The county area is 797,6 km². Population is approximately 1,059,420 (2004 est.), with over 98% in the urban region. Its metropolitan area, defined in 2000, has some 19 cities and a population of 3,2 million people. Campinas is also the administrative center of the meso-region of the same name, with 3,641,766 inhabitants (2005 est.) and 49 cities. It is the third largest city in the state, after São Paulo (10,927,985 inhab. - 2006 est.) and Guarulhos (1,283,253 inhab. - 2006 est.).
Campinas is located on the São Paulo plateau, in the transition area to the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range. It has an excellent climate throughout the year, characterized by mostly sunny and hot days (more than 200 days in the year), a mild temperature range (average yearly temperature of 22.4 degrees Celsius, ranging from an average minimum of 7.2 degrees to a maximum of 35.9 degrees) and a constant regime of cool winds. Due to this, Campinas has little air pollution and smog and the local airports almost never close due to bad weather. Thanks to a regular rain regimen, the region's vegetation is evergreen, and some crops, such as sugarcane have three harvests per year.
The wet season is from mid-October to mid-June, with heavier rains particularly in January and February, and the dry season is from mid-May to mid-September. Average rainfall is 24.3 mm in August and 267.8 mm in January. Average humidity ranges from 37% (August) to 56% (January).
In the region around Campinas near the state of Minas Gerais there are a number of cities enjoying an even milder mountain climate, such as Atibaia, Águas de Lindóia, Itapira, Itatiba, Joanópolis, Serra Negra, Socorro, where several water spas are located.
The city was founded on July 14, 1774, by Barreto Leme. It was initially a simple outpost on the way to Minas Gerais and Goiás serving the "Bandeirantes" who were in search of precious minerals and Indian slaves. In the first half of the 19th century, Campinas became a growing population center, with many coffee and sugarcane farms.
The construction of a railway linking the city of São Paulo to Santos' seaport, in 1867, was very important for its growth. In the second half of the 19th century, with the abolition of slavery, farming and industrialization attracted many foreign immigrants to replace the lost manpower, mainly from Italy.
Coffee became an important export and the city became wealthy. In consequence, a large service sector was established to serve the growing population, and in the first decades of the 20th century, Campinas could already boast of having an opera house, theaters, banks, movie theaters, radio stations, a philharmonic band, two newspapers (Correio Popular and Diário do Povo), a good public education system (with the Escola Normal de Campinas and the Colégio Culto à Ciência), and hospitals, such as the Santa Casa de Misericórdia (a charity for poor people) and the Casa de Saúde de Campinas (for the Italian community), and the most important Brazilian research center in agricultural sciences, the Instituto Agronômico de Campinas, which was founded by Emperor Pedro II. Finally, the construction of the first Brazilian highway in 1938, between Campinas and São Paulo, the Anhanguera Highway, was a turning point in the integration of Campinas into the rest of the state.
Campinas was the birthplace of opera composer Carlos Gomes (1836 — 1896) and of the President of the Republic Campos Salles (1841 — 1913). It was home for 49 years for Hércules Florence, reputed as one of the early inventors of photography, photocopying and the mimeograph.
Campinas means grass fields in Portuguese and refers to its characteristic landscape, which originally comprised large stretches of dense subtropical forests (mato grosso or thick woods in Portuguese), mainly along the many rivers, interspersed with gently rolling hills covered by low-lying vegetation.
Campinas is also known as "Cidade das Andorinhas" (City of Swallows), because it was a favorite spot for these migratory birds, which flocked annually in enormous numbers to downtown Campinas. However, they almost disappeared around the 1950s, probably because the church and plaza where they used to roost were torn down. Campinas' official crest and flag has a picture of the mythical bird, the phoenix, because it was practically reborn after a devastating epidemic of yellow fever in the 1800s, which killed more than 25% of the city's inhabitants.
An inhabitant of Campinas is called a campineiro.
As of 2000, Campinas became an official metropolitan region (RMC — Região Metropolitana de Campinas), with 19 municipalities, with a total of 2.3 million inhabitants and a total land area of 3,348 km² (data of 2000), adjacent to the São Paulo metropolitan region (RMSP).
