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State of São Paulo
Flag of State of São Paulo Coat of arms of State of São Paulo
Pro Brasilia Fiant Eximia (Latin)
"Let great things be done for Brazil"
Bandeirantes Anthem
Location of State of São Paulo in Brazil
(and largest city)
São Paulo
23°32′S 46°38′W / 23.533°S 46.633°W / -23.533; -46.633
Demonym Paulista
 -  Governor José Serra
 -  Vice Governor Alberto Goldman
 -  Total 248,209.4 km2 (95,834.2 sq mi) (12th)
 -  2008 estimate 41,779,000 (1st)
 -  2005 census 40,490,757 
 -  Density 165.4 /km2 (428 /sq mi) (3rd)
GDP 2006 estimate
 -  Total R$ 802,552,000,000 (1st)
 -  Per capita R$ 19,548 (2nd)
HDI (2005) 0.833 (high) (3)
Abbreviation BR-S
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 -  Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)

São Paulo (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɐ̃w̃ ˈpawlu]  ( listen)) is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial park and economic production of the country. It is the most populous sub-national entity in the Western Hemisphere. The capital, São Paulo, is also the largest city in South America.




Early Period

A Tupi woman after the start of European colonization.
Martim Afonso de Sousa, Portuguese fidalgo and explorer.

In pre-European times, the area that is now São Paulo state was occupied by the Tupi people's nation, who subsisted through hunting and cultivation. The first European to settle in the area was João Ramalho and Antonio Rodrigues, a Portuguese sailor who may have been shipwrecked around 1510, ten years after the first Portuguese landfall in Brazil. He married the daughter of a local chieftain and settled. In 1532, the first colonial expedition, led by Martim Afonso de Sousa of Portugal, landed at São Vicente (near the present-day port at Santos). De Sousa added Ramalho's settlement to his colony.

Early European colonisation of Brazil was weak. Portugal was more interested in Africa and Asia. But with English and French privateer ships just off the coast, the territory had to be protected. Unwilling to shoulder the burden of defence himself, the Portuguese ruler, King João III of Portugal, divided the coast into "captaincies", or swathes of land, 50 leagues apart. He distributed them among well-connected Portuguese, hoping that each would take care of itself. The early port and sugar-cultivating settlement of São Vicente was a rare success for this policy. In 1548, João III brought Brazil under direct royal control.

Fearing Indian attack, he discouraged development of the territory's vast interior. Some whites headed out nonetheless to Piratininga, a plateau near São Vicente, drawn by its navigable rivers and agricultural potential. Borda do Campo, the plateau settlement, became an official town (Santo André da Borda do Campo) in 1553. The history of São Paulo city proper begins with the founding of a Jesuit mission on January 25, 1554—the anniversary of Saint Paul's conversion. The station, which is at the heart of today’s city, was named São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga (or just Pateo do Colégio). In 1560, the threat of Indian attack led many to flee from the exposed Santo André da Borda do Campo to the walled Colegio. Two years later, the Colégio was besieged. Though the town survived, fighting took place spasmodically for another three decades.

By 1600, the town had about 1,500 citizens and 150 households. Little was produced for export save a number of agricultural goods. The isolation was to continue for many years, as the development of Brazil centred on the sugar plantations in the north-east.

The city’s location, at the mouth of the Tietê-Paranapanema river system (which winds into the interior), made it an ideal base for another activity: slaving expeditions. The economics were simple. Slaves for Brazil's northern sugar plantations were in short supply. African slaves were expensive, so demand for indigenous captives soared.


Statue of Antonio Raposo Tavares, a colonial bandeirante, at the Museu Paulista, in São Paulo.

Among the slave-seekers and explorers of the hinterland were the bandeirantes. From their base in São Paulo, these men combed the interior in search of slaves and other riches. Silver, gold and diamonds were companion pursuits, as well as the exploration of unknown territories. Catholic priests sometimes tagged along, as the expeditions made efforts at conversion. The bandeirantes are now equally remembered for penetrating Brazil’s vast interior. Trading posts that served them became permanent settlements. Interior routes opened up. Though the bandeirantes had no loyalty to the Portuguese crown, they did claim land for the king. The borders of Brazil were pushed back to the Amazon region and the Andes.

