Municipalities of Mexico

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Flag of Aguascalientes.svg  Aguascalientes 11
Flag of Baja California.svg  Baja California 5
Flag of Baja California Sur.svg  Baja California Sur 5
Flag of Campeche.svg  Campeche 11
Flag of Chiapas.svg  Chiapas 124
Flag of Chihuahua.svg  Chihuahua 67
Flag of Coahuila.svg  Coahuila 38
Flag of Colima.svg  Colima 10
Flag of Durango.png  Durango 39
Guanajuato Flag.svg  Guanajuato 46
Flag of Guerrero.svg  Guerrero 81
Flag of Hidalgo.svg  Hidalgo 84
Flag of Jalisco.svg  Jalisco 125
Flag of Mexico (state).svg  México 125
Flag of Michoacan.svg  Michoacán 113
Flag of Morelos.svg  Morelos 33
Flag of Nayarit.svg  Nayarit 20
Flag of Nuevo Leon.svg  Nuevo León 51
Flag of Oaxaca.svg  Oaxaca 570
Flag of Puebla.svg  Puebla 217
Flag of Queretaro.svg  Querétaro 18
Flag of Quintana Roo.svg  Quintana Roo 11
Flag of San Luis Potosi.svg  San Luis Potosí 58
Flag of Sinaloa.svg  Sinaloa 18
Flag of Sonora.svg  Sonora 72
Flag of Tabasco.svg  Tabasco 17
Flag of Tamaulipas.svg  Tamaulipas 43
Flag of Tlaxcala.svg  Tlaxcala 60
Flag of Veracruz.svg  Veracruz 212
Flag of Yucatan.svg  Yucatán 106
Flag of Zacatecas.svg  Zacatecas 58

Municipalities ( municipios in Spanish) are the second-level administrative divisions of Mexico, where the first-level administrative division is the state (Spanish: estado). As of the establishment of two new municipalities in Chiapas in September 2017, [1] there are 2,448 municipalities in Mexico, not including the 16 delegaciones of Mexico City. [2] The internal political organization and their responsibilities are outlined in the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution [3] and detailed in the constitutions of the states to which they belong.

Municipio and município are country subdivisions in Italy and several Hispanophone and Lusophone nations, respectively. They are often translated as "municipality". In the English language, a municipality often is defined as relating to a single city or town; however, in Spanish, the term "municipio" may not mean a single city or town, but rather a jurisdiction housing several towns and cities, like a township, county, borough or civil parish. The Italian term "municipalità" refers either to a single city or a group of cities and towns in a township, but the Portuguese use is almost entirely restricted to group of cities or towns like in a county, township and so forth.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.



All Mexican states are divided into municipalities. Each municipality is autonomous; citizens elect a "municipal president" (presidente municipal) who heads a municipal council (ayuntamiento), responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. This concept, which originated after the Mexican Revolution, is known as a municipio libre ("free municipality").

A presidente municipal is the chief of government of municipios in Mexico. This title was also used in the Philippines under the Spanish and American colonization; it is comparable to a mayor of the town or city. The position is comparable to the county executive of a county in the United States or to the mayor of a city in the United States, although the jurisdiction of a presidente municipal includes not only a city but the municipality surrounding it. Nationally, this position is also equivalent to that of Head of Government of the Federal District and that is why these positions are sometimes referred to as "mayors" in English-language publications.

Ayuntamiento is the general term for the town council or cabildo of a municipality, or sometimes the municipality itself, in Spain and Latin America. Historically ayuntamiento was often preceded by the word excelentísimo, when referring to the council. This phrase is often abbreviated " ".

Mexican Revolution major nationwide armed struggle in Mexico between 1910 and 1920

The Mexican Revolution, also known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.

The municipal president is elected by plurality and cannot be reelected for the next immediate term. The municipal council consists of a cabildo (chairman) with a síndico and several regidores (trustees).

<i>Cabildo</i> (council) Spanish colonial, and early post-colonial, administrative council which governed a municipality

A cabildo or ayuntamiento was a Spanish colonial, and early post-colonial, administrative council which governed a municipality. Cabildos were sometimes appointed, sometimes elected; but they were considered to be representative of all land-owning heads of household (vecinos). The colonial cabildo was essentially the same as the one developed in medieval Castile.

Syndic officer of government with varying powers

Syndic is a term applied in certain countries to an officer of government with varying powers, and secondly to a representative or delegate of a university, institution or other corporation, entrusted with special functions or powers.

If the municipality covers a large area and contains more than one city or town (collectively called localidades), one city or town is selected as a cabecera municipal (head city, seat of the municipal government) while the rest elect representatives to a presidencia auxiliar or junta auxiliar (auxiliary presidency or council). In that sense, a municipality in Mexico is roughly equivalent to the counties of the United States, whereas the auxiliary presidency is equivalent to a township. Nonetheless, auxiliary presidencies are not considered a third-level administrative division since they depend fiscally on the municipalities in which they are located.

