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Ciudad Juárez (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ˈxwaɾes], /ˈwɑːrɛz/WHAH-rez; Juarez City), known in the past as Paso del Norte (Pass of the North), and commonly referred to by locals as simply Juáritos, 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. Together with the surrounding areas the cities form El Paso–Juárez, 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.
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 into the U.S. 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."