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State of Pernambuco
Bandeira de Pernambuco.svg
Brasao do estado de Pernambuco.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: Hino de Pernambuco
Pernambuco in Brazil.svg
Location of State of Pernambuco in Brazil
Coordinates: 8°20′S37°48′W / 8.333°S 37.800°W / -8.333; -37.800 Coordinates: 8°20′S37°48′W / 8.333°S 37.800°W / -8.333; -37.800
CountryFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Capital and Largest City Recife
   Governor Paulo Câmara (PSB)
  Vice GovernorLuciana Santos (PCdoB)
   Senators Fernando Bezerra Coelho (MDB)
Humberto Costa (PT)
Jarbas Vasconcelos (MDB)
  Total 98,311.616 km2 (37,958.327 sq mi)
Area rank 19th
 (2010) [1]
  Rank 7th
  Density89/km2 (230/sq mi)
  Density rank 6th
Demonym(s) Pernambucano/Pernambucana
  Year2007 estimate
  TotalR$ 32,255,687,000 (10th)
  Per capitaR$ 4,337 (21st)
  Category0.727 [2] high (18th)
Time zone UTC−03:00 (BRT)
Postal Code
50000-000 to 56990-000
ISO 3166 code BR-PE

Pernambuco (Brazilian Portuguese:  [pɛʁnɐ̃ˈbuku] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) [3] is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. The state of Pernambuco also includes the archipelago Fernando de Noronha. With an estimated population of 9.2 million people in 2013, it is the seventh most populous state of Brazil, and is the sixth most densely populated and the 19th most extensive among the states and territories of the country. Its capital and largest city, Recife, is one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country. As of 2013 estimates, Recife's metropolitan area is the fifth most populous in the country, and the largest urban agglomeration in Northeast Brazil. [4]


In 1982, the city of Olinda was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Recife, the state capital and Olinda have one of the most traditional Brazilian Carnivals. Both have Portuguese architecture, with centuries-old casarões (colonial houses) and churches, kilometers of beaches and much culture. The proximity of the equator guarantees sunshine throughout the year, with average temperatures of 26 °C (79 °F).

Physical geography

Fernando de Noronha Islands Fernando de Noronha - Pernambuco - Brasil(5).jpg
Fernando de Noronha Islands

Pernambuco comprises a comparatively narrow coastal zone, a high inland plateau, and an intermediate zone formed by the terraces and slopes between the two. [5]

Its surface is much broken by the remains of the ancient plateau which has been worn down by erosion, leaving escarpments and ranges of flat-topped mountains, called chapadas, capped in places by horizontal layers of sandstone. Ranges of these chapadas form the boundary lines with three states–the Serra dos Irmãos and Serra Vermelha with Piauí, the Serra do Araripe with Ceará, and the Serra dos Cariris Velhos with Paraíba. [5]

Old Recife Recife e suas pontes.jpg
Old Recife

The coastal area is fertile, and was formerly covered by the humid Pernambuco coastal forests, the northern extension of the Atlantic Forests (Mata Atlântica) of eastern Brazil. It is now placed to extensive sugar cane plantations. It has a hot, humid climate, relieved to some extent by the south-east trade winds. [5]

Catimbau Valley - the 2nd largest Brazilian archeological site Parque Nacional do Catimbau - Pernambuco - Brasil.jpg
Catimbau Valley - the 2nd largest Brazilian archeological site

The middle zone, called the agreste region, has a drier climate and lighter vegetation, [5] including the semi-deciduous Pernambuco interior forests, where many trees lose their leaves in the dry season.

The inland region, called the sertão is high, stony, and dry, and frequently devastated by prolonged droughts (secas). The climate is characterized by hot days and cool nights. There are two clearly defined seasons, a rainy season from March to June, and a dry season for the remaining months. [5] The interior of the state is covered mostly by the dry thorny scrub vegetation called caatinga . The Rio São Francisco is the main water source for this area.

Boa Viagem Beach Boa Viagem (2) - Recife - Pernambuco, Brasil.jpg
Boa Viagem Beach

The climate is more mild in the countryside of the state because of the Borborema Plateau ("Planalto da Borborema", popularly known as "Serra das Russas" or "Russians' Mountain"). Some towns are located more than 1000 meters above sea level, and temperatures there can descend to 10 °C (50 °F) and even 5 °C (41 °F) in some cities (i.e., Triunfo) during the winter.

