The original Government Palace (State House) of Nuevo León
Nuevo León was originally founded by Alberto del Canto, although frequent raids by Chichimecas, the natives of the north, prevented the establishment of almost any permanent settlements. Subsequent to the failure of del Canto to populate Luis Carvajal y de la Cueva, at the head of Portuguese and Spanish settlers, requested permission from the Spanish King to attempt to repopulate the area which would be called the New Kingdom of León, it eventually became (along with the provinces of Coahuila, Nuevo Santander and Texas) one of the Eastern Internal Provinces in Northern New Spain.
In the 19th century, Nuevo León was in a growth spurt and the bargain land deals attracted immigrants of German, Slavic, French, Italian, Jewish and Anglo-American origin. The capital of Nuevo León is Monterrey, the third largest city in Mexico with over four million residents. Monterrey is a modern and affluent city, and Nuevo León has long been one of Mexico's most industrialized states.
Trace of petroglyphs engraved on rocks at Boca de Potrerillos.
Nuevo León has an extreme climate, and there is very little rainfall throughout the year. The territory covers 64,220 square kilometres (24,800 sq mi), and can be divided into three regions: a hot, dry region in the north, a temperate region in the mountains, and a semi-arid region in the south. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range affects in an important way the lay of the land forming the Galeana and Doctor Arroyo plateaus, the Iguana, Picachos, Papagayos, and Santa Clara mountain ranges, and the Pilón, Ascensión, and Río Blanco valleys. As for hydrography, the San Juan River supplies the El Cuchillo dam, which provides water for Monterrey and the metropolitan area. There are also the Cerro Prieto, La Boca, Vaquerías, Nogalitos, and Agualeguas dams. Laguna de Labradores is a major lake in Nuevo León, and Pozo del Gavilán is a natural well. Both are located in the Galeana municipality. The flora of the region includes brush and pastures in the low regions, and pine and oak trees in the mountains. The fauna includes black bears, mountain lions, javelinas, prairie dogs, foxes, coyotes, and white-tailed deer, along with smaller species.
Church, Montemorelos, Nuevo León
As of 2010, Nuevo León's population was about 4.653 million. Of these 4.653 million, nearly 80%, or about 3.7 million, of the state's population resides within the Monterrey Metropolitan area, making it the third largest metropolitan area in the country.Life expectancy in the state is high, being 73 years for men and 79 years for women.
Ninety-four percent of the total population occupy urban areas, one million of which are home-owners, and 98% have all utilities (running water, sewer systems and electric power). The remaining 2% is mostly the small indigenous population which is isolated and lives in the mountain regions.
Following the nation's tendency, a majority of the population identifies as being Roman Catholic.
Regarding ethnicity, the state has one of the highest white populations, a trend very apparent in Mexico's northern region. The majority of the people within the state are of Spanish, French, or German descent. Mestizos are also dominant in the state.
Biotechnology center of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.
The high quality of life that prevails across the state is reflected on statistical rates such as education, as the entity reports an almost perfect record for finished secondary education, and 13 in 100 inhabitants earn a professional degree. In the same line, illiteracy rates for the state are within the lowest in the nation at 2.8%, just behind the Distrito Federal which still leads the country in this regard.
Altos Hornos de Mexico, Mexico's largest steel maker has its facilities in Nuevo Leon and sponsors a museum of Science and Technology.
Highly industralized, Nuevo León possesses a standard of living similar to that of countries such as Croatia, Slovakia or Poland. In 2007, the per capita GDP of the state was similar to that of the Asian Tiger of South Korea and even higher than that of some European Union states such as Slovakia and Hungary. At about $27,000, it was the highest GDP per capita (PPP) of any Mexican state (not counting the Federal District, which also has a very high per capita), and was therefore higher than the Mexican national average (2013 GDP per capita (PPP) national average was $15,700).
One of its municipalities, San Pedro Garza García, is among the richest in the country in terms of per capita income. It is also home of powerful conglomerates, such as Cemex (one of the largest construction materials firms in the world), Bimbo (bakery and pastry), Maseca (food and grains), Banorte (the only high-street bank in Mexico wholly owned by Mexicans), ALFA (Sigma, Alestra, Nemak, Alpek and Hylsa (recently bought by Ternium), i-service (HelpDesk), Vitro SA (glass), FEMSA (Coca-Cola in Latin America), and Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (brewers of Sol, Tecate, XX, Bohemia, Indio and Nochebuena).
Nuevo León also boasts a rich agricultural core, called the "orange belt", which comprises the municipalities of Allende, Montemorelos, Hualahuises, General Terán and Linares. Small but productive investments have been transforming traditional harvests (mainly based on orange and cereals) into agroindustrial developments that are producing increasing revenues for the local economy.
In contrast with the relative wealth of industrial Nuevo León and the orange belt, the Southern part of the state (municipalities of Galeana, Aramberri, Zaragoza, Doctor Arroyo and Mier y Noriega) remains rural and less productive. Most of The South of the state is at the mercy of a very dry weather that represents a major hurdle for agriculture and livestock.
As of 2010, Nuevo León’s economy represents 11.4% of Mexico’s total gross domestic product or 165 billion USD. Nuevo León's economy has a strong focus on export oriented manufacturing (i.e. maquiladora / INMEX). As of 2005, 431,551 people are employed in the manufacturing sector. Foreign direct investment in Nuevo León was 1,213.1 million USD for 2005. In recent years, the state government has been making efforts in attracting significant investments in aeronautics, biotechnology, mechatronics, information and communication technologies fields with the creation of the Research and Technology Innovation Park PIIT (Parque de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica), a technology park oriented in the development, innovation and research of sciences. The project is one of the key strategies within the Monterrey, international City of Knowledge program. The park is located in the municipality of Apodaca, part of Greater Monterrey at the 10 km of the highway to Monterrey’s International Airport. It consists of a total surface area of 70 Ha (172 acres), half of it already committed to R&D centers. The other 35 Ha (86 acres) are available for research and development centers, and for businesses that meet the Park’s objectives.
Political parties: Official recognition is given by the State Electoral Commission to those parties getting more than 1.5% of the votes in the last election (Art.40 of the State Electoral Law), which are the ones represented in Congress.
Nuevo León has many biomes, which is why it has different climates. Some areas in the mountains are very cold in winter and temperate in summer. In the northern part of the state the climate is arid as a result of the proximity to the Chihuahuan desert. Extreme high temperatures of 47 °C or more occur on the desert areas while winters are short and mild. In Monterrey the climate is semi-arid with extreme hot summers and mild winters. There is very little rainfall throughout the year, usually about 500 mm or less.