A Guide to the States of Mexico

Mexico is a large country located in North America, and is made up of thirty one states in addition to a Federal District, which is the country’s capital and second largest city. Parts of Mexico are well known as popular vacation destinations. The country is home to beautiful beaches, and with its rich history, many historic sites. Continue reading to learn about the different states and districts that make up the country of Mexico.

Chihuahua – Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico and is located in the Northwestern part of the country. The area shares a long border with the United States, particularly the states of Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is primarily referred to as a desert but is actually home to more forests than any other Mexican state.

Quintana Roo – Quintana Roo is located on the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula in Southeastern Mexico. The state borders the Caribbean sea to the east and north, and Belize to the south. Quintana Roo is home to many of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots including the cities of Cancun, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, and more. Quintana Roo is also home to the ancient Mayan ruins. Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula as a whole has seen rapid expansion in recent years.


Sonora – Sonora is located in the Northwestern part of the country and is bordered on the east by Chihuahua. The state shares a border with the US states of New Mexico and Arizona, and shares the coastline of the Gulf of California. Sonora is home to eight different indigenous groups and is important for its livestock, agriculture, and mining.


Coahuila – Coahuila is situated in the Northeastern part of Mexico, on the US border adjacent to Texas, separated by the Rio Grande.

Durango – Located in the Northwestern part of Mexico, Durango has a rather small population in comparison to its area. The area is mountainous with large areas of forest.

Veracruz – Veracruz is located in Eastern Mexico, with a significant part of the state situated along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Veracruz is well known for its mix of indigenous and ethnic people and the area’s cuisine reflects these mixed cultures.

Jalisco – Located in the Western part of the country, Jalisco is important for its natural resources. The capital city of Jalisco is Guadalajara. Jalisco is the home of tequila, mariachi, ranchera music, and much more.


State of Mexico – The state of Mexico is the most densely populated area in the country. It is located in South Central Mexico, in the territory of the historic Aztec Empire.

Puebla – Puebla is located in the Eastern Central part of Mexico and throughout history served as an important trade route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz.

Guanajuato – Guanajuato is found in the North Central area of Mexico and is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in addition to the Sierra Madre Oriental, and the Mexican Plateau. Guanajuato is home to several important historical cities.

Chiapas – Chiapas is located in Southeastern Mexico, and is the southernmost state in the country. Chiapas borders the Pacific Ocean to the south and the country of Guatemala to the east. The area has a tropical, humid climate.

Nuevo Leon – With its capital city being Monterrey, Nuevo Leon is located in the Northeastern part of Mexico. The state shares part of its border with the United States, in particular Texas.

Michoacan – Michoacan is located in Western Mexico and has a coastline that borders the Pacific Ocean. Michoacan played a major role in the Mexican War of Independence.

Oaxaca – Located in Southwestern Mexico, Oaxaca is best known for its indigenous people and culture. The area is home to sixteen different indigenous groups.

Guerrero – Guerrero can be found in Southwestern Mexico and is home to the well known city of Acapulco. Guerrero is also home to Mexico’s second largest beach and has been known as a popular vacation destination.

Tamaulipas – Tamaulipas is located in Northeastern Mexico and shares a border with the US state of Texas. The capital city of Guadalupe Victoria, is named after the country’s first President.

Baja California – Baja is both the westernmost and northernmost of all the Mexican states. Baja borders to US state of California and is situated on the Gulf of California. The area is well known for its incredible surfing and attracts tourists for this reason.

Sinaloa – Sinaloa is located in the Northwest and covers a significant part of the Gulf of California coastline.

Hidalgo – Hidalgo is located in the Eastern part of Mexico and is home to a number of native cultures that are relatively intact.

San Luis Potosi – San Luis Potosi is located in North Central Mexico, and is bordered by nine different Mexican states. San Luis Potosi is actually the state that shares the most borders with neighboring states.

Tabasco – The state of Tabasco is located in the southeast, along the Gulf of Mexico. It also shares a border with the country of Guatemala. Much of Tabasco is covered in rainforest, and the area experiences much more rainfall than the rest of the country.

Yucatan – Yucatan is located on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula in Southeastern Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico lies off Yucatan’s north coast. Yucatan is considered one of the safest areas in Mexico and is popular with tourists.

Queretaro – Queretaro is located in the North Central area of Mexico, in a region referred to as Bajio. It is one of the smallest states in Mexico but is also one of the most geographically diverse with areas ranging from tropical rainforest to desert.

Morelos – Morelos can be found in South Central Mexico, and is the second smallest state in the country. Mexico City is located just north of Morelos.

Zacatecas – Zacatecas is in North Central Mexico and is well known for its deposits of silver and other minerals. It was also an important area during the time of the Mexican Revolution. In addition to agriculture, one of the main economic sources is tourism.

Aguascalientes – Aguascalientes is located in North Central Mexico, and its name means “hot waters” in Spanish. The name originates from the abundance of hot springs that could be found in the area.

Tlaxcala – Tlaxcala can be found in East Central Mexico in an area known as the Altiplano region. It is the smallest state in Mexico and accounts for a very small amount of territory.

Nayarit – Nayarit is found in Western Mexico with part of the state being situated along the Pacific Ocean. The islands of Marietas, and Marias, are part of Nayarit and are popular with tourists. In addition to tourism, Nayarit relies on fishing and agriculture to sustain the economy.

Campeche – Campeche is found in Southeastern Mexico and borders Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco. Campeche was previously part of the Yucatan province but split due to political friction. The area is home to important Mayan sites but is not as well known as other such areas.

Baja California Sur – Baja California Sur is located on the southern half of the Baja California peninsula. It is bordered by the state of Baja California, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of California. The state is home to the popular tourist destinations of Cabo San Lucas, and San Jose del Cabo.


Colima – Colima is located in Western Mexico and is a small state. It includes the four Revillagigedo Islands. The state has a low population but has one of the highest standards of living and lowest unemployment rates in the entire country.

Mexico City (Distrito Federal) – Mexico City is located in the center of the country in the Valley of Mexico. It is a federal district within Mexico and is not considered a part of any of the states. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and is home to the country’s federal government. It is also the country’s largest and most important educational, political, cultural, and financial center.