The island of Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic Ocean, 535 km northeast of Recife, has been part of Pernambuco since 1988.

The rivers of the state include a number of small plateau streams flowing southward to the São Francisco River, and several large streams in the eastern part flowing eastward to the Atlantic. The former are the Moxotó, Ema, Pajeú, Terra Nova, Brigida, Boa Vista and Pontai, and are dry channels the greater part of the year. [5]

The largest of the coastal rivers are the Goiana River, which is formed by the confluence of the Tracunhaem and Capibaribe-mirim, and drains a rich agricultural region in the north-east part of the state; the Capibaribe, which has its source in the Serra de Jacarara and flows eastward to the Atlantic at Recife with a course of nearly 300 miles (480 km); the Ipojuca, which rises in the Serra de Aldeia Velha and reaches the coast south of Recife; the Serinhaen; and the Uná. A large tributary of the Uná, the Rio Jacuhipe, forms part of the boundary line with Alagoas. [5]


Olinda - UNESCO World Heritage Site Olinda e Recife.jpg
Olinda - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Originally inhabited by numerous tribes of Tupi-Guarani speaking indigenous peoples, Pernambuco was first settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The French under Bertrand d'Ornesan tried to establish a French trading post at Pernambuco in 1531. [6] Shortly after King John III of Portugal created the Hereditary Captaincies in 1534, Pernambuco was granted to Duarte Coelho, who arrived in Nova Lusitânia (or "New Lusitania") in 1535.

Duarte directed military actions against the French-allied Caetés Indians and upon their defeat in 1537 established a settlement at the site of a former Marin Indian village, henceforth known as Olinda, as well as another village at Igarassu.

Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church Recife n s do carmo.jpg
Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church

Due to the cultivation of sugar and cotton, Pernambuco was one of the few prosperous captaincies (the other notable one being São Vicente). With the support of the Dutch West India Company, sugar mills (engenho) were built and a sugar-based economy developed. In 1612, Pernambuco produced 14,000 tons of sugar; in the 1640s, more than 24,000 tons of sugar were exported to Amsterdam alone. While the sugar industry relied at first on the labor of indigenous peoples, especially the Tupis and Tapuyas, high mortality and economic growth led to the importation of enslaved Africans from the late 17th century. Some of these slaves escaped the sugar-producing coastal regions and formed independent inland communities called mocambos, including Palmares.

In 1630, Pernambuco, as well as many Portuguese possessions in Brazil, was occupied by the Dutch until 1654. [5] The occupation was strongly resisted and the Dutch conquest was only partially successful, it was finally repelled by the Spaniards. In the interim, thousands of the enslaved Africans had fled to Palmares, and soon the mocambos there had grown into two significant states. The Dutch Republic, who allowed sugar production to remain in Portuguese hands, regarded suppression of Palmares important, but they were unsuccessful. Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, count of Nassau, was appointed as ruler of the Nieuw Holland (Dutch colonization enterprise in Brazil).

Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Mauritsstad (Recife), the first synagogue in the Americas Kahal Zur Israel (exterior 1).jpg
Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Mauritsstad (Recife), the first synagogue in the Americas

Nassau's government built Vitória or The Victore (Recife) on delta islands, which have similarities to Salvador's topography. This moved the political focus from Olinda to Recife. Nassau's Dutch administration was noted for advancements in urbanism, culture, and science. The Dutch legacy is still recognizable in Pernambuco's people, accent and architecture.

The Portuguese reconquered Recife in 1654 and Olinda regained its status of political center. However, Recife remained the commercial /port city. If the Dutch were gone, however, the threat of the now unified quilombo of Palmares remained. In spite of a treaty negotiated in 1678 with its ruler Ganga Zumba, a war between the two remained. Zumbi who became ruler following the peace treaty and later repudiated it, fought the Portuguese government until 1694 when soldiers brought from the south eventually defeated him.

In 1710 the Mascate War took place in Pernambuco. This conflict set the mascates (traveling salesman) from Recife against the establishment hosted in Olinda and led by the Senhores de Engenho (owners of the sugar mills, literally: sugar mill lords).

Pernambuco was the site of the most important rebellions and insurrections in Brazilian history, especially in the 19th century.

