It is located in the Brazilian geopolitical region of the Southeast (assigned by IBGE) and its boundaries, all of them with other Brazilian states in the Southeast region (Rio de Janeiro is the only state in the Southeast to share borders exclusively with other states in the same macroregion), are with Minas Gerais (N and NW), Espírito Santo (NE) and São Paulo (SW), and plus its shore line, in the Atlantic Ocean, to its East and South.
Rio de Janeiro has an area of 43,653 km² and its capital is the city of Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital of the Portuguese colony as of 1763 (the first capital being Salvador da Bahia), capital of the United Kingdom of Brazil, Portugal and Algarves as of 1806 and the capital of independent Brazil from 1822 to 1960.
The state is part of the Mata Atlântica biome, and its topography comprises both mountains and plains, located between the Mantiqueira Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Its coast is carved by the bays of Guanabara, Sepetiba, and Ilha Grande.
Rio de Janeiro is the smallest state in the Southeast macroregion and one of the smallest in Brazil. It has, however, the third longest coastline in the country (second only to Bahia's and Maranhão's), extending 635 kilometers.
In the 17th century, cattle and sugar cane stimulated the city's progress which was definitively assured when the port started to export the extracted gold of Minas Gerais in 18 century. In 1763, Rio de Janeiro became the headquarters of the Colonial Brazil and the capital of the colony. With the change of the royal family for Brazil, in 1808, the region very was benefited with urban reforms to shelter the Portuguese. Inside of the promoted changes they are distinguished: the transference of agencies of public administration and justice, the creation of new churches, hospitals, foundation of the first bank of the country - the Banco do Brasil - and the Imprensa Régia, with the Gazette do Rio of Janeiro. In following years had also appeared the Jardim Botânico, Academia Real Militar.
Thus, a process of cultural introduction, influenced not only by the arrival of the Royal Family, but also by the presence of European artists who had been hired to register the society and Brazilian nature. In this same time, was born the Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofícios (The Royal School of Sciences, Arts, and Works).
According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 15,593,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 356,1 inh./km². Urbanization: 96.9% (2004); Population growth: 1.3% (1991-2000); Houses: 4.944.333 (2005).
The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census resulted in the following numbers: 8,513,778 White people (54.6%), 5,145,690 Pardo (Brown) people (33.0%), 1,871,160 Black people (12.0%), 62,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.4%).
People of Portuguese ancestry predominate in most of the state. Other European ethnic groups, such as Swiss and Germans settled mostly in the mountainous areas (Nova Friburgo, Petrópolis, etc) and in the capital. Italians and Spaniards are also present in the capital as well as in the surrounding cities.
Participation in the Brazilian economy: 12.6% (2004).
It is the great explosion of joy in Rio. A party uniting emotions, creativity, plasticity, colours, sounds and much fantasy. It is the greatest popular party in the world. A unique record of the rich cultural melting pot typical of Brazil.
Since August 2004, with the transfer of many flights from Santos-Dumont Airport, Rio de Janeiro International Airport has returned to being the main doorway to Brazil. According to data from the official Brazilian travel bureau, Embratur, nearly 40% of foreign tourists who visit Brazil choose Rio as their gateway, meaning Galeão Airport. Besides linking Rio to the rest of Brazil with domestic flights, Galeão has connections to more than 18 countries. It can handle up to 15 million users a year in two passenger terminals. Located only 20 kilometers from downtown Rio, the international airport is served by several quick access routes, such as the Linha Vermelha and Linha Amarela freeways and Avenida Brasil, thus conveniently serving residents of the city’s southern, northern and western zones. There are special shuttle buses linking Galeão to Santos-Dumont, and bus and taxi service to the rest of the city. The airport complex also has Brazil’s longest runway at 4.240 meters, and one of South America’s largest and best equipped cargo logistics terminals.
More notable sports events in Rio include the MotoGP Brazilian Grand Prix and the World Beach volleyball finals. Jacarepaguá was the place of Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix into 1978-1990 and the Champ Car event into 1996-1999. WCT/WQS Surf championships were contested on the beaches from 1985-2001. The city has built a new stadium near the Maracanã, to hold 45,000 people. It was named after Brazilian ex-FIFA president João Havelange. Sports are a very popular pastime in Rio de Janeiro. The most popular is futebol (soccer). Rio de Janeiro is home to four traditional Brazilian football clubs:Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco.