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Mexico City Geography

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Mexico City is located on the high south-central Mexico plateau of Anáhuac in the Valley of Mexico at nearly 7,400 feet in elevation. The valley is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. A megalopolis of well over 20 million people, the city spreads over 570 square miles.

Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that soar to 16,000 feet, Mexico City sits on what used to be Lake Texcoco. Since the beginning of the 20th century Mexico City has sunk as much as 30 feet in some areas. Its location on the former lakebed also makes Mexico City prone to seismic activity.

The Valley of Mexico also has no natural drainage outlet for the waters that flow from the surrounding mountains, making the city vulnerable to floods.

The Mexico City metropolitan area is the ninth largest in the world and has the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population. It includes 16 municipalities and 18 additional municipalities in the Valley of Mexico.

Major municipalities within Mexico City proper include Azcapotzalco, Alvaro Obregòn, Benito Juràrez, Coyoacàn, Cuajimalpa de Morelos, Cuauhtèmoc, Gustavo A. Madero, Iztacalco, Iztapalapa, Magdalena Contreras, Miguel Hidalgo, Milpa Alta, Tiàhuac, Tlalpan, Venustiano Carranza and Xochimilco.