Sao Paulo, the capital of the state of the same name, is a huge city with about 12 million inhabitants, growing to 28 million if the metropolitan area is taken into account. A large city built without any urban planning and where chaos reigns, especially on the streets. The uncontrolled growth of the city, the constant construction of new residential and commercial buildings, has resulted in a crowded metropolis with an outdated public transport system that has not been able to keep up with the population growth. As a result, the poorest people living in the suburbs are forced to spend several hours a day traveling to their jobs on overcrowded buses that fight their way through the perpetual hellish traffic on the city streets. Hoping not to get caught in a gigantic traffic jam caused by an accident or some other reason. The best solution would be to live near a subway station.
There is the city center with its skyscrapers and residential neighborhoods where the wealthy live, while on the periphery are the favelas where millions of people live crammed into shacks, without laws or services. People from the poorer classes, if they manage to go to school, go to a public school whose teaching level is very low and which is unable to prepare students for college entrance exams, creating a vicious circle in which the poor can never climb the rungs of the social ladder.
The city enjoys a good climate, the average annual temperature is about 20°C, with minimum winter temperatures rarely falling below 15°C and summer temperatures usually not exceeding 32°C.
In terms of cost, the cost of living in Sao Paulo is higher than in other cities in Brazil. But living in Sao Paulo is much cheaper than in other major cities in the world. However, the cost of living is heavily influenced by the value of the real (the Brazilian currency), which is now heavily devalued, but in the past was four to five times higher than it is today.
The inhabitants of Sao Paulo (paulisti), unlike the typical Brazilian, work quite intensively, but this does not mean that they do not love company and fun, quite the contrary. After work they devote themselves to leisure and entertainment, but do not expect the characteristic cordiality of Brazilians, here people are less open and more distant. If you love nightlife, Sao Paulo will not disappoint you: Bars, discos where live music is played until dawn, and restaurants of all kinds.
But all that glitters is not gold, as the city also suffers from some chronic problems, two of which are particularly important: crime and social inequality, as many people live below the poverty line and therefore crime occurs. Although not all crime in the city is due to social inequality or the poverty that affects millions, it is a significant contributor. The high crime rate and the sense of insecurity felt by the majority of the population mean that those who have the opportunity tend to live in fully fenced neighborhoods that are guarded day and night, forcing people to live in a state of constant tension when they are on the street or in a public space.
Speaking of work, historically the south of the country has always been the most economically developed part. Even today, Sao Paulo is the largest economic, industrial and financial center not only in Brazil, but in all of Latin America. These figures are enough to prove its economic importance: Sao Paulo contributes about 12% of Brazil’s GDP, and more than a quarter of the research conducted in the country is done at its university. Most Brazilian and foreign multinational companies have their headquarters here. So if you are looking for a job or want to start a business, this is definitely the best city in the country.
Living and working in Sao Paulo – pros and cons
Living in Sao Paulo, pros
- The most European Brazilian city
- Good job opportunities
- Lower crime rate than other Brazilian cities (Rio de Janeiro)
- Great nightlife
Living in Sao Paulo, cons
- Poverty and social inequality
- It’s not a beautiful city
- Polluted and noisy city
- Insane traffic
Living and working in Sao Paulo, conclusion
The city suffers from many problems, from congested traffic to an inadequate transportation system, from high pollution to a high crime rate, but on the other hand it offers a temperate climate, never too cold and rarely too hot. The nightlife is fantastic, and the city undoubtedly offers the best job opportunities in all of Latin America.
Life in Sao Paulo can be pleasant or extremely difficult, depending on your tastes and, above all, your financial possibilities. If you have the opportunity to live in a good neighborhood, in a safe housing complex, and you can reach your workplace by subway, so you do not have to face traffic jams, your life will not be bad. But if you are a lover of silence and tranquillity and you are forced to live in an unsafe area of the city and also without subway service, you will spend hours getting to your workplace and your life here could be hell.
If you are interested in working in Brazil, you can read the article: Moving to Brazil
If you want to have all the information about how to work in Brazil, I recommend you to read the article: Work in Brazil