An Inland State Of Mexico, bounded N. by Coahuila, E. by San Luis Potosí, Aguas Calientes, and Jalisco, S. by Jalisco, and W. by Jalisco and Durango; area, 26,585 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 397,945. It is one of the most mountainous states in the republic, being traversed from 1ST. to S. by a branch of the Sierra Madre, with numerous spurs on the west. East of this there are comparatively few mountains, and these for the most part form small isolated sierras. The hilly country of the centre and west is interspersed with spacious and fertile valleys, and deep ravines and gorges. Zacatecas is poorly watered, none of its few streams exceeding the proportions of mountain torrents. The climate, rather cold in the elevated region, is warm in the valleys, and is regarded as generally salubrious. Silver is extremely abundant in this state, which long ranked as the first, but now ranks as second to Guanajuato, among the great mining states of Mexico. Mining is the chief industry, though agriculture is extensively carried on, the cultivated products being the same as in Guanajuato. Zacatecas is divided into 12 partidos or districts, viz.: Zacatecas, Fresnillo, Sombrerete, Nieves, Mazapil, Ciudad Garcia, Pinos, Villanueva, Sanchez Roman, Juchipila, Nochistlan, and Ojo Caliente.
A City, capital of the state, in a deep mountain gorge, about 300 m. N. W. of Mexico; pop. about 35,000. Owing to its wild arid surroundings, it presents an aspect at once dull and bleak.. The streets are very uneven and badly paved. It has several churches, a theatre, a hospital, a mint, primary schools, and a literary institute founded in 1868. The value of the coinage from 1810 to 1867 was $216,000,000.