Guanajuato, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato), is one of the 32 states which make up the Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato. The largest city in the state is León.
Guanajuato is in central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Jalisco to the west, Zacatecas to the northwest, San Luis Potosí to the north, Querétaro to the east, and Michoacán to the south. It covers an area of 30,608 km2 (11,818 sq mi).
Guanajuato is between the arid north of the country and the lusher south, and it is geographically part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, the Mexican Plateau. It was initially settled by the Spanish in the 1520s due to mineral deposits found around the now capital city of Guanajuato, but areas such as the Bajío region also became important for agriculture and livestock. Mining and agriculture were the mainstays of the state's economy, but have since been eclipsed by the secondary sector. Guanajuato has particularly seen growth in the automotive industry.
The state is home to several historically important cities, especially those along the "Bicentennial Route", which retraces the path of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's insurgent army at the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. This route begins at Dolores Hidalgo, and passes through the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, San Miguel de Allende, Celaya, and the capital of Guanajuato. Other important cities in the state include León, the most populous, and Irapuato.
The word Guanajuato comes from Purépecha kuanhasï juáta (or in older orthography "quanax huato"), which means “frog hill”.