In North America, the U.S. isn't alone when it comes to having states. Mexico is also broken up into states. While most people just refer to it as Mexico, the official name of the country is the United Mexican States. There are 31 separate states and a federal district — just like in the U.S. Can you name all of the states of Mexico?

Northwestern Mexico

RVs parked on the beach in Baja California
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Northwestern Mexico revolves around the Gulf of California — literally. The gulf is home to some of the largest fisheries in Mexico, along with commercial and sport fishing. People from all over the world flock to the vast shoreline for its pristine beaches. Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state and is the home of Copper Canyon, one of the most immense canyon systems in the world.

There are six states in Northwestern Mexico:

  • Baja California
  • Baja California Sur
  • Sonora
  • Sinaloa
  • Chihuahua
  • Durango

Northern Mexico

Northern Mexico cityscape near Nuevo Leon under scattered clouds
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In Northern Mexico, Nuevo León is the industrial center. Most manufactured goods such as steel, iron, and textiles come from this region. It also has one of the strongest economies of any state in the country. To the east, Tamaulipas is famous for its agriculture and fisheries. There is also more irrigated cropland in Tamaulipas than any other Mexican state.

Northern Mexico is home to three states:

  • Coahuila
  • Nuevo León
  • Tamaulipas

Western Mexico

Boats anchored on the shore of Nayarit
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The Western Mexican states are situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean just below the Gulf of California. Jalisco is rich in culture and is the birthplace of many iconic Mexican products like sombreros, rodeos, mariachi music, and tequila! To the south, Michoacán is the winter destination for monarch butterflies. Every year, 200 million butterflies make the 2,800-mile journey to reach the warm forests of Mexico. The migration makes Michoacán a popular destination for nature lovers.

Four states make up Western Mexico:

  • Nayarit
  • Jalisco
  • Colima
  • Michoacán

Northern Mexican Altiplano

Aerial view of town buildings and large cathedral towers in Zacatecas, Mexico
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Altiplano is just another word for plateau. Many of the altiplano states are mountainous and have high elevations. Northern Mexican Altiplano was a major center for gold and silver mining during colonial times. Many cities in these states have old buildings filled with history. If you’re interested in history, this is the region to visit.

The Northern Mexican Altiplano is made up of four states:

  • Zacatecas
  • San Luis Potosí
  • Aguascalientes
  • Guanajuato

Southern Mexican Altiplano

Aerial view of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City
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The Southern Mexican Altiplano is the most populated region of Mexico since it's home to Mexico City. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and like Washington, D.C., it's technically not part of any state. Instead, it’s considered a federal district. Almost 22 million people live in the Mexico City metropolitan area — making it the most populous metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere.

There are seven states in this busy region of Mexico:

  • Querétaro
  • Hidalgo
  • Tlaxcala
  • Puebla
  • Morelos
  • State of Mexico
  • Federal District of Mexico City

Southern Mexico

Aerial view of busy Cancun resort with lapping waves against white sandy beaches
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Southern Mexico is well-known for its popular vacation destinations. For people looking for some fun in the sun, Cancún in the state of Yucatán can’t be beat. For those looking for natural wonders to enjoy, check out Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas.

The real marvels of Southern Mexico are the ancient Mayan ruins. The Mayans were one of the most dominant indigenous peoples in North America. Their rule extended from Southern Mexico all the way into Central America. They were known for building massive pyramids and temples — many of which are still standing today. History lovers will enjoy walking through the temples and learning about this great civilization.

There are eight states in Southern Mexico:

  • Guerrero
  • Oaxaca
  • Chiapas
  • Veracruz
  • Tabasco
  • Campeche
  • Yucatán
  • Quintana Roo