Mexico is a huge and very popular county all over the world, it´s located in North America and we can all agree that absolutely everyone knows something about Mexico (at least its tacos or its tequila).
Today we are going to tell you which are the 36 most important and interesting facts about Mexico, let´s see how many of them you already knew?!
Most popular & important facts about Mexico
We will talk later about the politics, about the economy, the geography and about many other random Mexican facts, but first of all, these are the ones you really need to know:
1) Mexico is not its real name
That´s right! We all call it Mexico, but the real name of this country is the United Mexican States, or how they name it in Spanish: “Estados Unidos Mexicanos”.
But that´s not it, the original name of Mexico was very different, it was “Meshtleeko”, but due to the hart time the missionaries had while trying to pronounce many of the words, they decided to insert an x on every word that included “sh”.
Nowadays, everyone calls it Mexico or how many Mexican locals say: “Mejico”.
2) Is one of the most visited countries on earth
Due to its unique beaches, landscapes, culture and history, Mexico has become the 7th most visited country in the world in 2020
In the last years Mexico has increased its number of tourists, and now it´s receiving around 42million visitors per year. Also, Mexico is on the top 15 countries with a highest income from the industry of tourism.
3) The capital of Mexico changed in 2016
Actually, the capital didn´t change and it´s located in the same place, what changed was its name. One of the curious facts about Mexico is that the majority of the people believe that Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX) has been always the capital of the country, but until 2016 this city was known as Distrito Federal (DF).
4) The Independence Day is not 5 de mayo
One of the political facts about Mexico it´s related to its Independence Day, which is not 5 de Mayo. Although all around the US many people see 5 de Mayo as the day of the Mexican independence, the real date is September 27th 1821 and the day of celebration in Mexico is Sept 16th, as it´s when the war started.
Cinco de Mayo represents the battle of Puebla when Mexico won against the French army and it´s only celebrated in Puebla, but not in the rest of the country.
Facts about Mexican Culture
Mexico is a huge country and with a huge history, they are very well known all around the world for having one of the richest cultures in the world, and that it´s shown in its food, traditions, festivities and more…
Next you will find 5 very interesting facts about the culture of Mexico:
5) A mix of different nationalities
The Mexican culture have been changing a lot through the history, many nationalities and civilizations have been living through the country and that has provided a mixed culture.
The mix of indigenous, African, and Spanish people is known as mestizaje. There has also been migrants from China, Japan, Syria, Lebanon, South Korea and other countries of America, as you can imagine each of the civilizations tried to stabilised their own traditions, and that´s why Mexico has such a huge cultural diversity.
6) The murals are a national identity
In the 1920s and 30s a new movement known as the muralist movement appeared. It came after the revolution, and many Mexican artists decided to do huge paintings in walls of public buildings all around Mexico trying to represent a new and different Mexico.
The paintings represented the Mexican history and culture, some of the most recognised artists were Orozco, Siqueiro, and Rivera.
7) Mexicans have won a Nobel prize
Although Mexico is not one of those countries known for having the best Scientifics or for making huge progress on Science or any other subject, they still have people who have made great discoveries and some of them have even won a Nobel prize.
Being more concrete, there has been three occasions when a Mexican have won the award. The first one was Alfonso García Robles in 1982 for his work about nuclear non-proliferation in international law. In 1990, Octavio Paz won the literature award and last of all, in 1995 José Mario Molina won the Chemistry Nobel price.
8) The Oldest University in North America
Although the US has most of the best universities in the world, they don´t have the record of having the oldest university in North America, as this one is located in Mexico.
The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico is not only the oldest in North America, but also the second oldest in all America. Imagine how old it is, that it was founded by the king of Spain in 1551. Nowadays, it´s name has changed to National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and it´s considered one of the best universities on earth.
9) Mexico owns 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
We all knew that Mexico is a beautiful country with incredible locations, not only natural but also man-made monuments, what you may didn´t know is that Mexico with 35, is the country in Latin America with most UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it´s listed on top 7 in the world.