1817 was the year of the Pernambucan Revolution, a republican separatist movement which resulted in the creation of the Republic of Pernambuco. The main cause of the revolution was dissatisfaction with the colonial administration. The republic was declared on 7 March 1817. After military intervention, the secession ended on 20 May 1817. The republic's flag is the current flag of Pernambuco.

Basilica Abacial do Mosteiro de Sao Bento de Olinda Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda-109016.jpg
Basílica Abacial do Mosteiro de São Bento de Olinda

As a reaction to the Emperor Dom Pedro I dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the Confederation of the Equator was set up on 2 July 1824. The Confederation was another separatist movement which encompassed the provinces of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, and Ceará. On 29 November 1824, the Confederation's forces capitulated to the Imperial army.

Pernambuco was the site of the brief liberal republican Praieira revolt in 1848, which was Brazil's response to the European year of liberal revolutions. Deodoro da Fonseca, the marshal who crushed the revolt, much later overthrew Emperor Pedro II, and served as the first president of the Brazilian republic.

Dutch occupation

Dutch invasions in Brazil. Olinda.jpg
Dutch invasions in Brazil.
John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen Portrait of Johan Maurits (1604-1679), Count of Nassau-Siegen.jpg
John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen

In the 17th century, the Netherlands was experiencing a surge of freedom and progress, and wanted to expand their colonies in the American continent. A symbolic expression of this new economy was a branch of the Dutch West India Company, which had influence throughout the world and controlled much of the trade between East and West. A Board of nineteen members appointed Prince Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau, Governor of Pernambuco. It was an auspicious choice for Northeast, because he was a lover of the arts with a deep interest in the New World. In 1637 he opened his government guidelines quite different from those of the Portuguese colonists, declaring "Freedom of Religion and Trade". His entourage contained traders, artists, planners, German and Dutch citizens. He was accompanied by six painters, including Frans Post and Albert Eckhout. Nassau also created an environment of Dutch religious tolerance, new to Portuguese America and irritating to his Calvinist associates. Nassau was the first to replace sugar production monoculture with an economic polyculture.

Olinda and Recife, 1953.

Jewish immigration

Under Dutch rule, Jewish culture developed in Recife. Many Ocean Jews had sought refuge in the Netherlands. The Jewish community, especially the Sephardim, were established and would spread to the northern Americas. There are records that in 1636 a synagogue was being built in the city. Many Dutch Jews were linked to commercial activities of the East Islands Company, which naturally sent them to the New World. A Jewish scholar from Amsterdam, Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, arrived in Recife in 1642, becoming the first rabbi on Brazilian soil and on the continent. In 1643, three years after the Portuguese regained the crown in the metropolis, Father António Vieira – frowned upon, persecuted by the Inquisition and admirer of Aboab – recommended the King of Portugal occupy the capital of the New Christian and Jewish immigrants to help the depressed Portuguese finances [7]

In 1630, Indian West Islands Company once again turned its interest to the Captaincies of the Dutch colony in the Americas. Due to the Iberian Union (1580-1640), the Dutch Republic (which was dominated by Spain, but later became independent) saw in Pernambuco the opportunity to strike Spain and to compensate for the loss due to the failure of Dutch management. On 26 December 1629, a squad with 66 vessels and 7280 men left São Vicente, Cape Verde, heading to Pernambuco.

Nowadays, it is credited that the majority of the inhabitants of the pernambuco's agreste has some Dutch ancestry. [8]



Former President Lula da Silva is a native of Caetes President Lula in Paulinia.JPG
Former President Lula da Silva is a native of Caetés

According to the IBGE of 2009, there were 8,745,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 89.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (232/sq mi).

Urbanization: 77% (2006); Population growth: 1.2% (1991–2000); Houses: 2,348,000 (2006). [9]


The former Latin Catholic Territorial Prelature of Pernambuco became the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Olinda & Recife, with these suffragan dioceses in its ecclesiastical province (all in Pernambuco) : Diocese of Afogados da Ingazeira, Diocese of Caruaru, Diocese of Floresta, Diocese of Garanhuns, Diocese of Nazaré, Diocese of Palmares, Diocese of Pesqueira, Diocese of Petrolina and Diocese of Salgueiro.

