Mexico Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Mexico Country Overview

Where is Mexico located? The United Mexican States, or simply Mexico, comprises 31 states of South America. Because of this enormous area, Mexico is also divided into three world time zones on the time zone map. On the one hand there is the “Central Standard Time”, which applies to the east coast and in the south and thus also includes Mexico City. Here the time difference to the coordinated world time is 6 hours (UTC-6). On the north-west coast, however, there is another time. The “Pacific Standard Time” applies here and there is a standard difference of 8 hours to universal time (UTC-8). Finally, there is a time zone in the northwest that includes, for example, Chihuahua and La Paz. This is called “Mountain Standard Time”. A standard difference of 7 hours to the world clock applies here. In all of these zones, the clock changes to daylight saving time in the summer. However, there are also areas within the “Mountain Standard Time” in which there is no changeover to daylight saving time.

Mexico National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Mexico is 128,649,565, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 128,649,565
Population growth rate 1.04%
Birth rate 18.30 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 76.86 years
Men 74.03 years
Women 79.83 years
Age structure
0-14 years 26.61%
15-64 years 66.13%
65 years and above 7.26%
Median age 27.60 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.96
Population density 65.49 residents per km²
Urbanization 75.50%
over 80% European-indigenous, 11% indigenous (Nahua / Aztecs, Maya, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Otomí, etc.), 5% of European descent
Catholics (Roman Catholic) 89%, Protestants 6%, others 5%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.767
HDI ranking 76th out of 194

People in Mexico

The residents of Mexico are the Mexicans. 60 percent of them are descendants of connections between whites (especially Spaniards) and the indigenous people. So one parent was of European, one parent of Indian origin.

10 percent belong to the indigenous population and have no European ancestors. They include the Nahua and Maya peoples, descendants of the Aztecs and Maya. At the time of independence (1810), their share was 45 percent and has continued to decline since then.

However, some Mexicans also have African roots (0.1 percent). They are the descendants of the black slaves who were brought here by the Spaniards, and mostly mixed with the Indian population. The rest of the population consists of Europeans, mostly Spaniards (29 percent), and Asians (1 percent), whose ancestors immigrated to Mexico.

  • Children: Every woman in Mexico has an average of 2.2 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children. So the families in Mexico are bigger than ours.
  • Urban and rural: 80 percent of Mexico’s residents live in cities. That is more than ours (75 percent). The largest city is the capital Mexico City with 9 million residents, but also Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puebla are like a few more megacities.
  • Population density: The population density is 63 residents per square kilometer. The big cities are mostly inland, the coast is less densely populated. Overall, the south is also more densely populated than the north.

Languages in Mexico

Spanish is the official language in Mexico. The Spanish conquerors brought their language with them in the 16th century. 92.7 percent of all residents speak Spanish. However, many of the Indian ethnic groups also speak their own language, which they also learn as their mother tongue. This affects 6.8 percent of the population.

Spanish in Mexico

However, Mexican Spanish differs from the Spanish (Castilian) spoken in Spain in a number of ways. For example, for “her” one says ustedes (instead of vosotros). People love diminutions, even with a word like “now” (Spanish ahora, Mexican prefers ahorita).

The vocabulary is different for some words, for example camión instead of autobús (bus), carro instead of coche (car) or chamaco instead of chico (boy). In pronunciation it is mainly the c before e and i, for example in cine (cinema). In Spain, the c is usually pronounced like an English th, i.e. between the teeth (as in through). In Mexico (and throughout Latin America), however, the c is pronounced like a sharp s(as in see).

Indigenous languages

In total, there are 65 languages ​​of the Indian population in Mexico in addition to Spanish, which are recognized as national languages. Even the most widely spoken languages, Nahuatl and Mayathan, are threatened with extinction because they are no longer passed on to children. Their reputation is low, and some Indians are even insulted when they speak in their language.

Most of the speakers have Nahuatl and Mayathan. Other indigenous languages ​​are Mixtec, Tzeltal, Zapotec, Tzotzil and many others. For example, Tzeltal and Tzotzil are also Mayan languages.

Overall, the number of speakers of some languages ​​is still increasing, but their share in the total population is decreasing as it is growing faster. Mayathan and Otomí, for example, decrease significantly, Tzeltal and Tzotzil increase rather because the language is passed on to the children.


The most common of these languages ​​is Nahuatl (pronounced: Nawatl). It has 1.6 million speakers. You can see their distribution in Mexico on the map above. Today’s Nahuatl developed from the language of the Aztecs.

Words that end in -tl are typical. You may know the Popcatépetl volcano or the axolotl, an amphibian. Axolotl is derived from atl (water) and Xolotl, the name of an Aztec god. Translated it means something like “water monster”, because the axolotl is not exactly a pretty animal…


The second most common indigenous language is Mayathan. It is spoken on the Yucatán Peninsula, including across borders in Guatemala and Belize. Mayathan evolved from one of the Mayan languages.

Mayathan was written in a pictorial font before the Spanish conquest. Today they are written in Latin letters. There are often apostrophes, for example in k’uxk’ak’al. That means: “It’s hot outside”. Each apostrophe indicates that the letter in front of it (here the three k) is spoken in a certain way, namely without breathing in or out.

Religions in Mexico

The majority of the population, namely 82.7 percent, is Catholic. 7.5 percent belong to a Protestant church. 4.7 percent do not belong to any church.