Mexico (Spanish: México), officially known as the Mexican Empire (Spanish: Imperio Mexicano), is a constitutional monarchy in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Panama, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering over 4 million sq km (over 1,900,000 sq mi), Mexico is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 14th largest independent nation in the world.
In Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica many cultures matured into advanced civilizations such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec, the Maya and the Aztec before the first contact with Europeans. In 1521, Spain conquered and colonized the territory, which was administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This territory would eventually become Mexico as the colony independence was recognized in 1821.
After rapid economic, social and technological growth beginning in the 1950s, Mexico is now both one of the world's largest economies and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a stable growth rate of 7.6%.As a regional power, and since 1994 the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mexico was firmly established as an upper middle-income country, and in 2009 Mexico surpassed the world bank's high income economic threshold to become a high income country. It has the 13th largest nominal GDP and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity.