Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,564,514 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,328,584 in 2009, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated one in Mexico; the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in State of Mexico.
The city's economy is based on industry, especially information technology with a large number of international firms having manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metro Area. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important contributing factors. Guadalajara is the cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of Mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the International Film Festival of Guadalajara and the Guadalajara International Book Fair and a number of globally renowned cultural events which draw international crowds. It is also home to the Guadalajara football/soccer club, one of the two most popular in Mexico. This city was named American Capital of Culture in 2005. Guadalajara hosted the 2011 Pan American Games and is currently bidding to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in terms of population, urban area and Gross Domestic Product. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, with the name originating from the Arabic word wādi l-ḥijāra (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة) the literal translation of the Iberian name Arriaca, meaning "Valley of stones".
In a 2007, a report in fDi magazine pointed to research showing that Guadalajara was the highest ranking major Mexican city. The report went on to note that Guadalajara has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, only Chicago scored more highly for sheer economic potential. The same research noted the Guadalajara as the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals, it was also found the third most business friendly city in North America.