The Campinas municipality is also the administrative center of the micro- and meso-regions of the same name. The micro-region includes the RMC (Metropolitan Region of Campinas) and the municipality of Elias Fausto; the meso-region also includes the following municipalities: Aguaí, Amparo, Águas da Prata, Águas de Lindóia, Caconde, Casa Branca, Divinolândia, Espírito Santo do Pinhal, Estiva Gerbi, Itapira, Itobi, Lindóia, Mococa, Mogi Guaçu, Moji-Mirim, Monte Alegre do Sul, Pedra Bela, Pinhalzinho, Pirassununga, Porto Ferreira, Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, Santo Antônio do Jardim, São João da Boa Vista, São José do Rio Pardo, São Sebastião da Grama, Serra Negra, Socorro, Tambaú, Tapiratiba, Vargem Grande do Sul and Vinhedo.
Other cities which are geographically, historically or economically tied to the meso-region of Campinas could be mentioned: Araras, Atibaia, Bragança Paulista, Capivari, Conchal, Iracemápolis, Itu, Itupeva, Jarinu, Jundiai, Limeira, Louveira, Mombuca, Morungaba, Piracicaba, Rafard, Rio das Pedras, Salto and Tuiuti.
Campinas' main economic activities are agriculture (mainly coffee, sugarcane, and cotton), industry (textiles, motorcycles, cars, machinery, agricultural equipment, food and beverages, chemical and petrochemical, pharmaceuticals, paper and cellulose, telecommunications, computers and electronics, etc.), commerce and services.
The region is responsible for 9% of Brazil's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with just over 3% of the country's population. Per capita income is one of the highest in Latin America (over US$ 29,000/year Purchase Parity Power). Absolute GDP has experienced a growth of more than 50%¨between 2000 and 2003. Five cities in Campinas' region are among the 100 largest in GDPs in Brazil (Campinas, Paulínia, Americana, Sumaré and Indaiatuba), with Campinas occupying the 14th position (total GDP of US$ 60 billion). About 70 companies listed in the directory of the 500 largest private and public companies are headquartered in the Campinas region, with a total gross sales volume of more than 25 billion dollars in 2005 and more than 100,000 workers.
The Campinas Metropolitan Region is home to many national and international high-tech industries, including IBM, Motorola, Freescale, Lucent, Nortel, Compaq, Celestica, Samsung, Alcatel, Bosch, 3M, Texas Instruments..
The automotive industry is also heavily represented: General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Magneti Marelli, Eaton Corporation, Tenneco, Toyota and many others are present. . It also has a sizable pharmaceutical industry sector, with companies like Medley Farma, EMS Farma, Altana, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Cristália, Valeo, etc.
In addition the region is home to many research centers and universities, such as LNLS, CPqD, CenPRA, Embrapa, Unicamp, Facamp and Puccamp. According to the Times Higher Education 2007 World University Rankings, the University of Campinas (Unicamp) is the 177th best university in the world, and the 2nd best in Latin America (after the University of São Paulo in 176th place).
Campinas also boasts the largest number of high-tech business incubators and industrial parks (a total of eight) , such as the CIATEC I and II, Softex, TechnoPark, InCamp, Polis, TechTown, Industrial Park of Campinas and others.
According to Wired Magazine, Campinas is one of the highest-growth high-tech areas in Latin America, second only to the city of São Paulo itself. Since 1995, the city has received over US$ 7 billion in investments in telecommunications, information technology and electronics. Of the 500 largest companies listed by Fortune magazine, 50 are already established in the Campinas region.
The presence of one of the largest oil refineries in Latin America (350,824 barrels of crude per day), operated by Petrobras in the neighboring county of Paulínia, has attracted many petrochemical companies to the Campinas area, including DuPont, Rhone-Poulenc, and Royal Dutch Shell.
The Brazilian Pró-Álcool Program was developed in Campinas: a whole industry based on the use of ethanol as a combustible for motor vehicles, going from a new sucrose-rich sugarcane, to alcohol refineries, a huge distribution system, and, most recently, an internal combustion engine capable of using either gasoline or ethanol.
Other examples of Campinas-bred technologies are fiber optics, lasers for telecommunications and medical applications, integrated circuits design and fabrication, satellite environmental monitoring of natural resources, software for agriculture, digital telephone switches, deep-water oil exploration platforms and technologies, biomedical equipment, medical software, genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technologies for food production and pharmaceutics, and food engineering.
