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Rio de Janeiro ( ) is one of the 26 states of Brazilmarker.

It is located in the Brazilian geopolitical region of the Southeast (assigned by IBGE) and its boundaries, all of them with other Brazilian states in the Southeast region (Rio de Janeiro is the only state in the Southeast to share borders exclusively with other states in the same macroregion), are with Minas Geraismarker (N and NW), Espírito Santo (NE) and São Paulomarker (SW), and plus its shore line, in the Atlantic Oceanmarker, to its East and South.

Rio de Janeiro has an area of 43,653 km² and its capital is the city of Rio de Janeiromarker, which was the capital of the Portuguese Colony of Brazilmarker from 1763 to 1806, capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1806 to 1822, and capital of independent Brazil from 1822 to 1960.

The state's most populous cities are Rio de Janeiromarker, Nova Iguaçumarker, Niteróimarker, Duque de Caxiasmarker, São Gonçalomarker, São João de Meritimarker, Campos dos Goytacazesmarker, Petrópolismarker and Volta Redondamarker.

Its principal rivers are the Guandu River, the Piraí, the Paraíba do Sulmarker, the Macaé and the Muriaé. Its climate is considered to be tropical.

Rio de Janeiro is made up of two distinct morphological areas: a plain, known as baixada, and a plateau, which are disposed in parallel fashion from the shoreline inland (towards Minas Gerais).

In the Brazilian flag, the state is represented by the Beta star in the Southern Cross (β = Mimosa).


The state is part of the Mata Atlântica biome, and its topography comprises both mountains and plains, located between the Mantiqueira Mountainsmarker and the Atlantic Ocean. Its coast is carved by the bays of Guanabara, Sepetibamarker, and Ilha Grandemarker.

There are prominent slopes near the ocean, featuring also diverse environments, such as restinga vegetation, bays, lagoons and tropical forests.

Rio de Janeiro was the smallest state in the Southeast macroregion and one of the smallest in Brazil. It has, however, the third longest coastline in the country (second only to Bahia's and Maranhãomarker's), extending 635 kilometers.


Hereditary captainships

de Janeiro was originated from parts of the captainships of de Tomé and São Vicente. Between 1555 and 1567, the territory was busy with the Frenchmen, who intended to install a colony, France Antarctique. Aiming at to prevent the occupation of the Frenchmen, in March 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiromarker was established by Estácio de Sá.

In the 17th century, cattle and sugar cane stimulated the city's progress which was definitively assured when the port started to export the extracted gold of Minas Geraismarker in 18 century. In 1763, Rio de Janeiro became the headquarters of the Colonial Brazil and the capital of the colony. With the change of the royal family for Brazil, in 1808, the region very was benefited with urban reforms to shelter the Portuguese. Inside of the promoted changes they are distinguished: the transference of agencies of public administration and justice, the creation of new churches, hospitals, foundation of the first bank of the country - the Banco do Brasil - and the Imprensa Régia, with the Gazette do Rio of Janeiro. In following years had also appeared the Jardim Botânico, Academia Real Militar.

Thus, a process of cultural introduction, influenced not only by the arrival of the Royal Family, but also by the presence of European artists who had been hired to register the society and Brazilian nature. In this same time, was born the Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofícios (The Royal School of Sciences, Arts, and Works).

The Neutral City

In 1834, the city of Rio de Janeiro was transformed into neutral city, remaining as capital of the country, while the captainships passed to being provinces, with its headquarters in Niteróimarker, a neighbor city. In 1889, the city was changed into capital of the Republic, the neutral city in federal district and the province in State. With the change of the capital for Brasilia, in 1960, the city of Rio de Janeiro became the State of Guanabara.

The new State of Rio de Janeiro

In 1975, the states of Guanabara and Rio de Janeiro were merged under the name of Rio de Janeiro, with the city of Rio de Janeiro as state capital. The symbols of the former State of Rio de Janeiro were preserved, while the symbols of Guanabara were kept by the city of Rio de Janeiro. It should be noted that European presence in Rio de Janeiro is as old as Brazil itself, dating back to 1502 under this name.


According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 15,772,000 people residing in the state. The population density was .

Urbanization: 96.9% (2004); Population growth: 1.3% (1991-2000);

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census resulted in the following numbers: 8,595,740 White people (54.5%), 5,110,128 Pardo (Brown) people (32.4%), 1,987,272 Black people (12.6%), 63,088 Asian or Amerindian people (0.4%).

