Michoacán de Ocampo (From michamacuan, Nahuatl for "the place of the fishermen") is one of the 31 constituent states of Mexico. It borders the states of Colima and Jalisco to the west, Guanajuato and Querétaro to the north, México to the east, Guerrero to the south-east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Michoacán has an area of 59,864 km² (23,113.62 square miles). In 2003 the population was estimated at 4,047,500 people. Its state capital is the city of Morelia (previously known as Valladolid).
Michoacán also contains the cities of Apatzingán, Hidalgo, Jacona, Jiquilpan, La Piedad, Lázaro Cárdenas, Los Reyes, Paracho, Pátzcuaro, Aquila, Coalcoman, Puruándiro, Sahuayo, Uruapan, Zacapú, Zamora, and Zitácuaro. The state's pre-Columbian sites include the ruins of Tzintzuntzan, Ihautzio, and Tingambato.
The area around Angangueo in northeast Michoacán is famous for the beautiful monarch butterflies that spend the winter in the surrounding mountains.
The migration of Michoacán inhabitants to the United States during the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been extensive. The migration is primarily economically driven, with most migrants providing financial support to their families in Mexico by sending money back home.
On September 19, 1985, an earthquake measuring approximately 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Michoacán and inflicted severe damage on Mexico City. Estimates of the number of dead range from 6,500 to 30,000. (See Great Mexican Earthquake.)
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