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Most populated cities in Brazil in 2019

This statistic shows the twelve largest Brazilian cities based on number of inhabitants in 2019. As of July 1st of 2019, approximately 12.25 million people lived in São Paulo, making it the biggest municipality in Brazil and one of the most populated cities in the world.

Brazil's cities

Brazil is home to two large metropolises: São Paulo with close to 12.3 million inhabitants, and Rio de Janeiro with around 6.7 million inhabitants. It also contains a number of smaller, but well known cities such as Brasília, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and many others, which report between 2 and 3 million inhabitants each. As a result, the country's population is primarily urban, with more than 85 percent of inhabitants living in cities.

While smaller than some of the other cities, Brasília was chosen to be the capital because of its relatively central location. The city is also well-known for its modernist architecture and utopian city plan which is quite controversial - criticized by many and praised by others.

A number of Brazil’s medium-sized and large cities were chosen as venues for the 2014 World Cup, and the 2015 Summer Olympics also took place in Rio de Janeiro. Both of these events have generated large sums of money to support infrastructure and enhance mobility within a number of different cities across the country. Billions of dollars were spent on the 2014 World Cup, which went primarily to stadium construction and renovation, but also to a number of different mobility projects. Other short-term spending on infrastructure for the World Cup and the Rio Olympic Games was estimated at around 50 billion U.S. dollars. While these events have poured a lot of money into urban infrastructure, a number of social and economic problems within the country remain unsolved.

Brazil: the largest cities in 2019

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

July 1, 2019

Special properties


Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

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