Napoleon's invasion of Portugal in 1807 prompted the British navy to evacuate King João VI of Portugal, Portugal’s prince regent, to Rio de Janeiro and Brazil became the temporary headquarters of the Portuguese Empire. João VI rewarded his hosts with economic reforms that would prove crucial to São Paulo’s rise. Brazil's ports—long closed to non-Portuguese ships—were opened up. Restrictions on manufacturing were waived.

When Napoleon was defeated in 1815, João gave political shape to his territory, which became the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Portugal and Brazil, in other words, were ostensibly co-equals. Returning to Portugal six years later, João left his son, Pedro, to rule as regent and governor.

Brazilian Independence

Portrait of the emperor D. Pedro I, with imperial garment.
Flag of the Independent Kingdom of Brazil, used from September to December 1822

Pedro inherited his father's love of Brazil, resisting demands from Lisbon that Brazil should be ruled from Europe once again. Legend has it that in 1822 the diarrhoea-stricken regent was riding outside São Paulo when a messenger delivered a missive demanding his return to Europe. In his dehydrated state, Dom Pedro waved his sword and shouted “Independencia ou morte!” (Independence or death).

João had whetted the appetite of Brazilians, who now sought a full break from the monarchy. The ever-restless Paulistanos were in the vanguard of the independence movement. The small mother country of Portugal was in no position to resist—and on September 7, 1822, Dom Pedro rubber-stamped Brazil's independence. He was crowned emperor shortly afterwards. The Emperors ruled independent Brazil until 1889. Over this time, the growth of liberalism in Europe had a parallel in Brazil. As the Brazilian provinces became more assertive, São Paulo was the scene of a minor (and unsuccessful) liberal revolution in 1842. When independence was declared, São Paulo had just 25,000 people and 4,000 houses, but the next 60 years would see gradual growth. In 1828, the Law Academy, the pioneer of the city's intellectual tradition, opened. The first newspaper, O Farol Paulistano, appeared in 1827. Municipal developments such as botanical gardens, an opera house and a library, gave the city a cultural boost.

Regardless, São Paulo still faced many hurdles, especially transport. Mule-trains were the main method of transportation, and the road from the plateau down to the port of Santos was famously arduous. In the late 1860s São Paulo got its first railway line, developed by British engineers, to the Port of Santos. Other lines, such as a railway to Campinas, were soon built. This was good timing, because in the 1880s the coffee craze hit in earnest. Brazil, which had been growing it since the mid-18th century, could grow more. The Paraiba valley, which spans the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, had suitable soil and climate. São Paulo city, at the western end of the Paraiba valley, was well positioned to channel the coffee to the port of Santos.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian monarchy had fallen in 1889. A feudalistic regime, it had friends only among the sugar planters of the northeast, whose dominance Paulistanos, among others, despised. In 1891, a new federal constitution, which delegated power to the states, was approved. The new coffee elite saw its chance. São Paulo ironed out a power-sharing understanding—known as the "café com leite" (coffee-and-milk) deal—with dairy-rich Minas Gerais, Brazil's other dominant state. Together, they held a virtual lock on federal power. Brazilian politics now became a favourite pastime of the once-rebellious Paulistanos, who sent several presidents to Rio de Janeiro—including Prudente de Morais, post-colonial Brazil's first civilian president, who took office in 1891.