Despite Campinas' position of wealth and social and economic opportunity vis-a-vis the rest of the country, the average per capita income of little more than US$ 2,700 per year clearly indicates that there are problems. If re-evaluated in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), Campinas' average income looks better (roughly 9,000 USD per year). In fact, Campinas is emblematic of the wealth distribution inequality that is so common in the country (Brazil is the 9th largest economy in the world, but ranks only 32nd in wealth generation per capita, and 117th in average Gini coefficient). Campinas has a Gini coefficient of 58%, which is almost the same as that of Brazil (59.3), a level similar to countries such as Zimbabwe and Paraguay. Such a level means that the top 10% richest make almost 70 times more than the 10% poorest.
This level of poverty contrasts with the high Human Development Index of Campinas, which is about the same level as Chile, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and Slovakia. The explanation for this apparent contradiction is that side by side, even in the same city section, one can find walled condominiums with a yearly average per capita income of US$ 60,000 to US$ 100,000 and spreading "favelas" (slum cities) with incomes of less than US$ 800 p.a. The classes A and B help move the local economy, and provide a strong tax base for the municipality.
Until the late 1970s, Campinas was proud to have no favelas, but the increasing industrialization and wealth attracted hordes of destitute agrarian workers and urban dwellers with few job qualifications from all parts of the country. Land invasions were frequent and the municipal powers were unable or unwilling to suppress them, allowing illegal occupation of land in key sectors of the city (in Brazil, state and counties are forbidden by the Federal Constitution to restrict or even measure the free movement of citizens).
Due to this, Campinas has relatively high crime rates for its size. Most of the violent crimes (armed robbery and homicides) are related to drug trafficking and occur in the poorer sections of the city.
Campinas is a major transportation and telecommunications hub for the State of São Paulo, as it is located on the major highways that connect the capital to the Northwest and Northern parts of the State. The city is served by the a Campinas Beltway (Anel Viário) and the following main highways:
All these highways are built according to the highest international standards (see highway system of São Paulo). The Anel Viário José Magalhães Teixeira (SP-038) around the city currently interconnects the Anhangüera and Dom Pedro I highways.
Campinas has long been a major railway hub, too, although passenger train lines no longer operate there.
The city built a light rail line in the early-1990s, but due to low ridership the entire project was abandoned.
The city has also a large number of radio stations as well as several local TV stations, including TV Universidades and Fenix TV (both not-for-profit, distributed by Net Campinas, the local cable distributor)
The city has always been a cultural center in the State of São Paulo. This has increased greatly with the proliferation of universities. Campinas has three theater houses, a symphony orchestra,(considered one of the three best of the country),now under Principal Conductor Parcival Módolo and Karl Martin, classical music ensembles, choral groups, 43 movie theaters, dozens of libraries (including a municipal library), art galleries, museums, etc.
Campinas is the home town for two of the oldest and most significant soccer teams of Brazil, the Associação Atlética Ponte Preta (the oldest football team in Brazil, having been founded in 1900) and Guarani Futebol Clube (the only Brazilian countryside team to have won the national championship, in 1978). They own two stadiums, the Estádio Brinco de Ouro and the Estádio Moisés Lucarelli, other team is the Campinas Futebol Clube.
Campinas' readers of the Correio Popular Newspaper and the Cosmo Website have voted in July 2007 for the "Seven Wonders of Campinas"
The mountain region around Campinas has better travel and stay opportunities, such as in the spa cities of Serra Negra and Águas de Lindóia; and in Holambra, a rural region which was populated by immigrants from the Netherlands, with an annual flower festival and typical buildings and restaurants.
Campinas has an annual municipal budget of over US$ 500 million dollars, one of the highest in Brazil. The current mayor is Hélio de Oliveira Santos, a physician, former professor of pediatric surgery at the UNICAMP Medical School and federal congressman, who was elected by a coalition of several political parties, led by the Partido Democrático Trabalhista. His term runs from Jan. 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2008.
Its mains goals are:
The Secretariat also acts as supporter to other secretariats in the City Hall, often through: the identification of national and foreign potentials investors; keeping systematic contacts with executives in Brazil and abroad, Embassies, Chambers of Commerces and relevant International Organizations; presenting Campinas to the cities and interested investors.