County (United States) Subdivision used by most states in the United States of America

In the United States, an administrative or political subdivision of a state is a county, which is a region having specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs respectively.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

North-western and south-eastern states are divided into small numbers of large municipalities (e.g. Baja California is divided into only five municipalities), and therefore they cover large areas incorporating several separated cities or towns that do not necessarily conform to one single conurbation. Central and southern states, on the other hand, are divided into a large number of small municipalities (e.g. Oaxaca is divided into 570 municipalities), and therefore large urban areas usually extend over several municipalities which form one single conurbation. Although an urban area might cover an entire municipality, auxiliary councils might still be used for administrative purposes.

Baja California Federal entity in Mexico

Baja California, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, is a state in Mexico. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California Peninsula, north of the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Gulf of California, and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

Oaxaca State of Mexico

Oaxaca, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca, is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, make up the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided into 570 municipalities, of which 418 are governed by the system of usos y costumbres with recognized local forms of self-governance. Its capital city is Oaxaca de Juárez.

Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the cleaning and maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1983, they can collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own collection efforts.


Municipal Palace of Veracruz Ver-Pal Mpal.jpg
Municipal Palace of Veracruz

Since the Conquest and colonization of Mexico, the municipality became the basic entity of the administrative organization of New Spain and the Spanish Empire. Settlements located in strategic locations received the status of city (the highest status within the Empire, superior to that of villas and pueblos) and were entitled to form an ayuntamiento or municipality. After Independence, the 1824 Constitution did not specify any regulation for the municipalities, whose structure and responsibilities were to be outlined in the constitution of each state of the federation. As such, every state set its own requirements for a settlement to become a municipality (usually based on population). The Constitution of 1917 abolished the jefatura política ("political authority"), the intermediate administrative authority between the states and converted all existing municipalities into municipios libres ("free municipalities"), that is, gave them full autonomy to manage local affairs, while at the same time restricting the scope of their competencies. [4] However, in 1983 the 115th article was modified to expand the municipalities' authority to raise revenue (through property taxes and other local services) and to formulate budgets.

New Spain viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire (1535-1821)

The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

1824 Constitution of Mexico

The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. It was replaced by the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857.

Ranking of municipalities

By population

Data from the 2015 Intercensal Survey by INEGI. [5]

1 Ecatepec Mexico 1,677,678
2 Tijuana Baja California 1,641,570
3 León Guanajuato 1,578,626
4 Puebla Puebla 1,576,259
5 Guadalajara Jalisco 1,460,148
6 Juárez Chihuahua 1,391,180
7 Zapopan Jalisco 1,332,272

By area

Data from Los Municipios con Mayor y Menor Extensión Territorial by the Instituto Nacional Para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal [6]

Ensenada Puerto Ensenada.jpg
RankingStateMunicipalityArea (km²)
1 Baja California Ensenada 51,952.26
2 Baja California Sur Mulegé 33,092.20
3 Coahuila Ocampo 26,433.60
4 Baja California Sur La Paz 20,275.00
5 Quintana Roo Othón P. Blanco 17,189.75
6 Chihuahua Ahumada 17,131.48
7 Baja California Sur Comondú 16,858.30
8 Chihuahua Camargo 16,066.01
2,438 Tlaxcala San Lorenzo Axocomanitla 4.34

Municipalities of Mexico City

Mexico City is a special case in that it is not organized as a municipality, but as a federal district as the capital of the federation. It is administered through the Government of the Federal District and it has its own unicameral Legislative Assembly. For administrative purposes, the Federal District is subdivided into delegaciones , or boroughs. They are not identical to municipalities, but since 2000, they enjoy a certain degree of political autonomy since residents within a borough directly elect a local borough head of government (called jefe delegacional). However, boroughs do not form local [municipal] councils, are not constituted by a group of trustees, and do not have regulatory powers, most of which are exercised by the Federal District's government. Most public services are organized by the Federal District even if some responsibilities are carried out by the boroughs. Still, at the federal level, the boroughs are considered a second-level territorial division for statistical data collection and cross-municipal comparisons.

Other municipalities in Mexico have chosen to use a similar administrative internal organization. All municipalities of Baja California are subdivided into boroughs, or delegaciones. The municipality of Mexicali for example, is divided into 14 boroughs besides the City of Mexicali, which comprises the municipal seat and three additional metropolitan boroughs.

