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Porto Alegre is the capital and largest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian state. Porto Alegre is one of the top cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil.


Porto Alegre began as a large farm whose surroundings were inhabited by Indians from several different tribes. A small village formed in the area in 1752 by settlers mainly from the Azores, and in 1772 the parish of São Francisco do Porto dos Casais was formed. In the same year the city was selected as the location for the provincial government.


The city population is 1,509,939 inhabitants(2010), the tenth most populous city in the country and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area, with 4,405,760 inhabitants (2010).


The "capital gaúcha" has a broad-based economy that lays particular emphasis on agriculture and industry. The shoe and leather industries are also important, especially in Novo Hamburgo, in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre. According to SENAES (National Office of Solidarity Economy), it is considered a solidarity economy, the ensemble of economic activities with the following characteristics: cooperation, self-management, economic feasibility and solidarity. In 2005, the goverment identified 14,954 solidary enterprises in Brazil, among which 85 are located in Porto Alegre. The GDP for the city was R$ 30,116,002,000 (2006). The per capita income for the city was R$ 20,900.

(Information adapted from Wikipedia)