Plantation labour was needed—this time for coffee, not sugar. Slavery had been fading since the import of enslaved Africans was outlawed in 1850. São Paulo, thanks to such figures as Luiz Gama (a former slave), was a centre of abolitionism. In 1888, Brazil abolished slavery (it was the last country in the Americas to do so) and the freed African-Brazilians who had been helping build the nation had now to beg for their jobs back, working for free because of the failure of the white-dominated system to integrate them as equal citizens. In an effort to "bleach the race," as the nation's leaders feared Brazil was becoming a "black country," Spanish, Portuguese and Italian nationals were given incentives to become farm workers in São Paulo. The state government was so eager to bring in immigrants that in many cases it paid for their trips and provided varying levels of subsidy. By 1893, foreigners made up over 55% of São Paulo's population. Fearing oversupply, the government applied the brakes briefly in 1899; then the boom resumed. From 1908, the Japanese arrived in great numbers, many destined for the plantations on fixed-term contracts. By 1920, São Paulo was Brazil's second-largest city; a half-century before, it had been just the tenth-largest. Immigration and migration of Paulistas from other towns as well as Nordestinos and citizens from other states, the coffee industry, and modernization through the manufacturing of textiles, car and airplane pieces, as well as food and technological industries, construction, fashion, and services transformed the greater São Paulo area into a thriving megalopolis and one of the world's greatest multiethnic regions.

Early Twentieth Century

The coffee boom was startling. Between 1901 and 1910, coffee made up 51% of Brazil's total exports, far overshadowing rubber, sugar and cotton. But reliance on coffee made Brazil (and São Paulo in particular) vulnerable to poor harvests and the whims of world markets. The development of plantations in the 1890s, and widespread reliance on credit, took place against fluctuating prices and supply levels, culminating in saturation of the international market at the turn of the century. The government’s policies of "valorisaton"—borrowing money to buy coffee and stockpiling it, in order to have a surplus during bad harvests, and meanwhile taxing coffee exports to pay off loans—seemed feasible in the short term (as did its manipulation of foreign-exchange rates to the advantage of coffee growers). But in the longer term, these actions contributed to oversupply and eventual collapse.

São Paulo's industrial development, from 1889 into the 1940s, was gradual and inward looking. Initially industry was closely associated with agriculture: cotton plantations led to the growth of textile manufacturing. Coffee planters were among the early industrial investors. The boom in immigration provided a market for goods, and sectors such as food processing grew. Traditional immigrant families such as the Matarazzo, Diniz, Mofarrej and Maluf became industrialists, entrepreneurs, and leading politicians. Restrictions on imports forced by world wars and government policies of "import substitution" and trade tariffs, all contributed to industrial growth. By 1945, São Paulo had become the largest industrial centre in South America. World War I sent ripples through Brazil. Inflation was rampant. Some 50,000 workers went on strike. Thus, the growing urban population grew increasingly resentful of the coffee elite. Disaffected intellectuals expressed their views during a memorable “Week of Modern Art” in 1922. Two years later, a garrison of soldiers staged a revolt (eventually squashed by government troops).

The stand-off was also political: politics had been long monopolised by the Paulista Revolutionary Party, but in 1926 a more left-leaning party rose in opposition. In 1928, the PRP amended São Paulo's state constitution to give it more control over the city. The turbulence was mirrored on Brazil’s national scene. With the Great Depression, coffee prices plunged, as did real GDP. Americans, keen investors during the 1920s, backed away. The opening of the first highway between São Paulo and Rio in 1928 was one of the few bright spots. Into the breach stepped Getulio Vargas, a southerner veteran in state politics. In Brazil's 1930 presidential elections, he opposed Julio Prestes, a favourite son of São Paulo. Vargas lost the election, but with backing from Minas Gerais state—São Paulo's ever-jealous former ally and neighbor to the north--, he seized power regardless.

Paulista War

The Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932 or Paulista War is the name given to the uprising of part of the population of the Brazilian state of São Paulo against the federal government of Vargas. The movement grew out of local disappointment at the loss of political pre-eminence São Paulo elites had enjoyed prior to the 1930 Revolution. Its main goal was to press the provisional government headed by Getúlio Vargas to enact a new Constitution, since it had revoked the previous one, adopted in 1889. However, as the movement developed and resentment against President Vargas grew deeper, it came to advocate the overthrow of the Federal Government and even the secession of São Paulo from the Brazilian federation.

The uprising started on July 9, 1932, after five protesting students were killed by government troops on May 23, 1932. On the wake of their deaths, a movement called MMDC (from the initials of the names of each of the four students killed, Martins, Miragaia, Dráusio and Camargo) started. A fifth victim, Alvarenga, was also shot that night, but died months later.

Revolutionary troops entrenched in the battlefieldIn a few months, the state of São Paulo rebelled against the federal government. Counting on the solidarity of the political elites of two other powerful states, (Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul), the politicians of São Paulo expected a quick war. However, that solidarity was never translated into actual support, and the São Paulo revolt was militarily crushed on October 2, 1932.

In spite of its military defeat, some of the movement's main demands were finally granted by Vargas afterwards: the appointment of a non-military state Governor, the election of a Constituent Assembly and, finally, the enactment of a new Constitution in 1934. However that Constitution was short lived, as in 1937, amidst growing extremism on the left and right wings of the political spectrum, Vargas closed the National Congress and enacted another Constitution, which established an authoritarian regime called Estado Novo.

Late Twentieth Century

Vargas's rule was a study in political turbulence. Elected in 1934, he ruled by dictatorship (albeit a popular one, thanks to his health and social-welfare programmes) from 1937 to 1945—a period dubbed the "Estado Novo." Thrown out by a coup in 1945, he ran for office again in 1950, and was overwhelmingly elected. On the verge of being overthrown from office again, he committed suicide in 1954. Vargas's main legacy was the centralisation of power. The encouragement of industry and diversification of agriculture, not to mention the abolition of subsidies on coffee, finally did away with the dominance of the coffee oligarchies. His replacement, Juscelino Kubitschek, focused on heavy industry. Kubitschek built car factories, steel plants, hydropower infrastructure and roads. Petrobras, Brazil's oil monolith, was set up in 1953. By 1958, São Paulo state controlled some 55% of Brazil's industrial production, up from 17% in 1907. Another of Kubitschek’s pet projects was the creation of Brasília, which became Brazil's capital in 1960—the year Kubitschek stepped down. The University of São Paulo was founded in 1934; two years after São Paulo's failed uprising. It has established itself as the most prestigious higher learning institution in the country.

With a transitional government from military to civil and a new currency that made stagnant the economy during the mid- to late 1980s, unemployment and crime became rampant. São Paulo, by now the world's third-largest city after Mexico City and Tokyo, was hard-hit. Wealthy Brazilians retreated to suburban highly secured housing complexes such as Alphaville, and favelas, pockets of substandard living slums that lined the periphery, had a tremendous growth. For the first time in history, Brazil experienced large segments of its population immigrating to continents such as North America, Europe, Australia, and East Asia, particularly to Japan.


The state of São Paulo has an area of approximately 248,800 km² (95.700 mi²), and a population of about 40 million (21.5% of the population of Brazil), which makes it the most populous country subdivision in the Western Hemisphere. The climate of São Paulo is tropical to subtropical, altitude being the largest contributor to what variation there is. The capital, São Paulo City, barely outside the tropics in the south of the state and about 800 meters (2,600 ft) above sea level, has daily minima and maxima averaging about 19°C and 28°C (66°F and 82°F) respectively at the warmest time of year and about 12°C and 22°C (54°F and 72°F) respectively at the coolest time of year. Temperatures reach around 33°C (91°F) on the hottest days and fall as low as 5°C (41°F) on the coldest nights. In the low-lying northwest of the state, temperatures average around 4°C (7°F) higher.

São Paulo is the richest state in Brazil. It has the second highest per-capital income (lower than only the Federal District) and, with the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, the highest standard of living in Brazil, despite the poverty in some peripheral parts of the largest cities.

Major cities

Rank City Population
1 São Paulo 11,150,249
2 Guarulhos 1,283,253
3 Campinas 1,059,420
4 São Bernardo do Campo 810,979
5 Osasco 701,012
6 Santo André 667.891
7 São José dos Campos 594,948
8 Sorocaba 559,157
9 Ribeirão Preto 547,417
10 Santos 418,288
11 Mogi das Cruzes 417,000
12 São José do Rio Preto 414.272
13 Diadema 395,333
14 Carapicuíba 389.634
15 Mauá 375,769
16 Piracicaba 368.843


Liberdade, São Paulo city, concentrates the Japanese community.

According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 41,779,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 160.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (416 /sq mi).

Urbanization: 94.6% (2006); Population growth: 1.8% (1991–2000); Houses: 12,610,000 (2006).[1]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 28,814,000 White people (70.0%), 10,581,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (24.0%), 2,218,000 Black people (4.0%), 584,000 Asian people (1. 8%), 88,000 Amerindian people (0.2%).[2]

People of Italian descent predominate in many towns, including the capital city and the northeast part of the state, which is 65% Italian.[3]

Portuguese and Spanish descendants are present in most towns. Those of African ancestry or of Brown background are relatively numerous. Many of the non-Whites are migrants from Northeast Brazil.[4]

São Paulo is home to the largest Asian population in Brazil, as well to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan itself. There are many people of Levantine descent, mostly Syrian and Lebanese people.[5][6]

The majority of Brazilian Jews live in the state, especially in the capital city but there are also communities in Greater São Paulo, Santos, Guarujá, Campinas, Valinhos, Vinhedo, São José dos Campos, Ribeirão Preto, Sorocaba, Itu.


Commercial complex in Itaim Bibi, one of the main business districts in the city.

The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 47.2%, followed by the industrial sector at 46.3%. Agriculture represents 6.5% of GDP (2004). São Paulo (state) exports: vehicles 17.2%, airplanes and helicopters 11.6%, food industry 10%, sugar and alcohol fuel 7.8%, orange juice 5.2%, telecommunications 4.1% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 33.9% (2005).

São Paulo state is responsible for approximately half of Brazilian GDP. The state's GDP (PPP) consists of 550 billion dollars, making it also the biggest economy of South America and one of the biggest economies in Latin America, second after Mexico. Its economy is based on machinery, the automobile and aviation industries, services, financial companies, commerce, textiles, orange growing, sugar cane and coffee production.

Wealth is unequally distributed in the state, however. The richest municipalities are centered around Greater São Paulo (such as Campinas, Jundiaí, Paulínia, Americana, Indaiatuba, São José dos Campos, Santos, etc.), as well as a few other more distant nuclei, such as around São Carlos, Jaú, Ribeirão Preto and São José do Rio Preto.


Vehicles: 19.945.140 (Outubro/09)[7]; Mobile phones: 25 million (April/2007); Telephones: 13,8 million (April/2007); Cities: 645 (2007).[8]


São Paulo state's attack on its crime rate has seen numbers steadily fall from the 1990s. São Paulo's annual security budget of about $4.8 billion currently dwarfs the less than $250 million in similar funds the government hands to all 26 states each year. However, according to data published in February 2, 2010 in the Official São Paulo State Press [9] São Paulo's robbery rate per 100,000 population is 576.9 during the fourth trimester period of 2009. This is about 6 times higher than Canada's robbery rate during the entire 2008 (96.9)[10]. São Paulo Civil Police declared 2601 homicides during the fourth trimester of 2009 (including those deaths resulting from police action), while Canada reported 600 homicides for entire 2008. São Paulo is also infamous for its high kidnapping.[11]


Student Housing complex, central campus of University of São Paulo in São Paulo.

Educational institutions


Typical XIX century caipira from the countryside of São Paulo. Painting by Almeida Júnior.

The state of São Paulo is a region of a very mixed culture, as it was the land for many immigrants from other parts of the world, particularly from Europe (mostly from Italy), Middle East (mostly from Lebanon) and Eastern Asia (mostly from Japan). The São Paulo state was also, earlier, the land where lived the bandeirantes, the adventurers who penetrate the Brazilian west and south searching for indigenous slaves and mineral wealth. This is the reason because of the culture of São Paulo influenced most of the western Brazil, and also the states of Minas Gerais and Paraná. A very distinctive character in the culture of São Paulo is the caipira tradition, which has also its own dialect, quite distinct of the standard Portuguese. This culture is very present in the countryside, while the largest cities like São Paulo City, Campinas and Santos are more cosmopolitan.

Another distinctive character in the state of São Paulo is the so-called "Brazilian erudite culture." São Paulo was the home of the Brazilian Week of Modern Art (Semana da Arte Moderna), organized mostly by poets and artists from São Paulo, like Mário de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade, Menotti del Picchia and Anita Malfatti, or foreigners living in São Paulo, like Victor Brecheret and Lasar Segall. São Paulo was also the birthplace for many Brazilian classical composers, like Carlos Gomes (the most famous Brazilian opera composer), Elias Álvares Lobo and Camargo Guarnieri.


