São Paulo, or Sampa as it is also often called, is the largest city in Brazil, with a municipality population of 12.1 million, and about 21.3 million in its metropolitan region - the second most populous of the Southern Hemisphere. It is the capital of the Southeastern state of São Paulo, and also a beehive of activity that offers a jovial nightlife and an intense cultural experience.
São Paulo is South America's major economic center and possesses the 10th largest GDP in the world, though poverty, especially in the suburbs, is still widespread due to the blatant social inequality. Historically attractive to immigrants and to Brazilians from other states, it has a unique cultural identity formed by combining Portuguese and African roots (common to the entire country) with other influences, in particular Italian, Arab and Japanese.
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