People of Portuguese ancestry predominate in most of the state. Other European ethnic groups, such as Swiss and Germans settled mostly in the mountainous areas (Nova Friburgomarker, Petrópolismarker, etc) and in the capital. Italians and Spaniards are also present in the capital as well as in the surrounding cities.

People of African descent are numerous mostly in the capital city. Those of mixed-race ancestry (mulattoes) are the majority of the population in some towns.


The industrial sector is the largest component of GDP at 51.6%, followed by the service sector at 47.8%. Agriculture represents 0.6% of GDP (2004). Rio de Janeiro (state) exports: petroleum 44.8%, fuel 17.5%, siderurgy 13%, chemicals 3.6%, not ferrous metals 2.8%, vehicles 2.1% (2002).

Participation in the Brazilian economy: 15.6% (2004).


Vehicles: 3.915.724 (jan./2006);Mobile phones: 10 million (2006); Telephones: 5.3 million (2006). Cities: 92 (2006).Area: The state of Rio de Janeiro is more than double the size of: El Salvador, Slovenia, Chechnya, Hawaii (USA). It is slightly larger than: Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland. The state is slightly smaller than: Estonia, Dominican Republic, Slovakia.


Colleges and Universities



It is the great explosion of joy in Rio. A party uniting emotions, creativity, plasticity, colours, sounds and much fantasy. It is the greatest popular party in the world. A unique record of the rich cultural melting pot typical of Brazilmarker.

New Year’s Eve

In Rio de Janeiromarker, New Year’s Eve celebration involves the whole city population. Local inhabitants and visitors join to celebrate taken by the same euphoria: to be in Rio. The party, one of the most famous in the world, is held on the famous beach of Copacabanamarker, gathering thousands of people to enjoy musical performances and fireworks – increasingly exuberant year after year. One tradition is to give gifts to Yemanja, like flowers and even blancmange.


International Airport

Since August 2004, with the transfer of many flights from Santos Dumont Airportmarker, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airportmarker has returned to being the main doorway to Brazilmarker. According to data from the official Brazilian travel bureau, Embratur, nearly 40% of foreign tourists who visit Brazil choose Rio as their gateway, meaning Galeão Airport. Besides linking Rio to the rest of Brazil with domestic flights, Galeão has connections to 18 other countries. It can handle up to 15 million passengers a year in two passenger terminals. Located 20 kilometers from downtown Rio, the international airport is served by several quick access routes, such as the Linha Vermelha and Linha Amarela freeways and Avenida Brasil, thus conveniently serving residents of the city’s southern, northern and western zones. There are special shuttle buses linking Galeão to Santos Dumont, and bus and taxi service to the rest of the city. The airport complex also has Brazil’s longest runway at , and one of South America’s largest and best equipped cargo logistics terminals.


The main Federal highways that cross the state are:


More notable sports events in Rio include the MotoGP Brazilian Grand Prixmarker and the World Beach volleyball finals. Jacarepaguámarker was the place of Formula One Brazilian Grand Prixmarker into 1978-1990 and the Champ Car event into 1996-1999. WCT/WQSmarker Surf championships were contested on the beaches from 1985-2001. The city has built a new stadium near the Maracanãmarker, to hold 45,000 people. It was named after Brazilian ex-FIFAmarker president João Havelange. Sports are a very popular pastime in Rio de Janeiro. The most popular is futebol (soccer). Rio de Janeiro is home to four traditional Brazilian football clubs:Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco.

Rio de Janeiromarker is one of the 18 remaining candidates to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for which Brazilmarker is the only South American bidder.

On the 2nd of October, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be the first to be held in South America.

State flag

In the foreground of the state flag, an eagle, symbol of Brazil's royal family, appears. In the background, the rock formation Dedo de Deus ("The Finger of Godmarker"), which is visible from the city of Rio de Janeiro in a clear day.The outer part of the coat of arms represents the state's agricultural richness, sugarcane (left) and coffee (right).


See also


  1. In the variety of Brazilian Portuguese spoken in Rio de Janeiro. The European Portuguese pronunciation is: .
  2. A Colônia Suíça de Nova Friburgo
  3. A colonização alemã em Petrópolis
  4. The Guardian, October 2, 2009, Olympics 2016: Tearful Pele and weeping Lula greet historic win for Rio

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