devolved from Mexico City over time.
The Federal District is divided up into boroughs (called delegaciones). These individual boroughs have gained limited autonomy in recent years, and their governmental representatives are now elected by their citizens. The 16 delegations were reformed into municipalities with their own individual mayors in 2016.