Mexican people (Spanish: Mexicanos (individuals), Pueblo mexicano (collective)) refers to all persons of the United Mexican States, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity. The Mexica founded Mexico as nation in 1325 as an altepetl (city-state) located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico. It became the capital of the expanding Mexican Empire in the 15th century, until captured by the Spanish in 1521. At its peak, it was the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas. When paired with Mexico, the name is a reference to Mexica, also known as “Aztecs” although they referred to themselves as Mexica. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today the ruins of Tenochtitlan are located in the central part of Mexico City. Mexico achieved independence from the Spanish Empire; this began the process of forging a national identity that fused the cultural traits of indigenous pre-Columbian origin with those of European, particularly Iberian, ancestry. This led to what has been termed “a peculiar form of multi-ethnic nationalism” The most spoken language by Mexicans is Mexican Spanish, but some may also speak languages from 62 different indigenous linguistic groups and other languages brought to Mexico by recent immigration or learned by Mexican immigrants residing in other nations. Around 75% of the Mexican people live in Mexico but there is a sizable diaspora with over 24% living in the United States.
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