Ethnic breakdown

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 4,799,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (54.87%), 3,307,000 White people (37.81%), 561,000 Black people (6.42%), 41,000 Amerindian people (0.47%), 31,000 Asian people (0.36%). [10]

Mixed-race (those of mixed African and Portuguese ancestry) are more common in the coast. Mamelucos (those of mixed Amerindian and Portuguese ancestry) are more common in the interior (Sertão). Whites of colonial Portuguese descent are present as well. [11]

According to a genetic study from 2013, Brazilians in Pernambuco have 56.8% European, 27.9% African and 15.3% Amerindian ancestries, respectively. [12]

Largest cities


The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 73.2%, followed by the industrial sector at 21.6%. Agribusiness represents 5.2% of GDP (2006). Pernambuco exports: sugar 35.6%, fruit and juice 12.6%, fish and crustacean 12.3%, electric products 11.1%, chemicals 7.1%, woven 5.6% (2002).

Economic Sectorial Composition in 2006 (BR$) [14]
Primary sector % Secondary sector % Tertiary sector %TaxationGDPgrowth GDP PC R$growth
2.4745.2%10.31621.6%34.87273.2%7.84355.505 (100%)5.1%6.52810%
Economic regions Pe micro.svg
Economic regions

According with IBGE, in 2007 Pernambuco has 2.34% share of the Brazilian economy and 17.9% share of the Northeast region economy. It's the 10th largest economy of the whole country. The GDP for the state was R$104,394,000,000 (2011), and the per capita income was R$11,776.

Atlantico Sul Shipyard, the biggest shipyard in the Southern Hemisphere, located in Industrial Port Complex of Suape. Estaleiro Atlantico Sul - Ipojuca, Pernambuco.jpg
Atlântico Sul Shipyard, the biggest shipyard in the Southern Hemisphere, located in Industrial Port Complex of Suape.

The economy is based on agriculture (sugarcane, manioc), livestock farming and creations, as well as industry (shipbuilding, automotive, chemical, metallurgical, electronic, textile, alimentary). In the period of October 2005 to October 2006, the industrial growth of the state was the second biggest in Brazil – 6.3%, more than double the national average in the same period (2.3%). Another segment that deserves to be highlighted is mineral extraction. The pole gesseiro of Araripina is the supplier from 95% of the plaster consumed in Brazil. The pole of data processing of the Recife, Digital Port, despite having started in 2000, is one of the five biggest in Brazil. It employs around three thousand persons, and has 3.5% the GDP of the state.


According with IBGE 2007, Pernambuco has the 2nd largest livestock portfolio in the Northeast region and the 8th of Brazil.

Livestock Table 2007 [16]
Animal or productN. of heads NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Goats15950692nd – 18.48%2nd – 16.88%
Sheep12562704th – 13.53%5th – 7.74%
Cattle22198924th – 7.74%16th – 1.11%
cow milk 662078000 liters2nd – 19.86%9th – 2.54%
Pigs4959575th – 7.35%14th – 1.38%
Chickens319168181st – 24.24%7th – 2.83%
Chickens eggs 142518000 dozens1st – 30.56%6th – 4.81%
Quail6053711st – 43.24%4th – 7.98%
Quails eggs 9390000 dozens1st – 51.43%4th – 7.17%
Horses1259765th – 8.81%15th −2.25%
Donkeys 1009445th – 9.50%5th – 8.68%
Mules 548124th – 7.97%7th – 4.08%
Buffalos 192392nd – 16.04%11th – 1.70%
Rabbits23832nd – 6.45%9th – 0.82%
Honey 1177000 kg4th – 10.15%9th – 3.39%


