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Guadalajara (pronounced /ˌgwɑːdləˈhɑːrə/; Spanish pronunciation [ɡwað̞alaˈxaɾa]) is the capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of the state and in the western-Pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,600,940 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes other adjacent municipalities and has a population of 4,112,332 inhabitants, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City, and the 23rd largest metropolitan area of the Americas. The municipality is the most densely populated in Mexico after the Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in the State of Mexico..
Guadalajara is situated at an altitude of 1,600 metres (5,200 ft), favouring it with a mild, spring-like climate.
Guadalajara is one of the main centers of culture, economy, history, industry and religion in the country and exerts significant influence on the rest of Mexico.
The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, whose name originates from the Arabic phrase (وادي الحجرة) Wādī al-Ḥijārah, meaning "valley of stones" or "river than runs among stones".
The city has hosted several international events such as the first Cumbre Iberoamericana in 1991, the Cumbre América Latina, El Caribe-Unión Europea in 2004, the Encuentro Internacional de Promotores y Gestores Culturales in 2005 and will be the city host of the 2011 Panamerican Games, also was named the American Capital of Culture in 2005, Ciudad Educadora (Educator City) in 2006 and the first Smart City in Mexico due to the use of technology as a main factor of development. The city is known as the country's most important technology cluster and one of the most acknowledge in the world, the city is also known as Mexico's silicon valley due to its strong electronic industry is also considered Mexico's high tech capital due to its county's main role in software and informatics development.
According to FDi magazine, Guadalajara is ranked "city of the future" over all other major Mexican cities, has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city behind Chicago, and was among the top five most business-friendly Latin American cities in 2007.