International Airports

External view of Terminal 2 (TPS2), São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport.
  • São Paulo
    • São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport is truly a small city in itself. Every day nearly 100 thousand people pass through the airport, which connects Brazil to 28 countries. There are 370 companies established there generating 53 thousand jobs. With capacity to serve 15 million passengers a year, in two terminals, the airport currently handles 12 million users. Construction of a third passenger terminal is pending, to raise yearly capacity to 29 million passengers. The project, in the tendering phase, is part of the airport’s master plan and will get under way shortly. São Paulo International Airport is also one of the main air cargo hubs in Brazil. The roughly 100 flights a day carry everything from fruits grown in the São Francisco Valley to the most sophisticated medications created by science. The airport's cargo terminal is South America’s largest and stands behind only Mexico City’s in all of Latin America. In 2003, over 75 thousand metric tons of freight passed through the terminal.
    • Congonhas-São Paulo International Airport or Congonhas Airport (IATA: CGHICAO: SBSP) is one of São Paulo's three commercial airports, situated 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the city downtown at Washington Luís Avenue, in Campo Belo district. It is owned by the City of São Paulo and managed by Infraero. In 2007, it was the busiest airport in Brazil in terms of aircraft movements and the second busiest in terms of passengers, handling 205,130 aircraft movements and 15,244,401 passengers [12].
  • Campinas
    • Located 14 kilometers from downtown Campinas and 99 kilometers from the city of São Paulo, Viracopos-Campinas International Airport can be reached by three highways: Santos Dumont, Bandeirantes and Anhanguera. The city of Campinas is one of Brazil's leaders in technology. Besides excellent highway connections, it is the location of major universities and many high-tech companies. Because of this, the airport today is one of Infraero’s highest priorities to receive investments. The old “landing field” as it was called has become one of the main connection points in Latin America. The air cargo import/export terminal has an area of over 81 thousand square meters. The airport began to awaken in the international air cargo segment in the 1990s and today this is its leading activity. Since 1995, Infraero has been investing to implement the first phase of the airport's master plan, making major improvements to the cargo and passenger terminals. The second phase of the passenger terminal expansion project will be ready in early 2005. The first phase was completed in the first half of 2004, when the airport received new departure and arrival lounges, public areas and commercial concessions.


The first of such systems in Brazil, it began operations in 1974. It consists of four color-coded lines: Line 1-Blue, Line 2-Green, Line 3-Red and Line 5-Lilac; Line 4-Yellow is currently under construction and is due to start operating in the first semester of 2010. The metro system carries 2.8 million passengers a day. Metro itself is far from covering the entire urban area in the city of São Paulo. Another company, Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM), works along the metro system and runs railways converted into light rail service lines, which total six lines (7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12), 261 km long, serving 89 stations. Metro and CPTM are integrated through various stations. Metro and CPTM both operate as State-owned companies, and have received awards in the recent past as one of the cleanest systems in the world by ISO9001. The São Paulo metro transports three million people by day.


Bandeirantes highway, one of the main lines connecting with the interior of the State of São Paulo.

Main highways of São Paulo:


Government and politics

The current governor is José Serra (PSDB).

Buildings in the mountain city of Campos do Jordão.

São Paulo politics are controlled by the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which has formed the government of the state since 1994, and was re-elected in 2006 for four more years.

Local politicians of note (with party affiliations) include: former president of Brazil (1994–2002) Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB), current president (2002–2010) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), José Serra (PSDB), Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), Mário Covas (PSDB), José Anibal (PSDB), Antonio Palocci (PT), Eduardo Suplicy (PT), Aloízio Mercadante (PT), Marta Suplicy (PT), Gilberto Kassab (DEM), and Paulo Maluf (Progressive Party). Maluf is a controversial figure in São Paulo City politics, and is frequently accused of corruption. However, many voters used to support him because of his achievements during his governments, which the most well-known was the São Paulo Subway System (the first in Brazil) and the Costa e Silva expressway, also known as Minhocão. Maluf has, however, failed to be elected in the last elections for governor of the state of São Paulo and for mayor of the state capital.

