Sao Paulo, Brazil Population

Population in Urban Area, now

22,048,483

Population in City Area, 2019-07-12

10,021,295

Sao Paulo Urban Area Population Graph

Sao Paulo Population Review

Located on a plateau of the Brazilian Highlands, Sao Paulo is the largest city of Brazil. It has one of the fastest-growing populations in the Southern Hemisphere and it is one of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas in the world. As of 2020, it is estimated that there were 22 million people living in Sao Paulo’s urban area.

In the past 70 years, Sao Paulo’s population has ballooned, growing from around 2.3 million to its current population of 22 million. This is an astronomical increase of 836%. The Greater Sao Paulo area covers a total of 7,951 square km and the city area is 1,493 square km. Within the city area itself, there are 10 milion people at a population density of 7,216 people per square kilometer.

81% of Brazil’s population lives in urban areas

Much of Brazil is sparsely populated and almost 57% of the country is covered by the Amazon rainforest. On average, the country has a population density of 24.66 people per square kilometers, which is quite low. Out of the 211 million or so people living in Brazil, 81% of the country’s population lives in urban areas. Most of these people are split between Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador.

An ethnically diverse city

Sao Paulo has one of the largest immigrant communities in Brazil. When slavery was abolished from the city in 1888, Sao Paulo began to receive waves of immigrants from Europe. In ten short years, Italians accounted for 50% of Sao Paulo’s population, followed shortly by Japanese, Korean, and Chinese immigrants. That influx of immigration continues to show in the city, with 81% of students currently attending the University of São Paulo identifying as being descended from foreign immigrants.

Cars, cars, and more cars

Sao Paulo’s transit system lacks in infrastructure, which means that residents get around mostly by car. In fact, the city has some 7 million personal vehicles on its streets. This is unusual for a large city and causes quite the headaches. People living in Sao Paulo suffer through crazy traffic jams, with drivers in the city spending an average of 102 hours per year stuck in traffic. This overabundance of cars doesn’t help Sao Paulo’s already polluted air space. Experts have stated that poor air quality in Sao Paulo kills more people than breast cancer, AIDS, and car accidents combined. On average, 4,600 people die each year as a result of air pollution.

A city for tourists

Sao Paulo welcomes 14.9 million tourists per year to the city and has many award-wedding distinctions including the city with the fourth best nightlife in the world and some of the best restaurants in the world. Tourists visit the city to experience its art-house cinemas and experimental theatres, as well as its vibrant nightlife and incredible gastronomy scene. 86% of the tourists that visit Sao Paulo are Brazilian—especially from the countryside or the coast—while the other 14% are foreign tourists. The average stay of tourists in the city is about 3 days.

Almost a million students

The metropolitan region of Sao Paulo has many post-secondary institutions that attract a large student population. 847 thousand students are enrolled in colleges and universities throughout the city. 90% of these students are in private institutions, while the remaining 10% are in public ones. The city saw a massive growth in the amount of post-secondary institutions in the city since 2000. There are now 202 private institutions in the city and 20 public ones in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area; this represents a growth of 47% in the amount of post-secondary institutions.

Review Updated: July 8, 2020
Paulista avenue, financial center of Sao PauloPaulista avenue, financial center of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo Urban Area Population History

1950 2,334,000
1951 2,461,000
1952 2,596,000
1953 2,737,000
1954 2,886,000
1955 3,044,000
1956 3,210,000
1957 3,385,000
1958 3,570,000
1959 3,764,000
1960 3,970,000
1961 4,229,000
1962 4,515,000
1963 4,820,000
1964 5,147,000
1965 5,494,000
1966 5,866,000
1967 6,262,000
1968 6,686,000
1969 7,138,000
1970 7,620,000
1971 8,004,000
1972 8,380,000
1973 8,772,000
1974 9,184,000
1975 9,614,000
1976 10,065,000
1977 10,536,000
1978 11,030,000
1979 11,547,000
1980 12,089,000
1981 12,384,000
1982 12,629,000
1983 12,879,000
1984 13,135,000
1985 13,395,000
1986 13,660,000
1987 13,931,000
1988 14,208,000
1989 14,489,000
1990 14,776,000
1991 15,069,000
1992 15,288,000
1993 15,494,000
1994 15,702,000
1995 15,913,000
1996 16,128,000
1997 16,345,000
1998 16,565,000
1999 16,788,000
2000 17,014,000
2001 17,260,000
2002 17,512,000
2003 17,767,000
2004 18,026,000
2005 18,288,000
2006 18,555,000
2007 18,825,000
2008 19,100,000
2009 19,377,000
2010 19,660,000
2011 19,902,000
2012 20,143,000
2013 20,387,000
2014 20,633,000
2015 20,883,000
2016 21,136,000
2017 21,392,000
2018 21,650,000
2019 21,847,000
2020 22,043,000

Sao Paulo Urban Area Population Projections

2021 22,237,000
2022 22,430,000
2023 22,620,000
2024 22,807,000
2025 22,990,000
2026 23,169,000
2027 23,342,000
2028 23,509,000
2029 23,670,000
2030 23,824,000
2031 23,971,000
2032 24,111,000
2033 24,245,000
2034 24,371,000
2035 24,490,000

Map of Sao Paulo, Brazil

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