(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, Huetamo, Zirandaro, San Lucas Ciudad Hidalgo, Jacona, Jiquilpan, La Piedad, Lázaro Cárdenas, Los Reyes, Paracho, Pátzcuaro, Aquila, El Triunfo, 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.)
On August 11, 2006, an earthquake measuring approximately 5.9 on the Richter scale struck the southeastern part of the state. It was felt in Mexico City also, but no casualties or damages occurred.
The population in michoacan is mainly Mestizo, but has also a great Pre-hispanic civilization, the Tarascans in the north-eastern region, also called purepechas by some. On the coastal region there are still people with some african influence. While the region known as "Tierra Caliente" has a largely Mestizo population, with a minority decended from Andalusians.