Guadalajara is a city located in Mexico. It is the capital city of the Mexican state, Jalisco, and it is also the largest in terms of population, with a population of 1,495,189 recorded during the last census held in 2010. It is the 10th largest city in Latin America by population. The city’s name was taken from the city of the same name in Spain and translates to mean “valley of stones.” Guadalajara is known for being a cultural center, and it also is a center for information technology as well as traditional industries including textiles.
City Size and Population Density
Guadalajara covers a total surface area of 151 square kilometers (58 square miles). In combination with the expansive population of over 1 million residents, the population density comes to 10,361 individuals living per square kilometer (26,830 per square mile).
Breaking down the demographics of Guadalajara shows a few interesting facts. Per the 2010 census, the population had more male residents, making up 52% of the population. Over 60% of the population falls into the 15 to 59 demographic.
The city has a literacy rate of almost 98%.
The primary religion in the city is Roman Catholic, of which 92.5% identify, followed by Protestant, no recognized religion, and other faiths.
Guadalajara was located in five different places before it was established at its current site. The city was officially settled in 1532 before relocating the next year. Four years later, it was moved again. After an attack during the Mixton War, the city was moved again. The city was then moved following this to the site known as Atemajack, where it is currently located today. The city became an evangelical center during the 1500s after the construction of its cathedral.
In the late 1700s, the University of Guadalajara was built and the Hospital de Belen was also opened. The hospital only closed in 2016.
Agriculture and goods including textiles were Guadalajara’s main industries until the industry expanded during the 19th century. Rail lines were constructed that connected the city to the Pacific coast and the United States. During this time, the city began increasing its exports. This was a substantial period of growth for the city, but it wasn’t done growing just yet.
The 1930s brought another period of growth, which continued into the 1940s. During this time, the first industrial park was erected. During the 1960s, the population hit the one million milestone and was one of the largest cities in the country. Urbanization continued primarily through the 1940s and 1980s when the population surpassed 2.5 million. After this period, population began to decline.
Today, the city still boasts a large population, the largest in Jalisco. It has one of the largest economies in Mexico and performs well in the commerce, services, and manufacturing industries. It has also been designated as one of the “Cities of the Future” because of its economic potential.
Besides being one of the most business-friendly cities in the country and throughout Latin America, Guadalajara is also known for its culture. It hosts multiple festivals throughout the year that are attended by residents and tourists. It has been home to some of the best writers, poets, and artists in the world, and is even believed to be the home of mariachi music.
Guadalajara Population Growth
This “city of the future” has seen highs and lows with its population, but growth is expected to be steady through future decades. Its younger population will continue to have children that will add to the numbers, while business opportunities and a low unemployment rate draw in new residents each year. Though population numbers peaked years ago before halting and then declining, the future of the city looks bright and should see steady growth well into the future.