Ciudad Juárez, known in the past as Paso del Norte (Northern Pass), and commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), south of El Paso, Texas. Ciudad Juárez and El Paso comprise the second largest bi-national metropolitan area on the Mexico-United States border (after San Diego–Tijuana), with a combined population of over 2.7 million people.
Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in the world despite being called "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones" in 2009. In 2001 the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a report stating that in Ciudad Juárez "the average annual growth over the 10-year period 1990–2000 was 5.3%. Juárez experienced much higher population growth than the state of Chihuahua and than Mexico as a whole."
There are four international ports of entry connecting Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, including the Bridge of the Americas, Ysleta International Bridge, Paso del Norte Bridge, and Stanton Street Bridge. These combined allowed 22,958,472 crossings in 2008, making Ciudad Juárez a major point of entry and transportation for all of central northern Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center which is made up in large part by more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez "is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city." In 2008, fDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez "The City of the Future." In 2011, the State of Chihuahua appointed "Heroica" to Ciudad Juárez. It will only be a symbolic connotation and for promotional purposes in response to the role of this town during the Mexican Revolution. The name of this city remains the same. This year the "maquilas" have already generated 10,000 new jobs for a total of 19 factories located in Ciudad Juárez.