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México

 

The State of México (often abbreviated to "Edomex" from Estado de México) is a state in the center of the nation of Mexico. It is bounded N. by Hidalgo, E. by Tlaxcala and Puebla, S. by Morelos and Guerrero, and W. by Michoacán. The state of México has an area of 21,461 km square (9247 sq. m.). In 2003 the state had an estimated population of about 14,030,000 people. (The population in 1900 was 934,468, largely Native American.)

A large part of the state lies within that great depression of the Mexican plateau known as the Valley of Mexico. Enclosed within its boundaries, except on the south, is the Mexican Federal District and capital Mexico City with an area of 463 sq. m., which is not in the state of Mexico, but borders it on three sides of the District.

The state is divided into two unequal parts by the Sierra de Ajusco and Montes de las Cruces, which form a wooded ridge across it from east to west, with a general elevation of about 10,000 ft. above sea-level, or about 2500 above the plateau level. These ranges are part of a broken irregular chain which sometimes bears the name of Anahuac.

A considerable part of the northern plateau consists of a broad plain, once the bed of a great lake but now covered with swamps, sodden meadows and lakes. The surrounding country drains into this depression, but an artificial outlet has been created by the opening of the Tequixquiac tunnel. Beyond its margin the plateau drains westward to the Pacific through the Lerma, aftd north-east to the Gulf through the San Juan and Panuco.

South of the Sierra de Ajusco the country is roughly mountainous and drains to the Pacific through tributaries of the Balsas.

Within the lacustrine depression of the north are the lakes of Zumpango, San Cristobal, Xaltocan, Chalco, Xochimilco, and Texcoco, the latter three lying partly or wholly in the Federal District. Texcoco has the lowest level and its water is brackish and undrinkable, though that of the streams flowing into it and of the other lakes is sweet. Lake Xochimilco is celebrated for its "floating gardens" or chinampas.

The principal industries of the state are agricultural, and the principal products are cereals, sugar, maguey (from which pulque is made), coffee, and fruit. Stock-raising has also had a profitable development, owing to the proximity of the national capital. The manufacturing industries are important; among the manufactures (1900) are cotton and woollen fabrics, flour, dairy products, glass-ware, pottery, bricks, wines and spirits. The making of "pulque" from the sap of the maguey plant (Agave americana) is the chief industry (1900) of the state, and the product is exported in large quantities to the national capital.

The state is (1900) traversed by the Central, National, Mexican International and Interoceanic railways, and by short lines from the national capital to neighbouring towns.

 

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