The United Mexican States is located on the southern part of North America between latitude 14°32’ and 32°43’ North and longitude 86°42’ and 118°27’ West. It is bordered by the United States of America to the north, Belize and Guatemala to the southeast, the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the North Pacific Ocean to the west. Mexico’s land area is 1,964,381 square kilometers. More than 65% of Mexico is over 1000 meters above sea level, with 47% comprising slopes steeper than 27%. Location and topography, therefore, play distinctive roles in climate diversification.
In 2009, Mexico’s population was 107,431,225, with a density of 55 persons per square kilometer. Of the total population, only 23% lived in rural areas, with the majority living in the southwest part of the country clustering around Mexico City. The population growth rate has been at a constant 1% since 2005. Only 8.2% of Mexico’s population lived on under US$2 a day in 2008.
Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined to US$874 billion in 2009 from US$1,089 billon in 2008. The country has a rapidly growing industry and services economy. Industry alone contributed 35% of annual GDP in 2009 (World Bank estimate). Although 52% of the total land area is devoted to agriculture, agriculture contributed only 4% to Mexico’s GDP in 2009. According to the World Bank, 13% percent of the population is employed in agriculture and 26% in industry (2007).
Mexico has 33.3% forest cover and an estimated 64 million hectares of forest (World Bank 2010). In 2005, deforestation was estimated to be close to 260,000 hectares per year (0.4%). The annual harvest was estimated at 56 million cubic meters for industrial purposes, including timber, firewood and charcoal (FAO 2001). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), only 8.6 of the 21.6 million hectares with commercial potential are currently under use. The direct contribution of forestry to GDP in 2000 was estimated at US$5 billion, contributing 0.8% of Mexico’s GDP and about 100,000 permanent jobs.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities