Mexico City Government

Latin America and the Caribbean
Member since: 
September 2018

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. 

Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

The 2009 population for the city proper was approximately 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometers (573 sq mi). According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the population of Greater Mexico City is 21.3 million, which makes it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere, the eleventh-largest agglomeration (2017), and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. 

Greater Mexico City has a GDP of $411 billion in 2011, making Greater Mexico City one of the most productive urban areas in the world. The city was responsible for generating 15.8% of Mexico's GDP, and the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of total national GDP.


If it was an independent country in 2013, Mexico City would have been the fifth-largest economy in Latin America, five times as large as Costa Rica and about the same size as Peru. Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador.

The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and, as of 1585, it was officially known as Ciudad de México (Mexico City).

Mexico City was the political, administrative, and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the federal district was created in 1824. After years of demanding greater political autonomy, residents were finally given the right to elect both a Head of Government and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly by election in 1997. Ever since, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has controlled both of them.

The city has several progressive policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage. On January 29, 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.), and is now officially known as "Ciudad de México" (or "CDMX"), with a greater degree of autonomy. A clause in the Constitution of Mexico, however, prevents it from becoming a state as long as it is the capital since it is the seat of power in the country.

The SSE has more human forms of cooperativism, thinking of the develop of peoplefamilies and communities. Paired with the 2030 Agenda, which universal calling is link to the adoption of measures to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensuring that everyone enjoy peace and prosperity, the Social Economy is an alternative model which promotes inclusive and sustainable development.

In Mexico, the Social and Solidarity Economy as a socioeconomical model of socially-owned companies based on solidarity relationships, cooperation and reciprocity, for the equitable distribution of wealth, sustainably created, has its cornerstone in the Social and Solidarity Economy Law, published in 2012, regulatory of the seventh paragraph of the 25th article of the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico.


That’s where the Social Sector of the Economy is defined, integrated by a group of social organizations called Agencies of the Social Sector of Economy (OSSE for its abbreviation in Spanish): ejidos, communities, workers’ organizations, cooperative societies, companies that belong for the most or in its totality to the workers and, in general, all forms of social organization for production, distribution and consumption of goods and services socially needed.

Currently in the country, there are around:

  •  31,980 ejidos and communities; which means over 100 million hectares, that represent over 53% of the national territory;
  •  61,000 organisms from the Social Sector of Economy;
  •  Over 8.5 million of Saving banks customers; and
  •  Around $ 180,000,000,000 assets.

Under this same law, the National Institute of Social Economy was created, administrative body taken from the Welfare Secretariat, which counts with technical autonomy, operative and management. The National Institute of Social Economy's purpose is to orchestrate, as part of the Social Development National Plan, the public policies of promotion and development of the social sector of economy, in order to make it stronger and consolidate it as one of the cornerstones of the social and economic development of the country, through the involvement, training, investigation, promotion and support to productive projects.

Additionally, Mexico counts with the Social Economy Promotion Program, which allows to respond to the mandate of the 46th article of the Social and Solidary Law of Economy, about attending productive initiative of the sector through the support of productive projects, identifying investment opportunities, providing training, technical assistance, management and projects design of the sector. Its purpose is to strengthen the productive inclusion, financial, and intake, as well as the productive linking in the Agencies of the Social Sector of Economy (OSSE for its abbreviation in Spanish) through the development of its abilities. With this staging, Mexico's Government is committed in the construction of a social welfare, all from the practice and principals of the Social and Solidary Economy.

GSEF in collaboration with the UNRISD United Nations Research Institute for Social Development has published a special report on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Mexico City. Please find more information "Policies to promote the Social and Solidarity Economy: Case study of Mexico City"  here.