Despite the steadily growing importance of agriculture, Guanajuato is noted primarily as Mexico's foremost mining state much silver and gold is extracted, and mercury, lead, tin, copper, fluorite, and opals are also produced. Industrial products from the cities—Guanajuato, Celaya , León , and Irapuato —include textiles, saddles and other leather goods, and foodstuffs. Oil refining is also a significant part of the economy.
Joined with Querétaro de Arteaga, the state was a Spanish intendancy until 1824. A leading silver producer of Spanish America, Guanajuato declined in economic importance during the wars of the 19th cent. There has been significant outmigration from the state to the United States in recent years.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mexican Political Geography
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