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Durango ( ) is one of the constituent states of Mexico, with a population of 1,509,118. It has Mexico's second-lowest population density, after Baja California Surmarker. The city of Durangomarker is the state's capital.


Francisco de Ibarra, the first to colonize Durango, settled this part of the vast northern province of Nueva Vizcaya in 1563, when he founded the capital city and named it Durango for the Basque town Durango, Biscaymarker, Spainmarker, Europe. The foundation was just one in his larger program of initiating settlements throughout the province.

This was a late colonization for the Spanish, due mostly to heavy resistance by the indigenous population. From first contact to modern times, the indigenous peoples have attempted to gain some autonomy, address grievances, and maintain traditional land ownership.

Spanish colonists became highly attracted to the Durango area for its mining and grazing prospects.

In 1823, shortly after victory over Spain in the Mexican War of Independence, Durango earned the right to become a separate state.


The state of Durango is bordered to the north by Chihuahuamarker, to the north-east by Coahuilamarker, to the south-east by Zacatecasmarker, to the south-west by Nayaritmarker, and to the west by Sinaloamarker.Most of the state is heavily mountainous and a good part forested; the Sierra Madre Occidental occupies the western and central part of the state. This mountain range contains a good supply of minerals, including the silver that encouraged Spanish occupation of the territory after it was discovered. These mines extend north into Chihuahuamarker and south into the state of Zacatecasmarker. Vast desert basins in the Laguna District are irrigated by the Nazas River.

Major crops grown in the area include cotton, wheat, corn, alfalfa, beans, sorghum, and other vegetables.

Durango is famous for its scorpions. Mexicans generally refer to the people of Durango as Alacrán de Durango (Scorpions from Durango). The demonym for the natives of Durango is Duranguense(s).

The major occupations in Durango are farming, lumbering and ranching.


According to the last census that took place in 2005, Durango, with just over a million and a half inhabitants, occupies the 24th position within the 32 federal entitiesregarding population, and reports an average growth rate so low that it would take more than 250 years to double its number of inhabitants.

Despite the low demographic density it contains, only 12 inhabitants per sq. km., 60% of the population concentrate in only three of the 39 state municipalities : Durangomarker, Gomez Palacios and Lerdomarker. The rest live in small and disperse localities, for as much as 6,258 communities can be found in the state, 82% of which have less than 100 inhabitants. Only 2% of the population over 5 years of age speak a native dialect, 80% of which belong to the Tepehuana ethnic group, a native culture from Durango. Other smaller indigenous groups include the Huicholes and the Mexicaneros, the latter of an unknown descent and who speak the Nahuatl tongue.

Some 67% of the population live in urban areas, below the 76% national average. Even so, the migration of people from the rural zones towards urban environments represents a serious issue for the government of Durango because it implies satisfying a high demand for public services and utilities.


Durango is divided into 39 municipalities (municipios).See municipalities of Durango. Durango has recently experienced an increase in organized crime and vandalism.

Major communities

Popular culture

  • Punk rock band The Ramones often opened their live act with a song called "Durango 95".

  • In the song Never Gonna Stop, Rob Zombie sings of the "Durango Number 95"

  • Actor John Candy suffered a fatal heart attack in Durango, while filming his final motion picture Wagons East.

  • In the book The House of the Scorpion, Mateo Alacran (referred to as "El Patrón"), a drug lord, was born in Durango, as was Celia. The last name he adapted, "Alacran", is a reference to the term Alacran de Durango (Durango Scorpion).

  • The 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt, was set in the state of Durango.

  • In the 1970 film Moonfire, the main storyline is set here.

  • In the song Spanglish by The Game he refers to the state in the end of his first verse by saying "Get it from Durango, take it to Chicago"

  • The 1973 movie "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson, was filmed in Durango.

Notable people


External links

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