Tlaxcala is bordered to the west by the state of México, to the northwest by Hidalgo, and to the north, east, and south by Puebla. The state consists of 60 municipalites. It covers an area or 4,037 km² and is thus the smallest of Mexico's states. According to the 2000 census, Tlaxcala had a population of some 962,000 (51.2% female and 48.8% male). The state's main exports are textiles, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
The state governor, serving from 1998 to 2003, is Alfonso Abraham Sánchez Anaya of the PRD, representing an alliance between the PRD and the Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM) and Labour Party (PT).
The state capital is the city of Tlaxcala, a small provincial center that reported a population of 73,184 in the 2000 census. The city was founded in 1520 by Hernán Cortés. It is located at 19.31° N, 98.24° W.
Also in the state of Tlaxcala are the cities of Apizaco, Calpulapan, Chiautempan, Huamantla, and the pre-Columbian ruins of Cacaxtla and Xochitécatl.
Tlaxcala was an independent nation in pre-Columbian times, never conquered by the Aztecs. The assistance of the Tlaxcaltecas was of instrumental importance to Hernán Cortés in his conquest of Mexico in the early 16th century.