The last two Brazilian presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), were both politicians from São Paulo, although Cardoso was actually born in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and Lula in Pernambuco. Cardoso lives in São Paulo city. Lula, the current president, has a residence in the nearby city of São Bernardo do Campo.


Football is the most popular sport in the state. The biggest clubs from the state are Corinthians, São Paulo, Palmeiras, Santos, Portuguesa, Ponte Preta and Guarani. Other sports like Basketball and Volleyball are also quite popular. In basketball, famous Brazilian players such as Hortência Marcari, Janeth Arcain and Oscar Schmidt are from São Paulo. Many of the internationally recognized racing drivers, like Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, Hélio Castroneves and Felipe Massa are also from São Paulo.

São Paulo is one of the 18 remaining candidates to host games for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, to take place in Brazil.

Corrida de São Silvestre

The São Silvestre Race takes place every New Year's Eve (31 December). It was first held in 1925, when the competitors ran about 8,000 metres across the streets. Since then, the distance raced has varied, and it is now fixed at 15 km. Registration takes place from 1 October, with the maximum number of entrants limited to 15,000.

Brazilian Grand Prix

The Brazilian Grand Prix (Portuguese: Grande Prêmio do Brasil) is a Formula One championship race which occurs at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos. In 2006 the Grand Prix was the final round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The Spanish driver Fernando Alonso won the 2006 drivers championship at this circuit by coming second in the race. The race was won by the young Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, driving for the Scuderia Ferrari team.

Federal senators

Main cities

São Paulo, Guarulhos, Campinas, São Bernardo do Campo, Osasco, Santo André, São José dos Campos, Sorocaba, Ribeirão Preto and Santos.

Other cities include: Americana, Araçatuba, Araraquara, Bauru, Franca, Jacareí, Jundiaí, Limeira, Marília, Monte Alto, Piracicaba, Presidente Prudente, São Carlos, São José do Rio Preto and Taubaté.


  1. ^ Source: PNAD.
  2. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF). State of São Paulo, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  3. ^ Fundação Lorenzato
  4. ^ Migrantes | Essa Gente Paulista | Governo do Estado de São Paulo
  5. ^ São Paulo » Arquivo » 100 anos de imigração japonesa
  6. ^ Seu Bairro/Povos alimentam `caldeirão cultural' em SP
  7. ^
  8. ^ Source: IBGE.
  9. ^ Diário Oficial Poder Executivo. Terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2010. Seção I São Paulo, Segurança Pública, Polícia Civil do Estado. 120 (21) – 9. [1]
  10. ^ Canada's crime statistics
  11. ^ Booming Brazil struggles to get a grip on crime
  12. ^ Airport Statistics for 2007

See also

Coordinates: 21°49′47″S 49°12′27″W / 21.82972°S 49.2075°W / -21.82972; -49.2075

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

South America : Brazil : Southeast : São Paulo
For other places with the same name, see São Paulo (disambiguation).

São Paulo is a state in the southeast of Brazil. It is the richest state in Brazil. It has the second highest per-capita income (lower than only the Federal District) and, with the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, the highest standard of living in Brazil, despite the poverty in some peripheral parts of the largest cities.

  • São Paulo - The large, rich and cosmopolitan capital of São Paulo, with its large number of museums, theaters, restaurant, malls, offices and annual and international events. It's one of the best cities for business tourism in the world.
  • Campinas - A large industrial city, second largest city in the state.
  • Campos do Jordão - A lovely mountain city covered by lots of Brazilian Pines, with a nice climate, European architecture, cobblestone streets, and small shops. The city is famous for its yearly Winter Classical Music Festival.
  • Embu das Artes
  • Guaruja - Devoted to tourism with dozens of beaches that stretch along its avenues and urban zones.
  • Holambra - Near Campinas, a city of Dutch colonization and greater producer in Brazil of flowers. At the end of winter every year, there is the "Expoflora", an exhibition of flowers and typical Dutch dances and presentations.
  • Ribeirão Preto - Sometimes nicknamed "The Brazilian California". It's the third largest city in the state, after Campinas and São Paulo City.
  • Ilhabela - A beach city, with some of the most beautiful beaches in the state.
  • Santos - The largest port in Brazil.
  • São Caetano do Sul - Close to São Paulo City, it's the Brazilian city with the highest standard of living.
  • São José dos Campos - known as the "Brazilian aeronautics capital"
  • Barretos - Known by the rodeo, with large farms and the greatest rodeo of the world.
  • Eldorado Paulista - In the extreme south of the state, has the "Caverna do Diabo" (The Devil's Cave), on of the of the most beautiful caves in Brazil.



