Compared to its very large and loud northern neighbor the USA, Mexico often seems like a rather minor country. But let’s take a closer look at Mexico’s major characteristics.
Mexico is among the world leaders in land size, population and economic production. These three criteria are a rational way of determining the world’s major countries. Mexico is the world’s 14th largest country in area, just behind the Congo and Saudi Arabia, but ahead of Indonesia and Libya. Mexico’s population in 2009 was about 109 million ranking it 11th in the world. Russia (140 million) and Japan (127 million) were slightly ahead of Mexico. Trailing Mexico were the Philippines (92 million) and Vietnam (87 million).
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Mexico in 2009 was about $1.5 trillion, behind Brazil ($2.0 trillion) and Italy ($1.7 trillion), but ahead of South Korea (S1.4 trillion), Spain ($1.4 trillion) and Canada ($1.3 trillion). These GDP figures are based on “Purchasing Power Parity” which illuminates distortions based on exchange rates. For example, if a hair cut of equal quality costs $20 in the USA, $5 in Mexico and $2 in China, the haircut is counted as a $20 contribution the GDP of each country.
Mexico is one of only six countries that are in the top 15 in all three categories. The other five countries in this select group are China, India, the USA, Brazil and Russia.
That Mexico is in this very select group makes a very strong case that it is indeed a major country on the world stage.
For more information about these and many other aspects of Mexico, consider buying Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico and adding it to your library.