Mexico is an extremely diverse country, both biologically (it's considered megadiverse, and is among the top five countries in the world in terms of biodiversity) and culturally. Spanish is Mexico's official language, and just over 60% of the population is mestizo, that is, a mix of indigenous and European heritage, but indigenous groups make up a significant part of the population, and many of those groups still conserve their traditions and speak their language.
Languages of Mexico
The Mexican government recognizes 62 indigenous languages that are still spoken today though many linguists assert that there are in fact over 100. The discrepancy is due to the fact that many of these languages have several variants which are sometimes considered distinct languages. The following table shows the different languages spoken in Mexico with the name of the language as it is called by speakers of that language appearing in parenthesis and the number of speakers.
The indigenous language that's spoken by the largest group of people by far is Náhuatl, with over two and a half million speakers. Náhuatl is the language spoken by the Mexica (pronounced meh-shee-ka) people, who are also sometimes referred to as Aztecs, who live mainly in the central part of Mexico. The second-most-spoken indigenous language is Maya, with about one and a half million speakers. The Maya live in Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Mexican Indigenous Languages and Number of Speakers
|Mixteco (ñuu savi)||764,000|
|Tzotzil or (batzil k'op)||514,000|
|Mazateco (ha shuta enima)||339,000|
|Chinanteco (tsa jujmi)||224,000|
|Zoque (o'de püt)||88,000|
|Tojolabal (tojolwinik otik)||74,000|
|Chontal de Tabasco (yokot'an)||72,000|
|Cuicateco (nduudu yu)||24,000|
|Huave (mero ikooc)||23,000|
|Chontal de Oaxaca (slijuala xanuk)||13,000|
|Chichimeca jonaz (uza)||3,100|
|Pápago (tono ooh'tam)||270|
|Lacandón (hach t'an)||130|
Data from CDI, Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas