In 2017, São Paulo (SP) had the highest GDP and Paulínia (SP), the highest per capita GDP

December 13, 2019 10h00 AM | Last Updated: December 17, 2019 06h05 PM

In 2017, one fourth of the country's GDP came from just seven municipalities. São Paulo (SP) was the leader contributing with 10.6% to the country's GDP which, this year, reached R$6,583 trillion. The municipality with the biggest per capita GDP was Paulínia (SP) (R$344,847.17).

The economic density of the country was of R$774 thousand/km². Osasco was the municipality with the highest density, generating R$1 billion per square meter (km²). From 2002 to 2017, Osasco was also the municipality with the highest participation increase in the GDP of the country (0.3 percentage points), mainly due to Services.

The economic activity of the São Paulo City-Region, area gathering 92 strongly interrelated neighboring municipalities, generated a figure equivalent to one fourth of the country's GDP.

These are some of the highlights of the 2017 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Municipalities. The 24 maps resulting from this study are available at the geographic interactive platform of the IBGE.

Seven municipalities concentrate one fourth of the country’s GDP

In 2017, seven municipalities accounted for 24.4% of Brazil’s GDP and concentrated 13.6% of the population: São Paulo (SP) with 10.6%, Rio de Janeiro (RJ) with 5.1%, Brasília (DF) with 3.7%, Belo Horizonte (MG) with 1.4%, Curitiba (PR) with 1.3%, Osasco (SP) with 1.2% and Porto Alegre (RS) with 1.1%.

Municipalities with the 10 biggest GDP figures - 2017
FUs Municipality GDP (R$ 1,000) % participation in the country's GDP Cumulative participation %
SP São Paulo  699,288,352 10.62 10.62
RJ Rio de Janeiro  337,594,462 5.13 15.75
DF Brasília  244,682,756 3.72 19.47
MG Belo Horizonte    88,951,168 1.35 20.82
PR Curitiba    84,702,357 1.29 22.10
SP Osasco    77,910,496 1.18 23.29
RS Porto Alegre    73,862,306 1.12 24.41
AM Manaus    73,201,651 1.11 25.52
BA Salvador    62,717,483 0.95 26.47
CE Fortaleza    61,579,403 0.94 27.41

The 69 municipalities with the biggest GDP represented, approximately,  half of the total (49.8%) and a little more than  one third of the country’s population. In 2020, only four municipalities accounted for almost  one fourth of the national economy. The 1,324 municipalities with the lowest GDP represented , in 2017, almost 1.0% of the country’s GDP and  3.1% of the Brazilian population.

The analysis of the GDP distribution by urban concentration areas ( population arrangement with more than 100 thousand  residents, gathering one or more cities with a high level of integration, due to the work or study commute) shows that  one fourth of the country’s economic population in 2017 lived in only two of them: São Paulo/SP (17.3%), where, among others, the municipality of Osasco (SP) is located; and Rio de Janeiro/RJ (7.7%)

The 10 biggest urban concentration areas form almost 43% of the GDP, they are: São Paulo/SP, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brasília/DF, Belo Horizonte/MG, Porto Alegre/RS, Curitiba/PR, Campinas/SP, Salvador/BA, Recife/PE and Fortaleza/CE.

Osasco is the leader in economic density, with R$ 1 billion/km2

Economic density in the country, in 2017, was of R$ 774 thousand/km², while in the urban concentration areas, that amount is 10.5 times higher: R$ 8.2 million/km². In the Legal Amazon, a  region with vast areas of low occupation, that amount was R$ 114 thousand/km².

From the 10 municipalities with the highest economic density, seven were located in the large urban concentration area of São Paulo/SP, and Osasco (SP), with more than R$ 1 billion/km², had the  highest figure.

While in the urban concentration area of São Paulo/SP, each square kilometer produced R$ 159.2 million, the urban concentration area of Rio de Janeiro/RJ, second in the ranking, produced about half as that amount: R$ 83.8 million.

Urban Concentrations
10 biggest urban concentrations by GDP value  GDP
(R$ 1 000)
Participation of GDP in Brazil's (%) 10 urban concentrations with the biggest economic densities Economic density (Thousand R$/km2)
Total  2,838,351,683       43.1 Total    88,214
São Paulo/SP  1,139,123,800       17.3 São Paulo/SP  159,230
Rio de Janeiro/RJ     506,953,116         7.7 Rio de Janeiro/RJ    83,769
Brasília/DF     256,171,693         3.9 Campinas/SP    78,909
Belo Horizonte/MG     176,892,300         2.7 Jundiaí/SP    56,941
Porto Alegre/RS     161,583,205         2.5 Indaiatuba (SP)    43,300
Curitiba/PR     150,505,660         2.3 Americana - Santa Bárbara d´Oeste/SP    39,799
Campinas/SP     140,031,349         2.1 Itajaí - Balneário Camboriú/SC    37,285
Salvador/BA     116,613,003         1.8 Baixada Santista/SP    36,123
Recife/PE     106,272,011         1.6 Recife/PE    34,898
Fortaleza/CE       84,205,547         1.3 Vitória/ES    34,762
Source: IBGE, Produto Interno Bruto dos Municípios. Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Contas Nacionais e Diretoria de Geociências, Coordenação de Geografia e Coordenação de Recursos Naturais e Estudos Ambientais.

São Paulo City-Region concentrates 24.6% of the country’s GDP

Inequality is even more evident when we compare the Semi-arid Region, the Legal Amazon and the São Paulo City-Region. The first represented, in 2017, only 5.2% of the national GDP, the Legal Amazon, 8.7%, and the São Paulo City-Region 24.6%. The City-Region of São Paulo gathers 92 municipalities whose productive process are strongly interconnected (goods, culture, financial flows, etc.) with that in the São Paulo metropolis.

In 2002, only four Capitals from the North Region were among the 100 highest GDP. In 2017, the municipality of Parauapebas (PA) – non-capital – was in that list, with 0.3% of participation in the Brazilian GDP.

In 2017, 32.4% of the national GDP came from the capitals, the lowest participation in the series. São Paulo (SP) was the leader with 10.6% of participation and Rio Branco (AC) with 0.1% was in the last position.


Municipalities of the agricultural frontier were the highlights in terms of per capita GDP

In the map that shows the per capita GDP by municipality in the Brazilian territory, in 2017, as well as the biggest urban centers of the Center-South, some highlights are regions of significant expansion of the agricultural frontier, mainly in the central region of Mato Grosso, in western Bahia and in the upper Parnaíba river, where there was increased participation of the soybean production chain associated with the low demographic density.

Other highlights are: Vitória do Xingu (PA), for the electricity generation, Canaã do Carajás (PA) and Parauapebas (PA), where mining industries have huge importance, and the east of Mato Grosso do Sul, where the pulp production chain stands out.

Paulínia had the highest per capita GDP in the country

In 2017, the 10 municipalities with the highest per capita GDP accounted for 1.5% of the Brazilian GDP and for 0.2% of the population. Paulínia (SP), with R$ 344,847.17, had the highest per capita GDP, due to oil refining. In the municipalities of the second, fourth and seventh places, oil also stood out: Triunfo (RS), in petrochemistry; Presidente Kennedy (ES), in mining; and São Francisco do Conde (BA), in refining. In 2017, per capita GDP of the country reached R$ 31,702.25.

Municípios com os 10 maiores PIB per capita - 2017
 FUs  Municipality Per capita GDP     (R$ 1,00) Ratio per capita GDP of municipalities / Brazil
SP Paulínia 344,847.17 10.88
RS Triunfo 311,211.93 9.82
SP Louveira 300,639.40 9.48
ES Presidente Kennedy 292,397.08 9.22
MG São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo 289,925.44 9.15
MS Selvíria 271,094.70 8.55
BA São Francisco do Conde 253,895.58 8.01
MG Extrema 219,239.07 6.92
PA Vitória do Xingu 209,799.94 6.62
SP Jaguariúna 209,320.86 6.60

The municipalities of Louveira (SP) and Extrema (MG) were in the third and eighth place, due to the wholesale trade. In the fifth place, São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo (MG) is the only municipality that have the iron ore extraction as his main activity, among the 10 highest per capita GDP in 2017. Selvíria (MS), which held the sixth place, and Vitória do Xingu (PA), the ninth, were included in this list because of the hydroelectric power generation. Finally, in the tenth place is Jaguariúna (SP) due to the manufacturing industries.

Among the capitals, Brasília (DF), with R$ 80,502.47, was the leader in relation to the per capita GDP, while Belém (PA) held the last position (R$ 20,821.46).


From 2016 to 2017, Maricá (RJ) had the biggest gain in participation in the country's GDP

From 2016 to 2017, the municipalities with the biggest gain in participation in the country's GDP were Maricá (RJ), Parauapebas (PA), Ribeirão Preto (SP), Niterói (RJ) and Goiana (PE), all of them with an increase of 0.1 p.p.

Maricá (RJ) and Niterói (RJ) had their gain related to the oil extraction. In Parauapebas (PA) the increase was due to iron ore extraction. Ribeirão Preto (SP) had the fourth biggest gain due to manufacturing industries and to trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. In Goiana (PE), car industry was main factor.

In contrast, the five biggest decreases in participation were recorded by São Paulo (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), São José dos Campos (SP), Belo Horizonte (MG) and Betim (MG). In São Paulo, the drop was due to the financial activities, insurance and related services. In Rio de Janeiro and in Belo Horizonte, the fall was concentrated in construction; in São José dos Campos, in manufacturing industries, and in Betim in oil refining.