Petrolina. The largest Brazilian producer of grapes, mangoes, and guavas, also known for goat and sheep ranching Vale do Sao Francisco Pernanbuco.jpg
Petrolina. The largest Brazilian producer of grapes, mangoes, and guavas, also known for goat and sheep ranching
Agriculture Table of Pernambuco in 2002 [17]
Product SQuantity T NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Tomatoes2077362nd – 35.7%5th – 5.69%
Manioc 4836344th – 5.91%13th – 2.1%
Water melons 628202nd – 15.61%7th – 4.22%
Melons166864th – 5.00%4th – 4.74%
Sugarcane 176261832nd – 29.51%5th – 4.84%
Onions890822nd – 39.78%5th – 7.29%
Beans 822453rd – 9.50%9th – 2.69%
Rice178657th – 1.93%21st – 0.17%
Sweet potatoes 257273rd – 16.23%7th – 5.17%
Pineapples 240285th – 10.2%12th – 1.11%
Fava 5693rd – 6.0%4th – 5.63%
corn 866755th – 3.93%18th – 0.24%
Castor beans 3193rd – 0.20%8th – 0.19%
Cotton 18778th – 0.32%15th – 0.13
Product PQuantity T NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Grapes999781st – 53.6%3rd – 8.70%
Guavas 1047711st – 74.41%2nd – 32.63%
Mangoes 1364882nd – 24.74%3rd – 16.20%
Coconuts 152266+3rd – 10.89%5th – 7.90%
lemons29654th – 4.20%12th – 0.30%
Passion fruits 56116th – 2.71%14th – 1.17%
Tangerines 52644th – 14.34%11th – 0.42%
Papayas 53586th – 0.57%12th – 0.34%
Cashew nuts 35544th – 2.20%4th – 2.10%
Bananas3674812nd – 16.69%6th – 5.72%
Oranges56388th – 0.34%22nd – 0.03%
Avocados 16852nd – 15.49%11th – 1.0%
Rubber7063rd – 3.59%12th – 0.48%
Cotton tree 2224th – 5.41%4th – 5.41%

S – Seasonal; P – Permanent agriculture; + – Thousands units


Pernambuco State has the 5th highest sugarcane Brazilian production. Brazil is the second largest producer of alcohol fuel in the world, typically fermenting ethanol from sugarcane and sugar beets. The country produces a total of 18 billion liters annually, of which 3.5 billion are exported, 2 billion of them to the US. Alcohol-fueled cars started in the Brazilian market in 1978 and became quite popular because of heavy subsidy, but in the 80s prices rose and gasoline regained the leading market share. But from 2004 on, alcohol rapidly increased its market share once again because of new technologies involving hybrid fuel car engines called "Flex" by all major car manufacturers (Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Peugeot, Honda, Citroën, Fiat, etc.). "Flex" engines work with gasoline, alcohol or any mixture of both fuels. As of February 2007, approximately 80% of new vehicles sold in Brazil are hybrid fuel powered. Because of the Brazilian lead in production and technology, many countries became very interested in importing alcohol fuel and adopting the "Flex" vehicle concept. On 7 March 2007, US president George W. Bush visited the city of São Paulo to sign agreements with Brazilian president Lula on importing alcohol and its technology as an alternative fuel.


School of Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco 2.jpg
School of Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco.

Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions

Local health care training by the Olinda local administration Capacitacao sobre Conjuntivite e Gripe A - Prefeitura de Olinda.jpg
Local health care training by the Olinda local administration

The main educational installations of the state are concentrated in the capital, including the seventh best federal university of the country. Pernambuco had main universities and colleges founded in the 19th and 20th century. Some of them are known nationally. The Faculdade de Direito do Recife, or Recife's Law College, was founded on 11 August 1827, was the first higher education institute in Brazil. Castro Alves and Joaquim Nabuco, two important people in Brazilian history, studied there. Others important institutions are:



Recife Boa Viagem Beach - Recife - Pernambuco - Brazil.jpg

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets. Pernambuco has large Carnaval celebrations, including the frevo , typical Pernambuco music. Another famous carnaval music style from Pernambuco is maracatu .

The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic carnaval celebrations in Brazil. The largest carnaval parade in all of Brazil is Galo da Madrugada , which takes place in downtown Recife in the Saturday of carnaval. Another famous event is the Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos.

Recife's joyous Carnaval is nationally known, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios “shaking” the Boa Viagem district.

On Friday, people take to the streets to enjoy themselves to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat (cultural movement created in Recife during the 1990s) groups. There are still many other entertainment centres around the city, featuring local and national artists.

Giant Dolls - Olinda Carnival Bonecos de Olinda - Pernambuco, Brasil.jpg
Giant Dolls - Olinda Carnival

One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.

Saint John's Day

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese, for whom Saint John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on 24 June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice, but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after 12 June, on the eve of Saint Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Once exclusively a rural festival, today, in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served, including canjica and pamonha. Like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.

Saint John's Day is celebrated throughout Pernambuco. Nonetheless, the festivities in Caruaru are by far the largest in the state. Saint John's festivals in Gravatá and Carpina are also very popular.

