Tijuana is the second-largest city in Mexico in Baja, California. It is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in Mexico. Tijuana is the seat of the Tijuana Municipality and the cultural and commercial center of the Pacific coast of Baja California. Tijuana covers 70% of the territory of the municipality and contains 80% of its population. As one of the largest manufacturing centers on the continent of North America, the city is home to numerous multinational conglomerates.
Tijuana began as a ranch settlement on a land grant (1862) and evolved into a frontier resort with casinos. Tourism remains its most important economic activity, and the city became the primary entry point for American tourists from California. Between 1950 and the mid-1990s, Tijuana’s population increased tenfold. Several American-owned maquiladoras (assembly plants) have opened in the area since the 1960s. Through irrigation schemes, vast areas of surrounding farmland were converted to wheat, barley, and wine grape cultivation, contributing to the city’s shortage of potable water, much of which is sourced from the Colorado River. Additionally, soft drinks, beer, and food products are manufactured here. Railways, highways, and airports connect the city with the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.