Some of these incredible landmarks and places are Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, Campeche, Oaxaca and the Copper Canyon
10) An influential Tv and film industry
Who has never heard of soap operas? Everyone have, right? Mexico is the largest producer and exporter of soap operas in the world, they are watched in many countries around on earth.
Other than that, since 1940, Mexico started to boom in the film industry and became the largest exporter of Spanish films, and nowadays they are still doing a great job.
11) Mexico has its unique holidays and festivities
Due to the huge history and culture of Mexico, they have their own specific festivities and celebrations. The one that it´s commonly known all over the world is the day of the dead, as it´s a popular tradition on 1st and 2nd of November to honour the once who passed away in the past.
Other important celebrations in Mexico are Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, Independence Day, Guelaguetza Dance Festival and the Saints’ Week
12) World’s Second-Largest Catholic Population
Religion is one of the most important things in Mexico. They are the second largest catholic population, but what matters is the way they live their religious and how important is to them.
The Vatican and Mexico always have had a great relationship and each of the popes always have Mexico on the must visit places.
Interesting Facts about Mexican history
Mexico as an individual country exists since 1810, when they gained their independence from Spain, but until then, the “Pre-Columbian” Mexico existed since around 8,000 BC.
During all that time, many ancient civilizations as the Maya or the Aztec have passed through the country making huge changes and progressions.
See bellow some of the the most important historical facts about Mexico:
13) The Mayans knew about the concept of “zero”
It may not be such an interesting fact nowadays, but 2,000 years ago it was something crazy. The Greeks didn´t know about its existence, and the civilizations in Babylon Sumeria only believed on it partially.
The importance of the zero in mathematics and the numeric system is huge, and its discovery allowed the Mayans have a better understanding of how everything works.
14) The Aztecs Sacrificed people every year
We have heard many times about ancient civilizations who made sacrifices due to its religion believes, but I guess it´s still hard to believe on it in the modern times.
The Aztecs were one of those populations who sacrificed people, and actually, about 1% of the population was sacrificed every year. The main reason why they did it was to honour their gods…It´s for sure one of the most shocking facts about the history of Mexico.
Facts about the language in Mexico
Everyone knows that the de facto national language in Mexico is Spanish, but there are many other curiosities you should know. They have more languages than just Spanish, their accent and some words and different than the original Spanish…and there is much more!
See bellow some cool facts about the Mexican language:
15) Over 300 languages are spoken in Mexico
In most of the cities you will easily understand everything if you can speak in Spanish as it´s the major language and the one is spokes all around the country. But if you visit some small villages, you will find out that there are around 350 dialects in Mexico.
One thing is true is that only 68 of the languages are considered official and around 63 of those are indigenous!
16) Mexican Spanish is different
We are from Spain, and of course, we can already tell you that the Spanish accent or the way each of the Hispanic region talks is very different one from another, and Mexico has its own expressions as well.
The way Mexican people talk have become very popular all over the world. For example, what´s up in Spanish from Spain would be “¿Qué pasa?”, but in Mexican they say “¿Qué pedo?”
“Güey” or “no manches” are also typical Mexican expressions.
17) Mexico has the largest Spanish Speaking Population
It´s true that Mexico is way bigger than Spain and it´s also true that in Mexico there are around 129 million people living and in Spain it´s only 46 million, but it´s very curious to think that Spain is not the largest Spanish speaking country, and it´s Mexico instead.
Facts about Mexican food
Although we all know about the Mexican tacos and burritos, about the tequila and even about the famous quesadillas…There are still many things we don´t know about the Mexican gastronomy.
Next, we will tell you some of the most unique facts about the food in Mexico.
18) Mexican burritos are only eaten in the north
As we were saying, Mexican burritos have become an international dish due to its delicious taste and imagine how popular they are now that even the UNESCO have recently named them as a cultural heritage of Mexico.
Despite everyone believes Mexican people eat burritos all the time, what you probably didn´t know is that they are only eaten in the North of the country.
