São Paulo State

São Paulo is one of the 27 federal units of Brazil. The state is part of the southeast region, has 645 municipalities and its total area is 248 209.426 km ², where 4 971.0469 km ² are the urban perimeter. The capital of the state is the namesake city, Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city.


The state has more than 41 million inhabitants which represents about 22% of Brazilian population. It is the most populous state in Brazil and the third most populous political unit of South America. The state, like Brazil, has several ethnic groups being formed mainly by Italians and Portuguese, but with influence and presence of various other ethnic groups such as Native Americans, Africans, and other large migratory flows, as Arabs, Germans, Spaniards, Japanese and Chinese.


São Paulo has a very strong economy and is the state with the highest GDP, representing about 30% of the total wealth produced in Brazil; therefore earned the nickname “locomotive of Brazil.” The state has a diversified economy: metalworking industries, textile, food, automobile, aviation, financial and services sectors, orange, coffee, ethanol and sugarcane. Another interesting economic factor is the good investment infrastructure presented in the state, with the Stock Exchange, Commodities and Futures Exchange of São Paulo, the second largest stock exchange in the world by market value.


It’s not just the economy that deserves attention. The state has considerably good social indicators, being the 3rd best Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.833, the second highest GDP per capita US$ 13,346.42, the second lowest infant mortality rate, 14.5% born and the fourth lowest rate of illiteracy, 4%, between states of Brazil.

More Information

Claudia Sarkis Rezende
Phone: +55 16 3315-0112
Email: international.lawrp@usp.br