Winter Festival

In the hilly areas of the interior – mainly in areas with a micro-climate of altitude – temperatures that can reach 8 °C in the winter. Every winter, when the weather is milder, tourists from neighboring states and other parts of Pernambuco visit cities such as Garanhuns, Gravatá, Triunfo Taquaritinga do Norte and Brejo da Madre de Deus.

The city of Garanhuns holds an annual Winter Festival, in the month of July. The main attractions are concerts, dances, rural tourism, culinary and the relatively low temperatures for a tropical climate.



Guararapes International Airport, in Recife Aeroporto do recife.jpg
Guararapes International Airport, in Recife

Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport has been open since July 2004 and has 52 thousand square meters of area. The largest airport in the North and Northeast regions, Guararapes had its capacity expanded from 5 million to 11 million passengers a year. Now there are 64 check-in counters, versus the former terminal's 24. The shopping and leisure area was also totally remodeled, within the “Aeroshopping” concept, which transforms an airport into a center for business and retail. The commercial spaces will be occupied in steps and the final total will be 142 shops. Since 2000, Recife has had the longest runway in the Northeast, at 3,305 meters. Its extension permits operations with jumbo jets, such as the Boeing 747-400, able to fly nonstop to anywhere in South and Central America, Africa and parts of Europe, the United States and Canada.

Pernambuco is also served by the Petrolina International Airport, which is responsible for the delivery of fresh fruit from the São Francisco valley to Europe and the USA. The cargo terminal operates with 6 large coolers [18] with 17000 boxes capacity each plus 2 coolers tunnels. This airports also has daily direct connections between this region (which includes 53 municipalities from the states such as Pernambuco, Piaui and Bahia) to major capitals as Recife and Salvador. Like the Recife airport, it is administered by the Brazilian Federal Agency (Infraero).

Other locally administered airports within the state are the Fernando de Noronha Airport and the Caruaru airports. The first has daily flights between the islands with Recife and Natal, and the second airport connects the textile industry region of Caruaru with São Paulo and local cities.


Recife Port Porto do Recife - Recife - Pernambuco - Brasil.jpg
Recife Port

Suape has started in the 21st century to be Pernambuco's motive power toward development. Huge national and international investments are being attracted by its logistic qualities, of which, until 2010, more than US$10 billion are expected.

There are two access channels to the Port, both of natural characteristics. The main one, South Channel, has 260 m of width and 3.4 km (2.1 mi) of extension approximately, with a depth of 10.5 m. The other, denominated North Channel, has little width, about 1.00 km (0.62 mi) of length, and a depth of 6.5 m, and it is used only by small size vessels. Handles an average of 2.2 million tons [21] of cargo annually, and the main loads are sugar, wheat, corn, barley, malt, fertilizers, clinker and kelp.

Tourism and recreation

Praia Sancho, beyond this beach, a reserve for some 600 spinner dolphins is established in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Pernambuco. Fernando de Noronha - PE - Baia do Sancho.jpg
Praia Sancho, beyond this beach, a reserve for some 600 spinner dolphins is established in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Pernambuco.
Petrolina Cathedral Catedral de Petrolina, Pernambuco(2).jpg
Petrolina Cathedral

The Pernambuco coastline is 187 km long. There are about 187 kilometers (116 mi) of beaches, including some of the most beautiful in the region, such as Porto de Galinhas, Carneiros and Calhetas.

Recife, the biggest city of the state Avenida Agamenon Magalhaes Recife.jpg
Recife, the biggest city of the state
The neighborhood of Boa Viagem, in Recife Recife, Pernambuco (2) - Brasil.jpg
The neighborhood of Boa Viagem, in Recife
Mascarenhas de Morais Avenue, Recife Avenida Mascarenhas de Morais e passarela do aeroporto - Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil.jpg
Mascarenhas de Morais Avenue, Recife
City of Triunfo, mountainous (serrano) tourism Triunfo, Pernambuco - Teleferico.jpg
City of Triunfo, mountainous (serrano) tourism
City of Garanhuns Floral clock - Garanhuns, Pernambuco, Brazil.jpg
City of Garanhuns

