Main Births etc
Rio de Janeiro
—  State  —
Estado do Rio de Janeiro
State of Rio de Janeiro


Coat of arms
Motto: Recte Rem Publicam Gerere (Latin)
"Conduct the affairs of the public with righteousness"
Anthem: November 15th
Location of the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
Coordinates: 22°54′S 43°12′W / -22.9, -43.2Coordinates: 22°54′S 43°12′W / -22.9, -43.2
Country  Brazil
Capital and Largest City Brasão da cidade do Rio de Janeiro.svg Rio de Janeiro
 • Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão
 • Vice Governor
 • Total 43,696.1 km2 (16,871.2 sq mi)
Area rank 24th
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 16,231,365
 • Rank 3rd
 • Density 370/km2 (960/sq mi)
 • Density rank 2nd
Demonym Fluminense
 • Year 2010 estimate
 • Total US$258.0 billion[2] (2nd)
 • Per capita US$14,469 (3rd)
 • Year 2010
 • Category 0.761 – high (4th)
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)
Postal Code 20000-000 to 28990-000
ISO 3166 code BR-RJ

Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁi.u dʒi ʒɐˈnejɾu][3]) is one of the 27 states of Brazil. It has the second largest economy of Brazil, with the largest being that of the state of São Paulo.[4]

The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast (assigned by IBGE). Rio de Janeiro shares borders with all the other states in the same Southeast macroregion: Minas Gerais (N and NW), Espírito Santo (NE) and São Paulo (SW). It is bounded on the east and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Rio de Janeiro has an area of 43,653 km². Its capital is the city of Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital of the Portuguese Colony of Brazil from 1763 to 1815, capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1815 to 1822, and capital of independent Brazil from 1822 to 1960.

The state's largest cities are Rio de Janeiro, São Gonçalo, Duque de Caxias, Nova Iguaçu, Belford Roxo, Niterói, São João de Meriti, Campos dos Goytacazes, Petrópolis, Volta Redonda, Magé, Itaboraí, Macaé, Mesquita, Cabo Frio, Nova Friburgo, Angra dos Reis and Barra Mansa.

Rio de Janeiro is the smallest state in the Southeast macroregion and one of the smallest in Brazil. It is, however, the third most populous Brazilian state—with a population of 16 million of people in 2011 (making it the largest population density state in Brazil)—, and the third longest coastline in the country (after those of the states of Bahia and Maranhão).

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 is made up of two distinct morphological areas: a coastal plain, known as baixada, and a plateau, which are disposed in parallel fashion from the shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean inland towards Minas Gerais.

The coastline extends 635 kilometers and is formed by the bays of Guanabara, Sepetiba, and Ilha Grande. There are prominent slopes near the ocean, featuring also diverse environments, such as restinga vegetation, bays, lagoons and tropical forests.

Most of the state however consists of highlands, often higher than 1000 m, formed by several mountain chains like the Serra do Mar which separates Rio from the state of São Paulo. The highest point of the state, the Pico das Agulhas Negras (Black Needles Peak) is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira which forms the physical border with neighbouring Minas Gerais.

Its principal rivers are the Guandu, the Piraí, the Paraíba do Sul, the Macaé and the Muriaé.

Vegetation and animal life[]

Tropical forests used to cover more than 90% of the territory of Rio; large portions were devastated for urbanization and for plantations (coffee, sugar cane); preserved areas can be found in the steepest parts of the mountain chains.

The state's tropical coast and river areas are the only remaining habitat of the golden lion tamarin.[5]


The entire state is located within the tropical zone (the Tropic of Capricorn is located just a few degrees south of Rio) so a tropical climate is predominant, but in some parts, due to elevation, temperatures can drop to the freezing point or even lower. Frost is not uncommon in some mountainous cities, such as Teresópolis, Nova Friburgo and Petrópolis. Snow has already been reported in some occasions in the Itatiaia National Park.

In the cost, mean annual temperatures are around 23C/73F. In the summer mean temperatures are around 26C/79F when in the winter 20C/68F.

