Sao Paulo City
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Sao Paulo city is the capital of the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The city is the largest in Brazil and fourth in the world by population, and is located in the South East of the country. The name means Saint Paul in Portuguese.
The city has an area of 1,523.0 square kilometres (588 sq mi) and a population of 11,016,703 (2006 IBGE estimate), which makes it the most populous in Brazil, South America, and the southern hemisphere (metro area: about 19 million).
People from the city of Sao Paulo are known as paulistanos, while paulistas designates anyone from the whole of Sao Paulo state, including the paulistanos. The city's Latin motto is Non ducor, duco, which translates as "I am not led, I lead". A famous nickname for the city is "Sampa".
Sao Paulo officially became a city in 1711. In the 19th century, it experienced a flourishing economic prosperity, brought about chiefly through coffee exports, which were shipped abroad from the port of the neighbouring city of Santos. After 1881, waves of immigrants from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany and many other countries emigrated to Sao Paulo in order to, among other reasons, work at the enormous coffee plantations established in the State. At the beginning of the 20th century, the coffee cycle had already plummeted due to, among other factors, a sharp decline in international coffee prices. The local entrepreneurs then started investing in the industrial development of Sao Paulo, attracting new contingents of overseas immigrants to the city, mainly Italians. In addition to Europeans, Japanese and Arab immigrants arrived in large numbers in the first half of the 20th century. Along the 20th century, the booming economy of the city also attracted huge waves of migrants from poor regions of Brazil, specially from Northeast Brazil.
However, due to competition with many other Brazilian cities, which sometimes offer tax advantages for companies to build manufacturing plants in situ, Sao Paulo's main economic activities have gradually left its industrial profile in favour of the services industry over the late 20th century. The city is home to a large number of local and international banking offices, law firms, multinational companies and consumer services.
Another important historical landmark is the University of Sao Paulo's Law School, also known as Largo São Francisco, claimed to be one of the three first academic institutions in Brazil along with the Law School of Recife and the Universidade Federal do Amazonas. Originally installed into a monastery, it was founded by an Imperial Decree on 1 March 1828, shortly after the beginning of the Brazilian Empire, following the increasing need for lawyers and politicians. As wealthy Brazilians would often go to Europe to take undergraduate law courses, the Brazilian Emperor, Dom Pedro I, decided that it would be fitting to create a national law school. It began to attract students from across the country, who were a strong contributing factor to São Paulo's distinctly bohemian lifestyle.