Aracaju - The Capital Of Sergipe, Brazil

Market in Aracaju, Brazil. Editorial credit: Leo Francini /
Market in Aracaju, Brazil. Editorial credit: Leo Francini /

Sergipe is a Brazilian state located in the country’s northeast region. With an area of 21,910.4 km2 and an estimated population of 2,228,489, Sergipe is Brazil's least extensive state and the 22nd most populous. In addition to the coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, inland parts of the state are covered by savanna or caatinga vegetation. Coastline habitats include sandy beaches, mangroves, and swamps. A small strip of tropical rainforest also exists along the coast of Sergipe.

Aracaju is the state capital of Sergipe and encompasses an area of 181.857 km2. Located approximately 350 km north of Salvador, which is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, the city has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and has an average elevation of 4 m above sea level. Aracaju experiences a hot and humid tropical monsoon climate.

Demographics of Aracaju

According to the 2016 census, Aracaju has an estimated population of 641,523, which represents 33% of the total state population. Additionally, the city has a population density of 3,500 people per square kilometer.

History of Aracaju

Tracing its history to early Portuguese colonization, São Cristóvão is one of the oldest settlements in Brazil and served as the first state capital of Sergipe. However, the possibility of an armed revolt by the citizens of São Cristóvão caused the state to relocate its capital to Aracaju in 1855. The presence of a deep harbor in the new capital also facilitated overseas trade, especially the export of sugar to Europe. However, soon after Aracaju became state capital, a severe epidemic ravaged the city and claimed the lives of nearly half its population. Nevertheless, Aracaju received a makeover in the early 1900s, which included new infrastructure such as a streetcar system.

Economy of Aracaju

The economy of Aracaju is primarily based on service and industrial sectors rather than agriculture. In recent years, the city has attracted significant foreign investment, especially from China and countries in Eastern Europe. Aracaju is also becoming a popular tourist destination, particularly for travelers in search of low-cost tourist options in Brazil. The city offers the advantage of being one of the safest cities on Brazil’s northeast coast and is relatively cheaper than many other cities in the region. Additionally, investments in public transit and accommodations, especially hostels, have been made to help encourage tourism. During the 2016 Summer Paralympics Games, teams from seven countries were housed in Aracaju.


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