In mountainous cities, mean annual temperatures are around 18C/64F. But it can range from 20C/68F in cities with an elevation of 600/700 meters abovea sea level to 7C/45F in the Itatiaia National Park. Summers in these areas tend to be warm, but not hot with averages around 22C/72F, whereas winter are quite chilly for Brazilians standards with lows around 8/9C or 46F/48F.

Rains tend to be concentrated in the summer (December to March), with a dry season in the winter (June to September), but sometimes winter can be quite rainy as well. Most part of the state receives between 1.000 to 1.500mm of rainfall in a year.


Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro

Hereditary captainships[]

European presence in Rio de Janeiro is as old as Brazil itself, dating back to 1502. Rio de Janeiro originated from parts of the captainships of de Tomé and São Vicente. Between 1555 and 1567, the territory was occupied by the French, who intended to install a colony, France Antarctique. Aiming to prevent the occupation of the Frenchmen, in March 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was established by Estácio de Sá.

In the 17th century, cattle raising and sugar cane cultivation stimulated the city's progress, which was definitively assured when the port started to export gold extracted from Minas Gerais in the 18th century. In 1763, Rio de Janeiro became the capital of Colonial Brazil. With the flight of the Portuguese royal family from Portugal to Brazil in 1808, the region soon benefited from urban reforms to house the Portuguese. Chief among the promoted changes were: the transformation of agencies of public administration and justice, the creation of new churches, and hospitals, the foundation of the first bank of the country - the Banco do Brasil - and the Royal Press, with the Gazette do Rio of Janeiro. The following years witnessed the creation of the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden) and the Academia Real Militar.

There followed a process of cultural enhancement influenced not only by the arrival of the Royal Family, but also by the presence of European graphic artists who were hired to record the society and Brazilian natural features. During this same time, the Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofícios (The Royal School of Sciences, Arts, and Works) was founded as well.

The neutral city[]

Palácio Tiradentes, the seat of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
Palácio Guanabara, seat of state government.

In 1834, the city of Rio de Janeiro was transformed into a neutral city, remaining as capital of the state, while the captainships became provinces, with headquarters in Niterói, a neighboring city. In 1889, the city became the capital of the Republic, the neutral city became the federal district and the province a state. In 1894, Petrópolis became the capital of Rio de Janeiro, until 1902.[6] With the relocation of the federal capital to Brasília in 1960, the city of Rio de Janeiro became Guanabara State.

The new state of Rio de Janeiro[]

Cathedral in Petrópolis, a city with a strong German influence.[7]

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.


Race and ethnicity in Rio de Janeiro
Ethnicity Percentage
Pardo (Multiracial)

According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 15,772,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 352.58 inhabitants per square kilometre (913.2 /sq mi).

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

The last PNAD (National Household Survey) census revealed the following numbers: 8,509,000 White people (54.2%), 5,302,000 Pardo (Multiracial) people (33.8%), 1,809,000 Black people (11.5%), 25,000 Asian people (0.2%), 19,000 Amerindian people (0.1%).[8]

People of Portuguese ancestry predominate in most of the state. The Brazilian census of 1920 showed that 39,74% of the Portuguese who lived in Brazil lived in Rio de Janeiro. Including all of the Rio de Janeiro, the proportion raised to 46,30% of the Portuguese who lived in Brazil. The numerical presence of the Portuguese was extremely high, accounting for 72% of the foreigners who lived in the capital. Portuguese born people accounted for 20,36% of the population of Rio, and those with a Portuguese father or a Portuguese mother accounted for 30,84%. In other words, native born Portuguese and their children accounted for 51,20% of the inhabitants of Rio, or a total of 267664 people in 1890.[9]

Other European ethnic groups, such as Swiss, Finnish and Germans settled mostly in the mountainous areas (Nova Friburgo, Petrópolis, etc.) and in the capital. Italians and Spaniards are also present in the capital as well as in the surrounding cities.[10][11]

People of African descent are numerous, particularly in the metropolitan area of the capital city. Those of mixed-race ancestry (tri-racials, mulatos, and some caboclos and cafuzos) make up the majority of the population in many cities. The city of Itaguaí was considered a Japanese colony in the 20th century, but many of the Asian Fluminenses that once lived there moved overseas (most of them to Japan) as well to other Brazilian states like São Paulo.

