The town serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality, with which it shares a name. The municipality reported 33,331 inhabitants in the year 2000 census.
The main industry in the town and its surrounding countryside is that of sugar cultivation and processing. The most noticeable feature of the town in the sugar mill located in its centre and during operating hours the air of the settlement is ladden with the sickly-sweet smell of sugar.
Students come from surrounding parts of Morelos to study at the public university, the Instituto Tecnológico de Zacatepc, which is located on a site adjacent to the sugar mill.
Zacatepec De Hidalgo has a soccer team, name Club Zacatepec. They are nicknamed Los Cañeros de Zacatepec. Their colors are white and green. Their uniform color is a white shirt with a big green line in the middle and white shorts and socks. Their greatest achievements were in the 1950s when Club Zacatepec won two titles in La Primera División de México (First Division League Championship). They won their first league title in the 1954-1955 season and the second league title was won in the 1957-1958 season.They were runner-ups in the 1952-1953 season; they lost the league championship to Tampico Madero Futbol Club. Zacatepec Club won the Campeónato de Copa (Mexican Cup) in the 1958-1959 season.
The head coach of Zacatepec Club during the 1950s was the Mexican coach, Ignacio Trelles, who later became head coach of the Mexican National Team in the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile and 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.
Nowadays Club Zacatepec plays in the Tercera División de México (third division).
El Estadio Agustin "Coruco" Diaz is the home of Club Zacatepec. It was founded in November 1954. It was inaugurated by then president of Mexico Adolfo López Mateos. The stadium is nicknamed la selva cañera (the sugar cane jungle). The reason is due to Zacatepec's humid weather conditions.
Club Zacatepec's motto is “Hacer Deporte es Hacer Patria” which means doing sports is to be a patriot.
La Primera División (League Championships): 2
1954-1955, & 1957-1958
Campeón de Copa (Mexican Cup): 1
Segunda Division (Second Division):5
1950-1951, 1962-1963, 1969-1970, 1977-1978, & 1983-1984