The Municipality of Santiago de Querétaro is subdivided into seven boroughs. Nonetheless, the heads of government of the boroughs are not elected by the residents but rather appointed by the municipal president. Unlike the boroughs of Mexico City, which are second-level administrative divisions, the boroughs of the municipalities are third-level administrative divisions.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Municipalities of Tabasco Wikimedia list article

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Municipalities of Coahuila Wikimedia list article

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Municipalities of Aguascalientes Wikimedia list article

Aguascalientes is a state in North Central Mexico that is divided into eleven municipalities. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, Aguascalientes is the sixth least populous state with 1,312,544 inhabitants and the fourth smallest by land area spanning 5,630.27 square kilometres (2,173.86 sq mi).

Municipalities of Baja California Wikimedia list article

Baja California is a state in Northwest Mexico that is divided into five municipalities.. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, Baja California is the 13th most populous state with 3,315,766 inhabitants and the 12th largest by land area spanning 73,290.08 square kilometres (28,297.46 sq mi).

Municipalities of Guerrero Wikimedia list article

Guerrero is a state in Southwest Mexico that is divided into 81 municipalities. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, Aguascalientes is the 12th most populous state with 3,533,251 inhabitants and the 14th largest by land area spanning 63,803.42 square kilometres (24,634.64 sq mi).

Municipalities of Baja California Sur Wikimedia list article

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Municipalities of Chiapas Wikimedia list article

Chiapas is a state in Southwest Mexico. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, it is the state that has the seventh largest population with 5,217,908 inhabitants and the 10th largest by land area spanning 73,560.47 square kilometres (28,401.86 sq mi). Chiapas is officially divided into 124 municipalities, although the establishment of municipal authorities in Belisario Domínguez has been suspended since 2015 pending the resolution of a territorial dispute between Chiapas and the neighbouring state of Oaxaca. A 125th municipality called Honduras de la Sierra, consisting of six ejidos currently part of Siltepec, will be incorporated on October 1, 2018.

Municipalities of Chihuahua Wikimedia list article

Chihuahua is a state in Northwest Mexico that is divided into 67 municipalities. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, Chihuahua is the 11th most populous state with 3,554,877 inhabitants and the largest by land area spanning 247,798.08 square kilometres (95,675.37 sq mi).

Municipalities of Colima Wikimedia list article

Colima is a state in West Mexico that is divided into ten municipalities. According to the 2015 Mexican Intercensal Survey, it is the state that has the smallest population with 711,235 inhabitants and is the fifth smallest by land area spanning 5,801.75 square kilometres (2,240.07 sq mi).

Municipalities of Durango

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Municipalities of Guanajuato Wikimedia list article

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Municipalities of Hidalgo Wikimedia list article

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Municipalities of Zacatecas Wikimedia list article

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In Mexico, boroughs, into which some municipalities and Mexico City are divided for administrative purposes, are known as delegaciones. Boroughs can either be second-level semi-autonomous administrative divisions –as it is the case in the Mexico City– or third-level non-autonomous administrative divisions –as it is the case in all other municipalities that have implemented this particular territorial organization. The limits, nature and competencies of boroughs are usually described in the constitutions of the states they are part of, or in the laws enacted by the municipality itself, and may differ from municipality to municipality.

Villaflores, Chiapas Municipality in Chiapas, Mexico

Villaflores Municipality is a municipio (municipality) in the state of Chiapas, southern Mexico, and the name of its largest settlement and seat of the municipal government. Situated in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas range, the municipality has an area of approximately 1232 km2 at an average elevation of 540m above mean sea level.

Tekom Municipality Municipality in Yucatán, Mexico

Tekom Municipality is a municipality in the Mexican state of Yucatán. Tekom is also the name of the municipality's largest settlement and seat of the municipal government. In the XII national census conducted by INEGI in 2000, Tekom municipality recorded a population of 2,660 inhabitants. In the intermediate census count undertaken by INEGI in 2005, the total municipal population was recorded as 2,933 inhabitants, 2,413 of whom spoke one of the recognised indigenous languages of Mexico.

Tepetzintla, Veracruz Municipality in Veracruz, Mexico

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  1. "Constitución Política del Estado Libre y Soberano de Chiapas". Article 2, Act of September 6, 2017 (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. At the time of the 2015 Intercensal Survey, there were 2,441 municipalities in Mexico according to INEGI, excluding the delegaciones of Mexico City: "División territorial de México" (in Spanish). INEGI . Retrieved January 5, 2018. Since then, six municipalities have been created in Chiapas (Belisario Domínguez, Emiliano Zapata, El Parral, Mezcalapa, Capitán Luis Ángel Vidal, Rincón Chamula San Pedro) and one in Quintana Roo (Puerto Morelos), bringing the total to 2,448.
  3. "Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos". Article 115,  of 1917 (in Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  4. Inform sobre Desarrollo Humano México 2004 Archived 2007-01-26 at the Wayback Machine p. 50
  5. "Encuesta Intercensal 2015: Presentación de resultados" (PDF). INEGI. p. 15. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
  6. Los Municipios con Mayor y Menor Extensión Territorial Archived 2011-05-17 at the Wayback Machine Instituto Nacional Para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal