Infobox Brazilian State
name = State of Paraíba

motto =
anthem =

capital = João Pessoa
latd= |latm= |latNS= |longd= |longm= |longEW=
largest_city = João Pessoa
demonym = Paraibano
leader_name1 = Cássio Cunha Lima
leader_name2 = José Lacerda Neto
area = 56.584,6
area_magnitude = 1 E11
area_rank = 21th
population_estimate = 3,623,215
population_estimate_rank = 13th
population_estimate_year = 2006
population_census = 3,598,025
population_census_year = 2005
population_density = 64,2
population_density_rank = 8th
GDP = R$ 16,864,000,000
GDP_rank = 19th
GDP_year = 2005
GDP_per_capita = R$ 4,690
GDP_per_capita_rank = 24th
HDI = 0.718
HDI_rank = 23th
HDI_year = 2005
abbreviation = BR-PB
time_zone = BRT
utc_offset = -3

Paraíba (pronounced|paɾaˈiba [In Brazilian Portuguese. The European Portuguese pronunciation is IPA| [pɐɾɐˈiβɐ] .] ) is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast, where lies the easternmost point of the Americas, a cape called Ponta do Seixas. Paraíba coast has clear, calm beaches, with a barrier of reefs and natural pools. The beaches within João Pessoa, the capital, are the best known. The city has a special characteristic: it is the first Brazilian city to see the sunrise in the morning.

In the interior of the State, another important city is Campina Grande. It is one of the Brazilian capitals of forró, together with Caruaru, and during the month of June it receives more than one million tourists for the festivities.


In the mid-1500s, Portuguese settlers from Pernambuco founded Filipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves (today João Pessoa) at the mouth of the Paraíba do Norte River.

The area soon proved perfect for sugar production, with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese all constantly fighting to control the Paraíba region to grow the lucrative sugarcane in. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near João Pessoa, was built to protect the city from the Dutch, who soon became a threat to Portuguese supremacy in Brazil.

In late 1989 a team led by gemstone prospector Heitor Dimas Barbosa uncovered in a small mountain range what some consider to be the finest tourmaline crystals ever found. A trace of copper gives the tourmalines a vivid turquoise color that had never been seen before in the gems, and is sometimes referred to as "neon".

The "neon" paraiba tourmaline, a vivid blue and blue green, has also been found in other deposits close to the Batalha mine of Barbosa, and also in the neighboring state of Rio Grande do Norte. The bright colors of this tourmaline are due to the presence of copper. Around 2000, a similar copper-containing tourmaline was found in Nigeria, although the colors are not as intense. Around 2005, beautiful crystals of copper-containing tourmaline were found in Mozambique.

Initially, the nomenclature for this tourmaline was "Paraíba tourmaline". Note the capitalization and the accent on the "i". In 2006, the LMHC (Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee) agreed that "paraiba" should refer to a variety of tourmaline, and not indicate a geographic origin. Note "paraiba" is not capitalized, and does not have an accent on the "i". For more information on paraiba tourmaline, see article on tourmaline. The term "paraiba tourmaline" may now refer to gems found in Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique that contain copper and have the characteristic blue-green color.


According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 3,628,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 64.2 inh./km².

Urbanization: 76.3% (2006); Population growth: 0.8% (1991-2000); Houses: 987,000 (2006). [Source: PNAD.]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 2,136,000 Pardo (Brown) people (58.9%), 1,360,000 White people (37.5%), 123,000 Black people (3.4%), 7,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.2%). [cite book|url=|title=Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2007|publisher=IBGE|location=Paraíba, Brazil|format=PDF|isbn=85-240-3919-1|accessdate=2007-07-18|year=2007|language=Portuguese]

People of mixed-race ancestry predominate in the entire state, descendants of African, Amerindian and Portuguese settlers. [ [ :: Portal Paraíba :: Notícias, Fotos, Eventos, Turismo e muito mais ] ]

Interesting facts

Vehicles: 432,337 (March/2007);
Mobile phones: 1.5 million (April/2007); Telephones: 431 thousand (April/2007); Cities: 223 (2007). [Source: IBGE.]


The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 56.5%, followed by the industrial sector at 33.1%. Agriculture represents 10.4%, of GDP (2004). Paraíba exports: woven of cotton 36.3%, footweares 20.1%, sugar and alcohol 10.8%, fish and crustacean 9.7%, sisal 7%, cotton 6.6% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 0.8% (2004). [cite book|url=|title=List of Brazilian states by GDP|publisher=IBGE|location=Paraíba, Brazil|format=PDF|isbn=85-240-3919-1|accessdate=2007-07-18|year=2004|language=Portuguese]

The Paraíba economy is largely based upon the making of shoes and other leather products, the raising of cattle for beef, and sugarcane, corn. Though historically sugarcane has dominated the Paraíba agricultural sector, pineapple, corn, and beans cultivation are also widespread. The other important economical sector in the state is tourism, especially the state urban and unspoilt beaches, ecoturism and festivals such as "carnaval" and "São João."


Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions

* Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB) (Federal University of Paraíba);
* Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG) (Federal University of Campina Grande)
* Universidade Estadual da Paraíba (UEPB) (State University of Paraíba);
* UNIPÊ (Centro Universitário de João Pessoa);
* Instituto de Educação Superior da Paraíba (IESP);
* Faculdade Maurício de Nassau (FMN) (Maurício de Nassau College);
* and many others.


Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese for whom St John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets (step names are in French, which shows the mutual influences between court life and peasant culture in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century Europe). Once exclusively a rural festival, today in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing), such as what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe,and bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.


The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets.


International Airport

*João PessoaLocated in the municipality of Bayeux, eight kilometers from downtown João Pessoa, Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport is currently undergoing expansion and remodeling work, which will raise the terminal’s annual capacity to 860 thousand passengers.The airport is well located in relation to obstacles because it covers an area roughly 65 meters above sea level and is sufficiently distant from urban areas or large real estate developments.The surrounding area is sparsely populated, with large open spaces. The existing developments are industrial with some small weekend country houses. There is no rough terrain or tall buildings nearby creating obstacles for takeoffs and landings.The airport also is blessed with excellent climatic conditions for air operations. Moreover, within its approach radius there are no obstacles that can hinder or create risk for local air traffic. Named for a past president (former name for governors) of Paraíba, Castro Pinto, the airport operates round the clock. The current passenger terminal, built in an area of 8,947.72 square meters, has two levels, gardens and ample vehicle parking. It has all the expected amenities: arrival and departure lounges, a main concourse, check-in counters, baggage storage lockers, airline counters, snack bar/restaurant, tourist information booth, car rental agencies, taxi service and private parking.

National Airport

*Campina GrandeLocated in the interior of the state of Paraíba, in the city of Campina Grande, João Suassuna Airport was remodeled in 2003, receiving a new terminal with capacity of 250 thousand passengers a year.The old building was demolished and on the site a new facility was built holding nine shops, the main concourse, arrival and departure lounges, VIP lounge, bathrooms, mezzanine and a diaper-changing area.The terminal area was increased to 2,500 square meters. The boarding area has 350 square meters and the parking lot has spaces for 180 cars. This expansion benefited the city both economically and from the standpoint of tourism. With the possibility for new flights, the air cargo movement will be able to grow, along with the number of tourists coming to attend the city’s famous São João Festival. A panel measuring 17 by 3.5 meters in the front of the building carries a poem by the Paraíban writer Ariano Suassuna, in homage to his father, for whom the airport is named. Three more artworks are on permanent display in the passenger terminal.


BR-101 and BR-230.


The word "nego" is Portuguese for "I deny", referring to the protests that erupted in the 1920s in Paraíba, supported by state president João Pessoa Cavalcânti de Albuquerque, to the appointment of Júlio Prestes as the President of Brazil. João Pessoa joined the alliance for the overthrow of the federal government, which successfully conducted Getúlio Vargas to Presidency. The rebellion events eventually led to the murder of João Pessoa, although there is debate regarding the reasons of the murder, if personal, political or both.

According to the official government site of the state of Paraíba, the red stands for the blood due to the assassination of João Pessoa; the black represents the mourning following the assassination. Some associate the colors with communism and anarchism, but this interpretation does not find echoes in Paraíba's history.

Major Cities

* João Pessoa, state capital
* Campina Grande
* Patos
* Santa Rita
* Sousa
* Guarabira
* Areia
* Arara


Important Figures and Celebrities

Paraíba is home to some of the most noted Brazilian poets and writers such as Augusto dos Anjos (1884-1908), José Américo de Almeida (1887-1980), José Lins do Rego (1901-1957) and Pedro Américo (1843-1905) (mostly known for his historical paintings). No estado surgiram notáveis poetas e escritores brasileiros: Augusto dos Anjos (1884-1908), José Américo de Almeida,born in Areia (1887-1980), Member of Academia Brasileira de Letras e José Lins do Rego (1901-1957), Member of Academia Brasileira de Letras.

Below is a gallery of a few of people from the state of Paraíba (called "paraibanos") who have impacted in diverse fields, ranging from the arts, to culture, politic, and science.

ee also

*en icon Brazil
*pt icon [ Official Website]
*en icon [ Brazilian Tourism Portal]
*en icon [ Photos of the state]
*en icon List of cities in Brazil (all cities and municipalities)

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Paraíba — état du N. E. du Brésil, sur l Atlantique; 56 372 km²; 3 146 000 hab.; cap. João Pessoa. Des plateaux peu élevés semi arides dominent la plaine côtière. Tungstène et étain …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Paraíba — [pä rä ē′bä] state of NE Brazil: 21,848 sq mi (56,586 sq km); pop. 3,201,000; cap. João Pessoa …   English World dictionary