The locals, called Totontepecanos, speak Mexican Spanish and the local dialect of the Mixe language. Each dialect of Mixe is different depending on the village in which it is spoken. According to the 2005 census, the town had a population of 5,626 people.
The town's most notable feature is a rock that can be seen from nearly every location. They call it "La Mitra" (or mitre, in English). It is located at the top of the mountain on which Totontepec is built. The locals will scale this mountain to light prayer candles and get a great view of their town.
As municipal seat, Totontepec has governing jurisdiction over the following communities:
Chinantequilla, El Duraznal, Patio Grande, Rancho Alejandro Villegas, San Francisco Jayacaxtepec, San Marcos Moctum, San Miguel Metepec, Santa María Huitepec, Santa María Ocotepec, Santa María Tiltepec, Santiago Amatepec, Santiago Jareta, Santiago Tepitongo, and Tierra Caliente (Rancho Uno y Rancho Dos)