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Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza ( ), is one of Mexicomarker's 31 component states. It is located in the north of the country.

To the north, Coahuila accounts for a stretch of the U.S. - Mexico border, adjacent to the U.S.marker state of Texasmarker along the course of the Rio Grande marker.Coahuila also borders the Mexican states of Nuevo Leónmarker to the east, Zacatecasmarker and San Luis Potosimarker to the south, and Durangomarker and Chihuahuamarker to the west. With an area of , it is the nation's third-largest state. It comprises 38 municipalities (municipios). In 2005, Coahuila's population was 2,495,200 inhabitants.

The capital of Coahuila is Saltillomarker, and it's largest city is Torreónmarker. Coahuila also includes the cities of Monclovamarker (a former state capital), Piedras Negrasmarker, and Ciudad Acuña.

History

The Spanish explored the north of Mexico some decades after their victory in the capital of the Aztecs. Such exploration was delayed because the northern climate was harsher and there was no gold. The first Spanish settlement in the region now called Coahuila was at Minas de la Trinidad (now Monclova) in 1577. And Saltillo was in 1586, when it formed part of the province of Nueva Vizcaya of the vice-royalty of New Spain. Later it became the province of Nueva Extremadura. Francisco Cano was one of the earliest Europeans to explore Nueva Extremadura.

Coahuila y Tejas ("Coahuila and Texas") was one of the constituent states of the newly independent United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution, and included Texas, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon. Later in the same year Nuevo Leon was detached, but Texas remained a part of the state until 1835, when it seceded to form the Republic of Texas. Monclova was the capital of the state from 1833 to 1835.

In 1840 Coahuila briefly became a member of the short lived Republic of the Rio Grande.

On February 19, 1856, Santiago Vidaurri annexed Coahuila to his state, Nuevo Leónmarker, but it regained its separate status in 1868.

During the Mexican Revolution, Francisco Villa attacked the city of Torreónmarker.

On April 4, 2004, the border city of Piedras Negrasmarker was flooded. More than 30 people died and more than 4000 lost their homes.

In 2007, Coahuila became the first state in Mexico to offer civil unions (Pacto Civil de Solidaridad) to same-sex couples.

Geography

The Sierra Madre Oriental runs northwest to southeast through the state, and the higher elevations are home to the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests.

East of the range, the land slopes gently toward the Rio Grande, and is drained by several rivers, including the Salado and its tributary the Sabinas. The Tamaulipan mezquital, a dry shrubland ecoregion, occupies the western portion of the state, and extends across the Rio Grande into southern Texas.

The portion of the state west of the Sierra Madre Oriental lies on the Mexican Plateau, and is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The Bolsón de Mapimí is a large endorheic basin which covers much of the western portion of the state and extends into adjacent portions of Chihuahua, Durango, and Zacatecas. The Nazas River, which flows east from Durango, and the Aguanaval River, which flows north from Zacatecas, empty into lakes in the Bolsón. Torreónmarker, the most populous city in the state, lies on the Nazas in the irrigated Laguna Region, the (Comarca Lagunera), which straddles the border of Coahuila and Durango.

The state contains two biosphere reserves. Maderas del Carmen lies on the northern border of the state, and includes sections of the Chihuahuan desert and sky islands of pine-oak forest in the Sierra del Carmen. The springs, lakes, and wetlands of Cuatro Ciénegasmarker lie west of Monclova on the west slope of the Sierra Madre.

The state is largely arid or semi-arid, but the rivers of the state support extensive irrigated agriculture, particularly cotton. The Parrasmarker district in the southern part of the state produces wines and brandies. The pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre produce timber.

Demography

The last population census run across Mexico in the year 2005, reports Coahuila de Zaragoza as having roughly 2,500,000 inhabitants, which, considering its size, means that the state has a very low density, in fact as low as only 15 persons per sq. kilometer.

Coahuila's population is comprised mainly of people of Criollo (European) extraction. History reveals how European colonizers destroyed the disperse and nomadic tribes which inhabited these territories, and as such less than 7,500 natives reside in Coahuila, or merely 0,3% of the total population. The rest of the population is composed of Americanmarker, Canadianmarker, and Japanese communities.

The rest of the demographic particulars in the state are very similar to national averages, such as a high life expectancy (reaching 75 years of age) and a Catholic majority.

Education

Coahuila residents have about of 8.5 years of education, comparable to the national average.

Institutions of higher education include:



Economy

About 95% of Mexico's coal reserves are found in Coahuila, which is the country's top mining state. Saltillo also has a growing automobile industry, hosting General Motors and Chrysler assembly plants.

As of 2005, Coahuila’s economy represents 3.5% of Mexico’s total gross domestic product or 22,874 million USD. Coahuila's economy has a strong focus on export oriented manufacturing (i.e. maquiladora / INMEX). As of 2005, 221,273 people are employed in the manufacturing sector. Foreign direct investment in Coahuila was 143.1 million USD for 2005. The average wage for an employee in Coahuila is approximately 190 pesos per day.

Municipalities

Coahuila is subdivided into five regions and 38 municipalities (municipios).For a full list with municipal seats, see: municipalities of Coahuila

Major communities



List of governors

This list is incomplete

Notable people

See also



References

  1. http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?2007/01/12/1 "Mexican state moves to allow same-sex unions", Advocate News, Gay.com, January 11, 2007


External links




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