São Paulo: Big, Bustling, and Diverse

(Reads: "Let's go to South America with our families")
Big State, Big City
São Paulo is the most populous state in Brazil.  Its capital city of the same name, with a population of 21 million, is the largest city in the Southern and Western Hemispheres.*

The Sky is NOT the Limit
Because of its large, condensed population, São Paulo (city) is notorious for traffic jams that average over 100 miles long; making it no wonder the city has the world's second largest number of helicopters (after New York). Uber has taken notice and has recently announced São Paulo will be the first city where the company offers helicopter service.

Home of Immigrants

The largest Japanese population outside of Japan?  São Paulo
The largest Arab population outside of traditional Arab nations? São Paulo
The largest Italian population outside of Italy? São Paulo

Why Brazil?
So why did so many different ethnicities choose Brazil to be their new home?  First, traditional immigrant destinations such as the United States, Canada, and Argentina experienced periods of xenophobia and excluded or reduced the number of immigrants allowed.  However, Brazil usually laid out the welcome mat and encouraged immigrants to come and cultivate the nation's large coffee harvest (As seen by the poster at the top of the page). Being the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to end slavery, Brazil spent the last quarter of the 1800s, as well as most of the early 1900s, trying to increase its agricultural workforce. For Italian and Japanese immigrants, Brazil offered a strong, stable economy.  For Arab immigrants, most of whom were Christians, Brazil offered a strong economy and a refuge from the Ottoman Empire's religious persecution. (For another example of Ottoman persecution, click here.)For immigrants arriving in Brazil, the state of São Paulo offered the most of these economic opportunities and the rest is history.

(Photo by Thomas Hobbs: Hotel Unique) 
São Paulo is obviously a unique state and city.  It is also home to a unique hotel - rather the Hotel Unique, which was designed by Ruy Ohtake, one of Brazil's most famous architects (who is also of Japanese descent).

For more information on immigration to Brazil, check out this wealth of information from Ernesto Friedrich Amaral & Wilson Fusco.

Thanks for reading!

*São Paulo and Mexico City have roughly the same number of citizens, with the two swapping the title of number one from time to time.

For more of our articles on Brazil, check out this article on some of Brazil's religions.  We also wrote about two of Brazil's rivers: the Xingu and the Paraná.  We also recently celebrated Brasilia's birthday.

Hotel Unique Photo Copyright: By Thomas Hobbs (originally posted to Flickr as Hotel Unique) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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