As a Country, Sí£o Paulo City, Brazil, Would Be the World’s 47th Largest

São Paulo's downtown skyscrapers on the foreground If São Paulo city, in southeastern Brazil, were a country, it would be among the 50 largest economies in the world: in 47th place, ahead of Arab countries like Egypt, Kuwait and equal to New Zealand. This comparison was made by the Federation of Commerce of the State of São Paulo (Fecomércio-SP), in a study prepared to celebrate the 454 years of the largest city in South America, on January 25th.

The organization took into consideration the GDP of the city in 2005, US$ 102.4 billion – that of Egypt for the same year was US$ 89.3 billion and Kuwait's, US$ 80.8 billion.

"The idea of this analysis is to show the relevance of the city to the world," explained the economic advisor at the Fecomércio, Júlia Ximenes. Another comparison in the study was made considering the United States, the largest economy in the world: the GDP of São Paulo is ahead of that of 22 American states.

"Of course it is necessary to consider the difference between the countries. Comparing a city of 11 million inhabitants in a developing country to New Zealand, a small country, with a strong economy and a small population (4 million) is complicated. But it is valid to show the grandeur of the city," said Júlia. "Using the GDP in dollars is a way of proving this grandeur empirically."

The analysis also shows blatant figures. If, on the one hand, they show that the city of São Paulo has the power of a country, on the other hand they show the abyss between the city and the rest of Brazil.

In one of the comparisons, the Fecomércio study shows that the GDP of the city of São Paulo was equal to 94% of the GDP of all the states in the northeast of Brazil. And it is greater than the GDP of all the other Brazilian states, except the state of São Paulo, of which it is the capital. If the city of São Paulo were a state, it would be 37% richer than the state of Minas Gerais.

"The study may be read in two ways. It shows the importance of the city of São Paulo to the economy of Brazil. After all, it is an industrial, commercial, educational and cultural hub, etc. On the other hand, it shows how the country grows in an unequal manner," explained the Fecomércio economic advisor.

In 2005, the year chosen by Fecomércio for the study, São Paulo contributed with at least 4.3% of the GDP of Brazil with regard to taxes, or 90 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 51 billion) in taxes. On the other hand, the total budget from the federal government that the city received was 15 billion reais (US$ 8,5 billion).

The analysis also brings curious figures and numbers about the city. There are 38,000 bars and restaurants in São Paulo. In the city that is marked by Italian colonization, approximately 40,000 pizzas are made per hour.

And in the city where there is the largest Japanese colony outside Japan, some 16,800 sushis are made per hour. São Paulo is also known for its immense Arab colony, especially the Syrian-Lebanese. And for the Spanish, Portuguese, etc. The numbers of events are also superlative. There are 70,000 cultural events per year, being 4,800 theater plays.

Apart from that, the city concentrates nine of Brazil's ten largest magazine publishers, three of the five main newspapers and 98 of the 200 largest technology companies in the country and the largest medical and hospital center in Latin America.

Anba –


  • Show Comments (15)

  • jony

    Correcting Mr.Whoahhhhh….whoahhhhh….whoaa !!!!!!! (CORRECTION)
    You see how easy it is to manipulate some of the passive Brazilian idiots in this site ..!!!

  • Jony

    Correcting Mr.Whoahhhhh….whoahhhhh….whoaa !!!!!!!
    You see how you manipulate all this passive Brazilians idiots in this site …

    1) Switzerland GDP PPP for 2005 was 225 B. Not 367 B. like you stated.
    2) Switzerland Per Capita GDP in 2005 was $32,300 NOT $49,00 as you stated.
    3 ) Now lets compare the state of Sao Paulo with Switzerland shall we?
    a. Today the State of Sao Paulo has a GDP of $ 500 B. US vs Switzerland 386 B. US
    b. In 2005 Sao Paulo State GDP was 308 B US vs Swtzerland 241.8 B. US.

    Areas of Concern in Switzerland:
    Air and water pollution, acid rain, and loss of biodiversity are the nation’s primary environmental concerns. Money laundering (from illicit drug sales) is of concern.
    For more information, you may write to the chancery at 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; check the U.S. State Department or World Factbook country sites; or type in the country’s name on the Internet using a broad-based World Wide Web search engine.

  • Gringo

    [quote]Great. The first two rounds of cold ones on me, when we meet.[/quote]

    Fechado! 😉

  • jakob

    I don’t find anything contradictory in what I said… SP is a great metropole, with the problems that I listed.

    Also, your comparison with Switzerland doesn’t hold water, methinks… SP is full of hard-working people, while Switzerland’s economy is based on dirty money, i.e. money channeled there by the worst scum of the Earth (dictators, etc). It’s just that Switzerland has found the way to preserve the banking secret, that’s all. Clever, but evil.