19) There are 59 Types of Corn in Mexico
This is probably one of those unusual facts about Mexico that you didn´t expect, but it´s true, there are around 59 types of corn in Mexico.
Actually, Mexico is one of the best countries to try corn, not only for the incredible amount of types they have, but also because they don´t make any modifications on it and keep them natural. Try as many kinds as possible!
20) World’s Largest Beer Exporter
Have you ever heard about the beer brands “Corona” and “Sol”? Both are international and very popular all over the world. Actually, these two brands are the main reason why Mexico is the largest beer exporter on earth.
Other than these two types of beers, there are more famous brands in Mexico, you may have heard about Pacifico, Victoria or Indio.
Weird facts about Mexico
There are some Mexican things that have explanations and other that are just weird, but it´s also interesting to learn about them. Next you will see some rare facts about Mexico:
21) The name of Yucatan was a misunderstanding
Before the arrival of the Spaniards to Yucatan, the name of the region was “Mayab”, and the one of the most strange facts about Mexico occured.
It is said that Yucatan was named that way because of a misunderstanding, apparently, one of the Spaniards conquerors asked about the name of the peninsula, and the Mayan indigenous answered saying “Yucatan” which means something like “I don’t understand you”. The Spaniards thought that was the answer and decided to name it like that.
22) Illegal to shave while driving in Mexico
Another random fact about Mexico is that in 2008 they had to apply a new rule that obliges everyone to not shave or put any make-up on while they were driving.
It happened in the Mexican city of Torreon, they had to impose fines due to all the accidents that were happening on the road for this matter.
Facts about the population of Mexico
We all should learn more about the Mexican people, as there are many stereotypes about them that are absolutely not true. See below some curious facts about the population of Mexico:
23) US citizens are the largest immigration group
Of course, it didn´t happen always and many other people were very nice, but when we spent a year in the US, we heard many bad comments from US citizens criticising the Mexican immigrants.
Later on, we read and apparently, US citizens are the largest immigration group in Mexico, it is said that more than 750,000 US citizens are living in Mexico nowadays. Which means that there are more US immigrants in Mexico, than Mexican immigrants in the US
24) women-only buses
Unfortunately, it is known that there is a huge percentage of harassment and violence to woman in many areas of Mexico and as it happens in other countries, the public transports are one of the worst areas.
Although there is still much to do and improve on this matter in Mexico, in 2002 and in 2008 Mexico installed new trains and buses for only women as a way to protect them from being abused on these zones.
25) 10th Most Populous Country on Earth
With over 129 million people living all over the country, Mexico is the 10th most populous country in the world, this means that in Mexico you will find around 1.65% of the total world population.
On the other side, imagine how big is Mexico that being the 10th most populous country, it´s only the 144th most densely populated country in the world. In Mexico you will be able to find some very crowded areas and others with no people at all.
26) Mexicans are hard workers
You can say all you want about Mexican people, but do never say they are lazy, as they are one of the hardest workers population.
Literally, Mexicans have the third longest average working schedule, the medium is 43 hours per week (2250 per year), but some of them even work between 48 to 50 hours per week…Crazy right?
Economic facts about Mexico
How is the economy in Mexico? Is it cheap there? Which are the biggest industries in the country? There are many things we don´t know about Mexico´s economy.
Today we will tell you about some economy facts about Mexico:
27) Mexico’s Economy is improving a lot
If you had an idea of Mexico being a very poor country, you better take it our of your mind because the economy of Mexico it´s said t be “booming” in the last decades.
Mexico is a huge country and that means they have a lot of resources, plus, the car and the tourism industries are doing a great job lately. Many economic experts say that Mexico could be an economic potential in the future.
28) World´s largest silver producer
A very incredible fact about Mexico is that they are the largest silver producers in the world, and this number may sound crazy, but Mexico is able to produce around 5,600 Megatons of silver per year (which is impressive).
Of course, this is very important for their economy as many tourists and people from all over the world choose Mexico as a country to buy silver, not only for their cheap prices, but also because they are experts making jewellery with it.
