Society

The Biggest Cities in Brazil

An outline of the largest cities in Brazil by population, including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasília.

Urban development in Brazil has risen to a high level in recent years and as a result today most Brazilians live in urban areas. Brazil is a land of extremes, and is the largest country in South America and one of the world's megadiverse countries. Its official language is Portuguese.

Largest Cities By Population

10. Porto Alegre - 1,481,019

Porto Alegre is the tenth largest city in Brazil. It is found in the southern portion of the country. Although the city formerly had a reputation for being very safe, it has unfortunately been going through a recent swing of violence.

9. Recife - 1,625,583

Recife is a city found in northern Brazil. It is a major commercial and industrial zone for the country. The city also draws many tourists, mostly thanks to its famous beaches. Recife also has a famous carnival that attracts visitors.

8. Curitiba - 1,893,997

Curitiba is the largest city in the south of Brazil. It is found about 475 km south of São Paulo. Curibita is well known as an example of skillful Brazilian urban planning, and for having one of the lowest crime rates in the entire country. It is seen as a very liveable city.

7. Manaus - 2,094,391

Manaus is the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. With over 2 million people, Manaus holds the designation of being the largest city in the entire Amazon Rainforest area. Due to its location, accessing the city is actually quite difficult and cannot be done by road.

6. Belo Horizonte - 2,513,451

Belo Horizonte is a large city in south-central Brazil with a population of around 2.5 million. Belo Horizonte is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and located within mountains.

5. Fortaleza - 2,609,716

Fortaleza is another city in Brazil’s northeast. It has a population of over 2.5 million. One of Fortaleza’s most important features is a large urban park called Cocó Park, which is one of the largest parks in all of Central and South America.

4. Salvador - 2,938,092

Salvador is a city found in northeast Brazil, and the fourth largest city in the country. It is known for being the capital of the state of Bahia, and for its large history centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Brasília - 2,977,216

The capital of Brazil, Brasília, is the third largest city in Brazil with a population of nearly 3 million people. Brasília is famous for being a planned city that was specially designed to be the capital of Brazil, beginning in the 1950s. The city was chosen as capital due to its geographic location in the interior of the country, a region that had not seen much development.

2. Rio de Janeiro - 6,498,837

One of the most famous cities in the country, Rio de Janeiro is the second biggest city in Brazil. It is the capital of the state bearing the same name, and formerly was the capital of the entire country. Some of the most famous landmarks in Rio de Janeiro include Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana, and the Christ the Redeemer statue. Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics.

1. São Paulo - 10,659,386

With a population of over ten million just in its urban area and more than 20 million in its metro area, São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil by population. Moreover, São Paulo is the largest city in all of South America and among the world’s largest cities. Brazil is a vibrant city known for its countless skyscrapers, and for being the economic center of Brazil.

A Fast-Rising World Economy

Brazil has the eighth biggest economy in the world today. A section of economists also believes that Brazil’s economy would become one of the world's five most successful ones in decades to come if things continue on the right track. As of 2014, GDP (PPP) per capita was $15,153. The GDP growth is attributed to the increased number of employed people numbering about 107 million.

12 Biggest Cities In Brazil

RankCityPopulation
1São Paulo10,659,386
2Rio de Janeiro6,498,837
3Brasília2,977,216
4Salvador2,938,092
5Fortaleza2,609,716
6Belo Horizonte2,513,451
7Manaus2,094,391
8Curitiba1,893,997
9Recife1,625,583
10Porto Alegre1,481,019

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