The state of São Paulo has an area of approximately 248,800 km² (95,700 mi²), and a population of about 40 million (21.5% of the population of Brazil), which makes it the most populous country subdivision in the Western Hemisphere. The climate of São Paulo is tropical to subtropical, altitude being the largest contributor to what variation there is. The capital, São Paulo, barely outside the tropics in the south of the state and about 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level, has daily minimum and maximum averaging about 19°C and 28°C (66°F and 82°F) respectively at the warmest time of year and about 12°C and 22°C (54°F and 72°F) respectively at the coolest time of year. Temperatures reach around 33°C (91°F) on the hottest days and fall as low as 5°C (41°F) on the coldest nights. In the low-lying northwest of the state, temperatures average around 4°C (7°F) higher.


São Paulo state is responsible for approximately one-third of Brazilian GDP. Its economy is based on machinery, the automobile and aviation industries, services, financial companies, commerce, textiles, orange growing, sugar cane and coffee production. Wealth is unequally distributed in the state, however. The richest municipalities are centered around Greater São Paulo (such as Campinas, Jundiai, Paulínia, Americana, Indaiatuba, São José dos Campos, Santos, etc.), as well as a few other more distant nucle, such as around São Carlos and Ribeirão Preto. Some regions, such as Registro and the Bananal region, in the border with Rio de Janeiro, are very poor.


São Paulo has the most diverse population of Brazil. Strong immigration in the late 19th century and early 20th century brought people from all over the world to the state. The main ethnic group in São Paulo are the Italians. There are about 15 million people of Italian descent living in the state, and it is one of the largest concentration of Italians outside Italy. São Paulo always had a large Portuguese population, since the 16th century, though most Portuguese arrived in the state in the early 20th century. The Spanish population is also large, with some 7 million people of Spanish descent in the state. The Arab population, mainly Christians of Lebanese or Syrian descent are 5 million, and people of German descent are about 3 million.T he population of Afro-Brazilian descent in São Paulo grew in the last decades, due to strong migration of people from northeastern Brazil, which used to concentrated most of them. The people of Asian descent make up 10% of the population, most of them of Japanese descent. São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Other Asian groups include Chinese and Koreans.

Get in

A current visa is required to travel from another country into Brazil. A current passport is required to apply for a visa, which is valid for travel to Brazil within 90 days of issuing.

Traveling From the United States

The United States is divided in to nine consular jurisdictions. Each consular office handles visa processing from the states, areas, within their jurisdiction. Each office has different requirements for obtaining a visa. In general, a passport and proof of residence in the jurisdiction from which you are applying, are enough for identification. Along with a fully completed application, a travel itinerary is required for a visa. Fees are associated with each type of passport. Application can be submitted in person or through the U.S. Postal Service. If applying by mail, be prepared to wait two weeks for processing.

Consulate Offices

Atlanta, Georgia (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennesee

Boston, Maryland (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)

Chicago, Illinois (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

Houston, Texas (Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas)

Los Angeles, California (Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, California-Specific areas)

Miami, Florida (Florida, Porto Rico, Virgin Islands)

New York, New York (Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Bermudas)

San Francisco, California (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, California- Specific areas)

Washington, D.C. (Washington D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia)

Get around

São Paulo is the state with the largest system of transportation in Latin America, comprising roads, railways, fluvial lanes, airports, river and sea ports. The city of São Paulo also boasts of a metro and a suburban railway system.

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