Facts about Mexican animals
In case you didn´t know, Mexico is a country with a huge diversity of flora and fauna, and many people travel to the country just to admire its nature and wildlife.
Next you will find some surprising facts about the animals in Mexico:
29) Mexico is “megadiverse”
In terms of wildlife, Mexico is one of the 12 countries in the world that is considered megadiverse, and that’s because just in Mexico, you will find about 10% of the world´s diversity.
The nature of Mexico is impressive, it has amazing tropical sceneries, jungle areas and also a huge diversity under the sea, all this provides a better environment for animals and plants.
30) The Chihuahua is from Mexico
This is one of those quick facts about Mexico, but did you know that the chihuahua has its origins in Mexico?
It is said that the chihuahua is a descendent from the Techichi, which was a companion dog during the Toltec civilization of Mexico.
Geographical facts about Mexico
Due to the huge land Mexico owns, its powerful volcan activity, its Mayan and Aztec ruins built in the past and many other elements, Mexico has a geography that is very different compared to any other country in the world.
Don´t miss these really interesting facts about Mexico´s geography:
31) Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world
With around 2 million square kilometres (1,964,375 km² being more concrete) is the 14th largest country in the world. This means that Mexico occupies around 1.32% of the total.
Although it´s a very large country, it´s only the 3rd largest in Latin-American, and the 5th largest in all America, after Canada, United States, Brazil and Argentina.
32) Mexico City is sinking every year
One of the mind-blowing facts about Mexico is that it´s capital “Mexico City” is sinking every year around 12 cm.
The Aztecs built The Great Tenochtitlan on a sacred location, as it´s where the Cenotes and the water were located, but when the Spaniards arrived didn´t keep this in mind and decided to build over the Aztec constructions. That place is nowadays Mexico City and it´s having some serious sinking issues every year.
33) The world´s smallest volcano
If you have “climbing a volcano” on your “to do list before dying”, then we truly recommend you visiting Puebla in Mexico, as there you will find the smallest volcano on earth and it´s pretty accessible and easy to climb.
The volcano is about 13 meters high (43 feet tall), it will take you less than a few minutes to climb it and there are even stairs to do it. Accomplishing that goal have never been easier.
Other interesting facts about Mexico
We are coming to an end, what we have told you already is some of the most important information about Mexico, but there are many other random and interesting facts that we are sure you would love to know:
34) Created the World’s First Birth Control
One of the lesser know facts about Mexico is that they were the ones who created the birth control.
His name is Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cardenas, and he is the creator of the birth control, it occurred when he was just a 25-year-old Mexican chemist. He performed the first synthesis of norethisterone and later it 1951 the control pills were created.
35) Mexico invented the colour Tv
Another of the amazing facts about Mexico is that they invented the colour tv, if it wasn´t because of Mexico, we would probably have watched it in black and white for a longer time.
In this case, the author of this invention was Guillermo González Camarena. He created a chromosomic adapter for the tv, of course, nowadays that system would look very old but, in those times, it was something huge.
36) Christmas day is different
Despite what many people say, Mexican kids sometimes do get Christmas presents, the only difference is that their huge present celebration is during the 6th of January when the three wise men give them the presents.
This happens in many Hispanic countries, and the great advantage they have is that sometimes they get presents in both days, the 25th of December and the 6th of January. It´s probably one of the most interesting facts about Christmas in Mexico, but there are many other traditions that are very unique over there.
Fun facts about Mexico for kids
- They have found stone tools in Mexico that suggest the existence of humans in the country over 23,000 years ago…Crazy right?
- Located between the states of Puebla and Veracruz, you can find the highest mountain in Mexico, which is actually a volcano and its name is Pico de Orizaba or also known by the locals as “Iztactépetl”. It´s a dormant volcano that reaches 5,636 metres (18,491 ft)
- The national animal in Mexico is the golden eagle
- Last of all, you must know that Mexicans are crazy about football (soccer), and it´s the most famous sport in the country.