Largest cities[]

Template:Largest cities of Rio de Janeiro


Brasil Kirin's beverage factory in Cachoeiras de Macacu

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).[12]

There are 3,915,724 vehicles in the state (as of Jan. 2006), 10 million mobile phones, 5.3 telephones, and 92 cities.


The Palácio Universitário, a 19th-century Neoclassical building that serves as campus of the UFRJ. The Institutes for Economy, Education and Administration, among others, are based here.

Campus of the Rio de Janeiro State University in Nova Friburgo.

Colleges and universities[]

Public institutions[]

  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) - Rio de Janeiro Federal University
  • Instituto Militar de Engenharia (IME) - Military Engineering Institute
  • Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UniRio) - Rio de Janeiro State Federal University
  • Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) - Rio de Janeiro State University
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense "Darcy Ribeiro" (UENF) - North Fluminense State University "Darcy Ribeiro"
  • Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) - Fluminense Federal University
  • Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) - Rio de Janeiro Federal Rural University

Private colleges[]

  • Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV)
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)
  • Universidade do Grande Rio (UNIGRANRIO) (University of Greater Rio)
  • Universidade Estácio de Sá
  • Universidade Gama Filho
  • Universidade Veiga de Almeida (UVA)
  • Universidade Cândido Mendes (UCAM)
  • Centro Universitário Augusto Motta (Unisuam)
  • Higher Teaching Institutions La Salle (UNILASALLE)
  • UniverCidade



Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, famous for its production.

The occasion of the last five days leading up to Lent is annually cause for a great explosion of joy in Rio – a round-the-clock 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 Brazil. In Rio, it is celebrated in various ways, most famously through the elaborate competition of samba schools comprising thousands of dancers in each school, each of which has composed a new "enredo de samba" (samba script) for the year that is released and popularized by the time Carnaval arrives, thus already recognizable for its lyrics, themes, and rhythms by the energized audience in the bleachers thronging to see the all-night competition of one samba school after another until dawn. Each samba school consists of 'alas' (wings) of samba dancers costumed to carry out one aspect of the theme of the song they all sing. This event began in the 1930s as a diversion for what politicians sought to assuage as an otherwise restive populace. It came to be held on the bleacher-lined Marques du Sapucai for decades until a covered Sambodromo was built in the 1980s.

In other parts of the city, Carnaval festivities include the Banda de Ipanema, a street parade of transvestite costuming that draws its throngs of revelers to the streets of Ipanema. In the city center on the final night of Carnaval, into the wee hours of Quarta Cinza (Ash Wednesday), a very different flavor of street parade is provided by Quilombo (the word given to slave refugee colonies) with authentic African costuming. For others, Carnaval is a time of clubbing in costume in more exclusive locales in the Zona Sul.

The film Black Orpheus is set in the context of Carnaval in Rio.

New Year's Eve[]

Fireworks over Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro City.

In Rio de Janeiro, a globally unique New Year's Eve celebration involves the whole city population. Local inhabitants and visitors join in flocking to the ocean to celebrate the night of the year when thanks are given and wishes are made to the goddess of the sea, Iemanja. In honor of her traditional garb, celebrants dress in white and bear gifts like flowers, especially white, and even blancmange. At midnight, beachgoers on the typically hot midsummer night, walk into the surf and cast their flowers (and wishes for the coming year) on the lapping waves to be carried out to honor the goddess. Nearby parties, concerts and music last into the dawn, many choosing to sleep it off on the beach on New Year's Day. In recent years, campfires and the oral tradition of shared stories around statues of Iemanja has modernized into massive fireworks displays and to a mega-concert on the famous beach of Copacabana.


International airport[]

Since August 2004, with the transfer of many flights from Santos Dumont Airport, to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, Rio de Janeiro has returned to being the main doorway to Brazil. 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/Red Line and Linha Amarela/Yellow Line freeways and Avenida Brasil/Brazil Avenue, 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 4,240 metres (13,910 ft), and one of South America's largest and best equipped cargo logistics terminals.


