Tijuana is the dominant focal city of Northwestern Mexico, in Baja California, Mexico and right across the border from San Diego, California, USA.
Tijuana is by far the largest urban metropolis of Northwestern Mexico, and is also its westernmost city. Tijuana and its US neighbor San Diego form the largest metropolitan area on the US-Mexican Border with a combined population of 5 million people. The two cities enjoy substantial social, economic, and cultural interactions. Unlike San Diego however, Tijuana continues to be a hotbed for criminal activities and as of 2017, tourists continue to be routinely targeted by muggers and pickpockets. Tijuana's environment is shaped by the agreeable climate of the Pacific Ocean and is adjacent to one of the the wealthiest and most populated sections of the United States with which Mexico shares a border. It has a sizeable middle class and is home to numerous manufacturers taking advantage of NAFTA. Despite (or perhaps because of) declines in tourism due to violence associated with the drug trade during 2008-2011, the social, cultural, and musical culture of the city have continued to develop, allowing the city to attract artists from all over North and Central America. Tijuana is home to every class, from the working class to the wealthy, from junkies to businessmen. Tijuana is particularly notable for the influence of fashion and trends introduced by Chicanos of the United States, including the development of a localized Spanglish. Tijuana is a major transit point for illegal immigration into the United States, as well as a common destination for any illegal Mexican immigrants deported from the West Coast of the United States. As such, some areas are swollen with poor people with no roots in the city, who inhabit illegal, albeit tolerated, shanty towns. In sharp contrast to these shanty towns lie housing estates for the upwardly mobile, from maquiladora families, university students, to high class businessmen, reflecting Tijuana's status as one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico. The high levels of crime in the city can partly be attributed to these glaring economic inequalities.