Yucatan Facts

Yucatan Facts
Yucatan is one of Mexico's thirty-one states and also the name of the peninsula in southeastern Mexico that also encompasses the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo. Today, Yucatan is one of the best known Mexican states worldwide due to its beautiful beaches, resort towns, and large number of ancient Maya archaeological sites. Because Yucatan is the safest state in Mexico, its thriving tourist industry has remained largely unaffected by the recent cartel wars that have ravaged the northern states. Yucatan's capital and largest city is Merida, with a population of more than 800,000 people. The precise origin of the word "Yucatan" is unknown, although it is believe that it probably has to do with a Spanish mistranslation and mispronunciation of a Maya word.
Interesting Yucatan Facts:
Yucatan has a well-developed and maintained highway system. Mexico Federal Highway 180D is the main highway in the state, as it connects the capital of Merida to the popular resort city of Cancun. Most of the 150 mile long stretch of the highway is a toll-road.
Yucatan has primarily a lowland topography with plenty of rainforest for flora. The highest point is only 690 feet.
Yucatan is twentieth among all Mexican states in size at 15,260 square miles and twenty-first in population at just over two million people.
Many of the important sites during the Classical Period of Mesoamerican Civilization (AD 300-800) were in the Yucatan state. The Maya cities of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Izamal, and Sayil are all in Yucatan. Since Chichen Itza is located so close to Cozumel, it is a popular destination for tourists.
The climate of the Yucatan is warm and humid, with an average temperature of 77° to 81°F with up to forty-five inches of rain during the summer months.
Among all Mexican states, Yucatan has the highest percentage of indigenous language speakers at over 30% and the highest number of Yucatec Maya speakers. More than 65% of the state's population is listed as indigenous, which is the second highest among all Mexican states.
The largest sector of Yucatan's economy, 23%, is serviced based, with most of that connected in some way to the tourist industry. Service based jobs include taxi drivers, hotel workers, boating and diving outfitters, restaurant workers, and numerous other jobs that cater to tourists.
Yucatan became the eighth state to join the United Mexican States on December 23, 1823.
Because it is located relatively far from Mexico City, Yucatan played a minor role in the Mexican War of Independence and the Mexican Civil War.
There is a large population of jaguars in Yucatan, although the big cat is quite elusive and therefore rarely seen in the wild. Ocelots, which are small wild cats, are also quite common in Yucatan.
The distribution of Yucatan's political representatives is quite diverse compared to some other Mexican states. The current governor is a member of the National Action Party (PAN), while one senator is a member of the opposition PRI, another is PAN, and the third is from the Verde Party.
Yucatan is a primarily rural state divided into 106 municipalities, most of which are smaller towns. After the municipality of Merida, which is over 700,000 people, the next largest municipality is Kanansin with over 50,000 people.


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