Curral Novo do Piauí (PI) was the municipality with the biggest growth between 2016 and 2017 – it advanced 3,400 positions – and its performance was influenced by the wind power production industry, as well as Bodó (RN) and Simões (PI), with the second and third biggest gains in position. In contrast, the biggest retreat was that of Morro da Garça (MG): 2,208 positions, due to the reduction in the wild-crop harvesting activity. After that came Jandaíra (RN), which had reduction in manufacturing industries.


From 2002 to 2017, the Osasco (SP) recorded the biggest increase in participation in the country's GDP

From 2002 to 2017,  São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had the highest drops in participation among the Brazilian municipalities, indicating a decentralization trend in  GDP at municipal level.

Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ), São Bernardo do Campo (SP) and São José dos Campos (SP) recorded decreases of 0.5 p.p., 0.3 p.p. and 0.3 p.p., respectively. In the municipality of Rio de Janeiro there was reduction in the amount of oil extraction and in the two municipalities of São Paulo the drop was due to manufacturing industries.

Osasco had the highest participation gain in the period (0.3 p.p.) due to trade and to financial activities. Itajaí (SC) is the second (0.2 p.p.) due to trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Alto Horizonte (GO) had the biggest growth in position due to extraction of nonferrous minerals.

The biggest drops occurred in Motuca (SP) and Rubiácea (SP), where agriculture in predominant.


Public Administration prevails in 49.2% of the country's municipalities

In 2017, for 49.2% of the Brazilian municipalities, Public administration, defense, education and health and social security was the main economic activity. In Acre, Roraima, Amapá, Piauí, Paraíba and the Federal District that percentage  exceeded 90.0%. In contrast, São Paulo had only 9.3% of his municipalities with such characteristic.

Of the 279 municipalities whose main activity in 2017 was the manufacturing industry, 219 (78.5%) were in the Southeast and South. Mato Grosso had the highest percentage of municipalities where Agriculture, including support for agriculture and post-harvesting, is the key activity (35.5%), followed by Rio Grande do Sul (32.4%) and Paraná (30.8%).

Public administration, defense, education and health and social security had increased participation in the economy of municipalities with lower GDPs. In the municipalities of the North and Northeast, the services of public administration had a higher influence in their economies.

10 municipalities gathered almost half of their gross value added in public administration, being the first three positions those of: Brasília (9.8%), Rio de Janeiro (4.9%) and São Paulo (4.3%).

Almost 11.4% of the value added in public administration came from the City-Region of São Paulo, while the Semi-arid Region produced 10.6% and Legal Amazon 12.3% of the national total.

São Desidério (BA) has the highest value added of Agriculture

In 2017, almost  one fourth of the gross value added in the Brazilian Agriculture came from 165 municipalities, of which 96 (58.2%) were in the South and in the Center-West, based on the soybean, cotton and rice production.

The five municipalities with the highest values were São Desidério (BA), Rio Verde (GO), Sapezal (MT), Sorriso (MT) and Três Lagoas (MS), and accounted for 2.2% of the gross value added of  Agriculture.

In the analysis by rural regions (a group of municipalities, in which one of them has the urban center where it is possible to find inputs and where the agricultural products are sent to), the highest gross value added figures were, in general, in the South and Southeast, due to the soybean and sugarcane production.

The regions of Passo Fundo/RS and Cascavel/PR had the highest participation and accounted for 8.2% of the gross value added  of Agriculture.

20 municipalities account for one fourth of the value added of Industry

In 2017, 20 municipalities concentrated  one fourth of the gross value added of Industry, showing a higher concentration than that of in Agriculture. The capital of São Paulo (4.9%) maintained the first position (8.1% in 2002), with Rio de Janeiro (2.7%) and Manaus (2.1%) following it.

Among the urban concentration areas, São Paulo/SP had the biggest participation (11.2% of the industrial activity of the country), followed by Rio de Janeiro/RJ (5.3%), Campinas/SP (3.2%, Belo Horizonte (3.2%) and Curitiba/PR (2.8%), in 2017. These five urban concentration areas accounted for 26.0% of the gross value added of the Brazilian Industry.

The City-Region of São Paulo concentrated 22.3% of the gross value added of  Industry in the country, highlighting the manufacturing industries. The Legal Amazon represented 9.7% and the Semi-arid Region, 4.0%.


São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the Federal District concentrate one fourth of the value added  of Services (except for Public Administration)

In Services (except for Public administration, defense, education and health and social security) three municipalities accounted for almost one fourth of the activity total in Brazil in 2017: São Paulo (SP), with 15.0%, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), with 5.7%, and Brasília (DF), with 3.4%. The 38 municipalities with the highest participation accounted for half of the total, among which 19 were capitals.

The urban concentration area of São Paulo/SP had 22.8% of the gross value added of Services (except for Public administration, defense, education and health and social security).

The City-Region of São Paulo concentrated 30.1% of the country's Services, excluding Public administration. The Semi-arid Region presented a gross value added that accounted for 4.2% of these services, while the Legal Amazon participated with 6.6%.