Main cities

List of the 25 largest cities in Pernambuco [22]
RankingCityPopulation (2010)GDP (R$x1000)(2007). [23] GDP PC (R$)
1 Recife 1,536,93420,718,10713,510
2 J. dos Guararapes 644,6995,578,3638,384
3 Olinda 375,2682,179,1835,567
4 Caruaru 314,3731,367,1114,449
5 Paulista 300,5011,993,2956,895
6 Petrolina 294,8511,932,5177,202
7 Cabo de St. Agostinho 185,5832,813,18817,244
8 Camaragibe 144,210492,1133,608
9 Vitória de St. Antão 130,540742,5935,941
10 Garanhuns 130,313745,5046,149
11 S. Lourenço da Mata 102,191734,4307,834
12 Igarassu 101,945310,7483,261
13 Abreu e Lima 96,266567,4746,154
14 St. Cruz do Capibaribe 87,330332,1124,507
15 Ipojuca 80,542434,7045,705
16 Serra Talhada 80,294255,5783,368
17 Araripina 79,8775,354,63576,418
18 Gravatá 76,229306,6374,284
19 Goiana 75,424457,9866,379
20 Carpina 74,028504,7357,113
21 Belo Jardim 74,070351,4485,375
22 Arcoverde 70,000290,5294,479
23 Ouricuri 64,978200,8803,186
24 Pesqueira 63,604236,2593,852
25 Escada 63,454233,5623,902
RMR Recife metropolitan area 3,688,42840,872,96310,845


Arena Pernambuco Itaipava Arena Pernambuco - Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil(4).jpg
Arena Pernambuco

Football was introduced in Pernambuco in 1902, when English and Dutch sailors disembarked in Recife and played a game of football in the beach. The novelty awoke the interest of the people of Pernambuco, that soon adhered to the game. Recife provides visitors and residents with various sport activities, The city has the main football teams in the state of Pernambuco. There are several football clubs based in Recife, such as Sport, Santa Cruz, and Náutico.

According to the Brazilian Football Confederation in 2008, the Pernambuco Football Federation was ranked sixth nationwide, behind São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Paraná; and it is the first in his Northeast region. [24] The Pernambuco Football Federation organizes the Campeonato Pernambucano state championship and the state cup. The first edition of the Campeonato Pernambucano was played in 1915, and was won by Sport Club Flamengo, a club since defunct. In 2011 twelve clubs competed, which was won by Santa Cruz.

In 2012 the state was represented in the National highest level of football (Brazilian Série A) by Náutico and Sport. Also, it was represented in (Série C) by Santa Cruz and Salgueiro and in (Série D) by Central.

Recife was one of the 12 Brazilian cities that hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Brazil.

An anonymous naive painter from Pernambuco: Landscape. Naif00.jpg
An anonymous naïve painter from Pernambuco: Landscape.

Related Research Articles

Recife Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Recife is the fourth-largest urban agglomeration in Brazil with 4,054,866 inhabitants, the largest urban agglomeration of the North/Northeast Regions, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco in the northeast corner of South America. The population of the city proper was 1,625,583 in 2016. The first slave port in the Americas, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. It was the former capital Mauritsstad of the 17th century colony of New Holland of Dutch Brazil, established by the Dutch West India Company. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the "Brazilian Venice". As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil and second highest HDI in the entire North and Northeast Brazil.

Paraíba State of Brazil

Paraíba is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and it is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Paraíba is the third most densely populated state of the Northeast; João Pessoa, the sea-bordered state capital, and Campina Grande, in the interior, rank among the fifteen-largest municipalities in the Northeast of Brazil.

Ilha de Itamaracá Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Ilha de Itamaracá is a tropical island and municipality in Pernambuco, Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean. Itamaracá means "stone shaker" in Tupi, from the words itá ("stone") and mbara'ká ("shaker"). It is separated from the mainland by the Canal de Santa Cruz, a salt water channel both mouths of which are on the Atlantic Ocean, and is connected to the mainland by a long road bridge.

Olinda Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Olinda, is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, in Greater Recife. It has a population of 389,494 people, covers 41.681 square kilometres (16.093 sq mi), and has a population of 9 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is noted as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.

Caruaru Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Caruaru is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Pernambuco. The most populous city in the interior of the state, Caruaru is located in the microzone of Agreste and because of its cultural importance, it is nicknamed Capital do Agreste, Princesinha do Agreste, and Capital do Forró.

