Sao Paulo Research.

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Sao Paulo

São Paulo was founded by the Jesuits in 1554, on a plateau 2,493 feet (760 meters) above sea level, but only 45 miles (72 km) from the coast, as a mission center ( - as the area today is called) for early settlers and the indians who inhabited the area. For a long time it remained a small town. Around 1850 it began to grow and became richer thanks to the highly productive coffee plantations in the state. Later on, the income from coffee exports and the increasing population provided capital and manpower for the foundation of an industrial base. Today it is the industrial and financial center of Brasil generating over 30% of the GNP.

São Paulo's population has grown rapidly. By 1960 it had surpassed that of Rio de Janeiro, making it Brazil's most populous city. By this time, the urbanized area of São Paulo had extended beyond the boundaries of the municipality proper into neighboring municipalities, making it a metropolitan area with a population of 4.6 million. Population growth has continued since 1960, although the rate of growth has slowed. In 1996 the city's population stood at 9,839,436and in 1996 it was estimated that 16.8 million people lived in the metropolitan area. The population of São Paulo is a diverse mix of ethnic groups. Significant numbers of its people are of southern European origin. During the coffee boom in southern Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italians and Spaniards immigrated in large numbers. The city's mix also includes the descendants of other immigrants, including Germans, Russians, Armenians, Lebanese, Arab, Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans. São Paulo also has a Jewish community, one of the largest in South America. Only about 10 percent of the city's population is of African or mixed-African descent, unlike the situation in many Brazilian cities where percentages are much higher.

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Jobless in Sao Paulo
Desperate Brazilians hit the streets before dawn in search of work. Some brand President Lula a traitor and a Pinocchio for his empty promises.

By Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Not even the sun rises as early as Antonia Mariano. The stars are out and the streets deserted when she shuts the door behind her and catches a lonely bus downtown at 4 a.m.

The ride takes nearly 90 minutes. It's still dark and chilly when she reaches her destination — a queue that already snakes around a building and down the ...

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