    I am from Europe, I should know. It’s of no use for you to protest. 😉

  • ch.c.

    To Jakob !
    I must laugh…..laugh…and laugh with your statements :

    “- I think SP is a great city, with an excellent “metropolitan” feeling to it.”

    “- The problems: air polution, many poor people, crime, and last but not least – in a city of such scale, you get lost as a individual. You become absolutely insignificant”

    Somewhat contradictory….isnt it ?

    You really have……. a strange and atypical feeling. Dont you ?

    😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉

  • ch.c.

    To Joao
    Why should I be volunteeer….knowing how much ALL and EVERY Brazilian Government “appsrent expert” earn ????

    Ohhh and from my side it is funny that in the article the reporter chose only some countries and not others…for comparisons !!!!
    Typically Brazilian style….. the disinformation….to show one side of the coin and not the other !

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Funny isnt it ?[/quote]

    I don’t see anything funny. This situation has to be corrected ASAP. We need to create a think tank. You are cordially invited to be a volunteer President of this “TANK”. I hope you know how to swim in this tank 😉

  • ch.c.

    Whoahhhhh….whoahhhhh….whoaa !!!!!!!
    SP population 11 millions – GDP US$ 102 billion
    Switzerland population 7,5 million – GDP US$ 367 billion. (also for 2005 to have same comparison)

    Ohhhhhh…and SP is of course the weathiest of all Brazilian cities !!!!!!!

    Per capita :
    SP US$ 9’272.-
    Switzerland US$ 49’000.-

    Enjoy ! 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉
    Funny isnt it ?

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Probably closer than you think…. [/quote]

    Great. The first two rounds of cold ones on me, when we meet. 😮

  • Gringo

    [quote]You must be our neighbor![/quote]

    Probably closer than you think…. 😉

  • João da Silva

    [quote]There are much nicer, safer, more civil and less polluted areas in Brazil, but I wonˢ۪t say where and add to their hype, because the next thing you know theyˢ۪ll be over run with the same problems that plague the others.[/quote]

    You must be our neighbor! Better not reveal our location so as not to confront the “same problems that plague other cities 😉

  • Paulo Scheurer

    Belo Horizonte is a nice city, interesting mainly because of its residents. Salvador has history and culture, and since it’s no longer as run-down as it was in the 1970s and 1980s, it’s a joy to visit. Both cities have over 2 million people, and are quite liveable.

    Isn’t VitÀƒ³ria still plagued by crime?

    Other cities worth visiting or choosing include Curitiba, which is superior in every way in terms of livability (but feels really new), FlorianÀƒ³polis, which has a distinctive flavor and occupies one of the most beautiful settings in all of Brazil; and the southern capital city of Porto Alegre, which has much of what SÀƒ£o Paulo has to offer, especially in terms of intellectual and human development, but without the crime, poverty, gross racial inequalities, and crowding.

  • Kess

    BH, VITÀƒ“RIA and SALVADOR for me please
    I prefer smaller cities like VITÀƒ“RIA, BELO HORIZONTE and SALVADOR.
    VitÀƒ³ria-Belo Horizonte-Salvador triangle is a much more real Brazil than the

    VITÀƒ“RIA may be pretty insignificant, but the accent is very neutral, similar to the accent
    used in GLOBO NEWS (which is certainly not PAULISTANO or CARIOCA).
    BH is a nice city which still has cultural importance (city of bands and musicians)
    and SALVADOR, city where SUDESTE meets NORDESTE.Less plastic and shiny than Rio, and much, much more safe.

  • Gringo

    [quote]Compared to SP, Rio on the other hand has a more human scale, and places like Ipanema and Leblon are great “stages of life”. [/quote]

    You couldnˢ۪t pay me enough to live in either city, thank you. There are much nicer, safer, more civil and less polluted areas in Brazil, but I wonˢ۪t say where and add to their hype, because the next thing you know theyˢ۪ll be over run with the same problems that plague the others. Sao Paulo is a phenomena, that Iˢ۪ll grant the author, but two or more days in that City and Iˢ۪m ready to go postal.

  • jakob

    SP is great but
    I think SP is a great city, with an excellent “metropolitan” feeling to it. It reminds me of New York, with its skyline and bustle. There are zillions of restaurants, zillions of bars, zillions of places to go.

    The problems: air polution, many poor people, crime, and last but not least – in a city of such scale, you get lost as a individual. You become absolutely insignificant – at least this is my feeling when I am in SP.

    Compared to SP, Rio on the other hand has a more human scale, and places like Ipanema and Leblon are great “stages of life”. Rio definitely has style. The problems: crime (but mostly concentrated in Zona Norte), strayed bullets, feeling of decadency, feeling of helplessness to criminals. It’s a pity – if Rio solved his crime situation, Rio would be really a great, great city.

    My 2c.

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