Salgueiro Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Salgueiro is a city in Pernambuco, Brazil. It is located in the mesoregion of Sertão Pernambucano. Salgueiro covers an area of 1687 square kilometers and had in 2015 an estimated population of 59,769 inhabitants.

Northeast Region, Brazil Region in Brazil

The Northeast Region of Brazil is one of the five official and political regions of the country according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. For the socio-geographic area see Nordeste. Of Brazil's twenty-six states, it comprises nine: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, along with the Fernando de Noronha archipelago.

Igarassu, Pernambuco Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Igarassu is a city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. It is the second oldest city of the country and is situated on the north coast of the metropolitan region of Recife, approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi). It stands as one of the earliest European settlements in Brazil and is the site of the oldest church in the country, the Church of Saints Cosme and Damião, built in 1535. Igarassu is home to numerous colonial-period historic structures. The historic center of the city was designated a national monument by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) in 1972.

Serra Talhada city in Pernambuco, Brazil

Serra Talhada is a city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. It is located at 07º59'31" South and 38º17'54" West, at an altitude of 429 metres. As of 2009, its estimated population by IBGE was 80.294 people. Its area is approximately 2980 km sq.

Cabo de Santo Agostinho Place in Brazil

Cabo de Santo Agostinho is 35 km south of the city of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. Although the official Portuguese discovery of Brazil was by Pedro Álvares Cabral on April 21, 1500, some historians believe that Vicente Yáñez Pinzón already had set anchor in a bay in Cabo de Santo Agostinho on January 26, 1500, which he named Cabo de Santa María de la Consolación. It was incorporated as a town in 1811.

Jaboatão dos Guararapes City in Northeast, Brazil

Jaboatão dos Guararapes is a city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. It is a part of the Recife metro area. The population was 697,636 according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in 2018, making it the second most-populous city in the state of Pernambuco and the 27th in Brazil, ahead of major Brazilian state capitals such as Cuiabá and Aracaju. The city is a very important industrial center, hosting companies like Unilever and Coca-Cola. It is bordered by Recife in the North, Cabo de Santo Agostinho on the south, and Mangue forests to the west in Moreno.

University of Pernambuco

The University of Pernambuco is a public state university located in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Gravatá municipality of Brazil

Gravatá is a city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, located about 75 km (47 mi) from the state's capital Recife. The population of Gravatá in 2009 was 75.229 inhabitants, according with IBGE.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Brazil

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife is a Latin Metropolitan archdiocese in southeast Brazil's Pernambuco state.

Ipojuca Municipality in Northeast, Brazil

Ipojuca is a municipality in Pernambuco in eastern Brazil. As of 2009 the population according to IBGE was 75,512 and the per capita income (2007) was R$76.418 making it one of the country's highest. The settlement dates to 1560, but the official founding date is 1861 and the community was incorporated as a town in 1864. It is famous for its beaches such as Porto de Galinhas, Muro Alto, Maracaipe.

Recife metropolitan area Metro Area in Northeast, Brazil

Recife Metropolitan Area is the eighth largest metropolitan area in Brazil with a population of 3.9 million. Its area of influence covers the entire states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Alagoas in addition to the countryside of the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, Maranhão, Ceará and Bahia. Its main city is Recife with 1.66 million inhabitants, capital of Pernambuco.

Suape Port port in Brazil

Suape Port is a Brazilian International Port in the city of Ipojuca in the state of Pernambuco. The port is located inside the Recife metropolitan area, 40 km south of the city. Suape is a non-tidal port that services ships 365 days a year. It is one of the most important harbours and container terminals in the northeast of Brazil. It plays an important role in the economy of the state of Pernambuco. In the 21st century Suape became Pernambuco's main focus for development.

Economy of Pernambuco

The economy of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco is based on agriculture, animal husbandry and industries. The economy of the state, after stagnating from 1985 and 1995, has been growing rapidly since the end of the twentieth century. In 2000, the GDP per capita was R$3.673 ($2098), resulting in more than 40% growth in this period, and more than 10% in a year. In 2007, the GDP per capita grew up to R$7.337 ($4.217).

History of Pernambuco

The history of Pernambuco begins since before discovery by the Portuguese, with Indigenous populations of the Caeté and Tabajara indigenous peoples. The name has represented different entities at different times: a captaincy, a province, an independent Republic (briefly) and a state.


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