The main Federal highways that cross the state are:

The Rio–Niterói Bridge, stretch of BR-101 over Guanabara Bay, between the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói.
Stretch of BR-040 highway in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro.
The Rio–Niterói Bridge, stretch of BR-101 over Guanabara Bay, between the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói.
  • BR-101
  • BR-116
  • BR-040
  • BR-354
  • BR-356
  • BR-393
  • BR-465
  • BR-493
  • BR-495


Construction is underway on a new Port of Acu. The port will cover 36 square miles. This USD 1.6 billion project at Sao Joao da Barra, approximately 280 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, has been under construction since October 2007 and will be operational in 2013. It is forecast that the port will eventually handle over 63 million tons of iron ore, 10 million tons of steel products, 15 million tons of coal, 5 million tons of dry bulk and 7.5 million tons of general cargo. A breakwater damn to protect ships from ocean waves is also planned.[13]


Maracanã Stadium

Sports are a very popular pastime in Rio de Janeiro. The most popular is association football. Rio de Janeiro is home to four traditional Brazilian football clubs: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense and Botafogo. The state football league is Campeonato Carioca. The city of Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The city has built a new stadium near the Maracanã, to hold 45,000 people. It was named after Brazilian ex-FIFA president João Havelange.

Other notable sports events in Rio include the MotoGP Brazilian Grand Prix and the World Beach volleyball finals. Jacarepaguá was the place of Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix into 1978-1990 and the Champ Car event into 1996-1999. WCT/WQS Surf championships were contested on the beaches from 1985-2001.

On 2 October 2009, Rio de Janeiro was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be the first to be held in South America.[14]

State flag[]

An eagle, symbol of Brazil's royal family, appears on the state flag with the rock formation Dedo de Deus ("The Finger of God") near Teresópolis in the background. The outer part of the coat of arms represents the state's agricultural richness, sugarcane (left) and coffee (right).

Flags used in Rio de Janeiro over the years


Rio de janeiro State
Sugarloaf Mountain  
Center of Rio de Janeiro, with the metropolitan cathedral and the headquarters of Petrobras  
Pico das Agulhas Negras, the highest point in the state of Rio de Janeiro  
Niterói, one of the most famous and developed cities of the state  
Serra do Mar  
Nova Friburgo, "The Rio's Switzerland"[15]  
Campos dos Goytacazes, the largest city in the interior of state, with almost 500,000 inhabitants.  
Teresópolis, The highest city in Rio de Janeiro State  
God's Finger Rock  
Quitandinha Palace, Petrópolis  
Lago Javary (Javary Lake), Miguel Pereira  
Cabo Frio  
Serra dos Órgãos National Park.  
Arraial do Cabo  

See also[]

  • List of Governors of Rio de Janeiro
  • List of municipalities in Rio de Janeiro
  • List of country subdivisions by GDP over 100 billion US dollars


  1. ^ "Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística". IBGE. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Regional Accounts of Brazil 2012". Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). November 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  3. ^ In the variety of Brazilian Portuguese spoken in Rio de Janeiro, according to Larousse Concise Dictionary: Portuguese-English, 2008, p. 339 (in which the pronunciations "refletem a língua falada no Rio de Janeiro"). The European Portuguese pronunciation is: [ˈʁi.u dɨ ʒɐˈnɐjɾu].
  4. ^
  5. ^ Chicago Zoological Society - Golden Lion Tamarin at the Wayback Machine (archived May 7, 2008).
  6. ^ "Emperor Street". 1860–1870. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  7. ^ Antônio Eugênio Taulois (February 2007). "História de Petrópolis" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  8. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Sistema IBGE de Recuperação Automática - SIDRA. State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  9. ^ [State of Rio de Janeiro at Google Books Os lusíadas na aventura do Rio moderno]. State of Rio de Janeiro at Google Books. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  10. ^ "A Colônia Suíça de Nova Friburgo". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) List of Brazilian states by GDP. State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: IBGE. 2004. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  13. ^ Magalhaes, Luciana (April 1, 2013). "Credibility Hangs on Unfinished Port, Ambitious Project of Brazilian Billionaire Is Important Both for Nation's Infrastructure and to Prove Doubters Wrong". Wall Street Journal. 
  14. ^ Gibson, Owen (October 2, 2009). "Olympics 2016: Tearful Pele and weeping Lula greet historic win for Rio". The Guardian (London). 
  15. ^ "History (Nova Friburgo)" (in Portuguese). 1 January 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 

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