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Jalisco ( ) is one of the 31 Mexican states that, together with the Mexican Federal District, form the 32 federal entities of Mexico.

Jalisco is located in central-western Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Nayaritmarker to the northwest, Zacatecasmarker, Aguascalientesmarker and San Luis Potosímarker to the north, Guanajuatomarker to the east and Colimamarker and Michoacánmarker to the south. To the west, Jalisco has a significant share of coastline on the Pacific Oceanmarker.

Jalisco is the fourth most populous federal entity in Mexico. It is also one of the most developed in terms of cultural, trade and economic level in the country. Some municipalities in the state have a standard of living comparable to the one found in countries like Spain and Italy, but, like in the rest of Mexico, these living standards are not representative of all of the state's municipalities due to the widespread economic inequalities found in the state. The capital of Jalisco is the city of Guadalajaramarker, whose metropolitan area includes the municipalities of Guadalajaramarker, Juanacatlánmarker, El Salto, Tlaquepaquemarker, Tonala, Tlajomulco de Zuñigamarker, Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillosmarker and Zapopanmarker, forming the second largest metropolitan area in Mexico after Mexico Citymarker.


The state's name, meaning "sandy plain," derives from the Nahuatl words xalli (meaning "sand" or "gravel") and ixtli (meaning "face," or, by extension, "plain") with the suffix -co (place).


Lake Chapala
Jalisco is bordered by the Pacific Oceanmarker to the west, and the state of Nayaritmarker to the northwest, Zacatecasmarker and Aguascalientesmarker to the north, Guanajuatomarker to the east, and Colimamarker and Michoacánmarker to the south. It has an area of , which constitutes about 4% of the total territory of Mexico.

The state is formed by four characteristic physiographic regions, which are the Mexican Plateau, Sierra Madre Occidental, Sierra Madre del Sur, and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Mexico's largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapalamarker, lies within the boundaries of Jalisco.

Flora and fauna

There are a variety of species of vegetation and wildlife in Jalisco. Notably this is an original location of the domestication of the Wild turkey and also the northern extent of the range of the subspecies of the Wild turkey that occurs in this region.

Government and politics

The Constitution of the State of Jalisco provides that the government of Jalisco, like the government of every other state in Mexico, formally consists of three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

Executive power rests with the Governor of Jalisco, who is directly elected through secret ballot to a 6-year term, with no possibility of reelection. Legislative power rests with the Congress of Jalisco which is a unicameral legislature composed of 40 deputies. Judicial power is invested in the Superior Court of Justice of Jalisco.

Municipalities and regions

Like the rest of Mexico, the state of Jalisco is divided into municipalities (communes), most of which are named after the town that serves as the municipal seat. Unlike English-language municipalities, Mexican municipalities (or municipios) include both a central city or town and surrounding villages, towns and rural land. Each municipio has a municipal president. The largest municipio in Jalisco is Mezquiticmarker.

The municipalities are grouped into the following regions (regiones):
  • Altos Norte
  • Altos Sur
  • Centro
  • Ciénega
  • Costa Norte
  • Costa Sur
  • Norte
  • Sierra de Amula
  • Sierra Occidental
  • Sur
  • Sureste
  • Valles


Congregation of people at a street crossing
The population of Jalisco was 6,753,114 inhabitants according to the 2005 INEGI census. The 2000 INEGI census indicated that at that time there were about 4,000,000 people in the greater Guadalajara metropolitan area. The overall population growth rate for Jalisco in the 2000-2005 period was 1.8%, and it is estimated that the economically active population is 1,756,501

As is usually the case through the whole nation, the base of the population pyramid is considerably wide as 56% of the Jalisco inhabitants are under 30 years of age.

In terms of other particulars, life expectancy is recorded at 73 years for men and 77,8 years of age for women; infant mortality is lower the 0,5%; birthrate in the state is located around 0,2%; 95% of the population in Jalisco follow Catholicism, one of the highest numbers nationwide; and finally, regarding ethnic diversity, only 1% of those over 5 years of age speak an indigenous dialect, the most common of which are the Huichol, Nahuatl and Purepecha.


The educational statistics are rather worrying as 6 in 100 within that young segment do not attend school, 35 in 100 could not finish primary school, and only one in 100 earns a professional degree.

Institutions of higher education include:



Jalisco is the center of the Mexican tequila industry, and the town of Tequila, Jaliscomarker, which gave its name to the famous liquor, is located there. The volcanic soil covering much of the state of Jalisco is particularly well suited for the cultivation of the blue agave plant, which is used as the base for tequila.

The small town Quila is also a city in Jalisco.


Mariachis in Guadalajara
There are many hypotheses about where this lively music originated from, but most people agree that Cocula, Jalisco was its birth place. Today, Mariachis are seen as a symbol of the Mexican Revolution and as the Mexican pride. Mariachi groups are usually hired for festive occasions, such as birthday parties, quinceañera (traditional parties for girls who are turning 15 years of age), and weddings.

Huichol people

A Huichol artisan in traditional dress.
In the north of Jalisco, the indigeneous Huichol people live in towns that are difficult to access due to their relative isolation in mountainous areas. They call themselves wixarica, "The People," in their own language. The name "Huichol" is derived from the name that was given to them by Nahuatl speakers.

Related to Nahuatl, the Huichol language belongs to the Coracholan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.

See also


External links

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