With 46,180 square kilometers (17,830 sq mi), it is about the size of Estonia, or half the size of Portugal, and has a variety of habitats including coastal planes, lakes, mountainous forests, mangroves and many others.
The volcanic islands of Trindade and Martim Vaz, 715 kilometers (444 mi) east of Vitória in the southern Atlantic Ocean, also belong to Espírito Santo state.
The main river in the state is the Doce (Sweet River). Other important river basins include the Santa Maria River Basin, the northern branch of rivers which join the sea at Vitória, and the Jucu River Basin which flows into the sea at roughly the same place, but corresponds to the southern branch (which seems to come out of Vitória). (See also List of municipalities in Espírito Santo)
Espírito Santo's climate is tropical along the coast, with dry winters and rainy summers. North of Doce River is generally drier and also hot. In the mountainous regions in the south and southwest of the state, the tropical climate is strongly influenced by altitude, and the average temperatures are lower.
One of the most important lake districts in Brazil lies on the banks of the Doce River. The area contains some 26 large lakes, the biggest of which is called Juparanã Lake.
The state can be divided into two areas: the low lying coastline and the highland area known as Serra (where one can find the 2,890 m Pico da Bandeira mountain), which is part of the larger Serra do Caparaó, the Caparaó Mountain Range.
In the map to the right the Serrai is in the gray area in the extreme southwest of the state, and is shared with Minas Gerais.
This Brazilian state is in the east of the southeastern subdivision of Brazil, which also contains the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), the state of Bahia (N), the state of Minas Gerais (N and W), and the state of Rio de Janeiro (S). Espírito Santo's main cities (outside of the Greater Vitória region) are Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Colatina, Linhares, São Mateus and Aracruz.
There are doubts as to the origin of the term capixaba, the popular gentilic for those born in Espírito Santo. It may derive from the name of a local tribe, from when the Portuguese arrived in the area during the colonial period. A more accepted explanation states that the local Amerindians gave the name to the inhabitants of Vitória island, which means plantation or even corn plantation, as plantations of various crops were interspersed with their houses. "Capixaba" is a word from Tupi. It means "corn hair", because when the Portuguese arrived some of them were blond and their hair reminded the native people of the golden color of corn. Originally, "Capixabas" referred only to individuals born in Vitória; later, the term came to refer to those born anywhere in the state of Espírito Santo, although the official gentilic for the state is "espiritossantense".
Espírito Santo was first inhabited by Amerindians, whose different tribes were usually semi-nomadic. The area was colonized by the Portuguese, and subsequently descendants of black slaves, and, later, by European immigrants of various origins.
The area had been granted to Vasco Coutinho just after the discovery of Brazil in 1500. He arrived in the district (capitania, in Portuguese) of Espírito Santo on May 23, 1535, bringing 60 soldiers, slaves and servants with him.
The capital of the district was at first in Vila Velha. But due to frequent raids by Amerindians, it was moved to the current capital of Vitória, founded on September 8, 1551, on an island near Vila Velha.
In 1556, after the arrival of missionaries, Serra, Nova Almeida and Santa Cruz were founded.
The district remained under the influence of Coutinho's family for 140 years. It remained a district for 287 years until 1821, when it became a province.
With the Brazilian declaration of independence in 1822, the District Directors became known as Provincial Presidents. In the same way the district of Espírito Santo became Espírito Santo Province. During this period in 1860 the Emperor Pedro II, who was on good terms with the provincial President, visited the state on one of his tours of Brazil. There are still surviving accounts of what he's seen and recorded.
In 1889, with the advent of the Brazilian Republic, Espírito Santo finally became a state.
After the adoption of a republican system, Afonso Cláudio de Freitas Rosa became, by appointment, the first governor of Espírito Santo State. He was followed by four other appointed governors (José Horácio Costa, Constante Gomes Sodré, Henrique da Silva Coutinho and Antônio Gomez Aguirre) until the inauguration of the first elected governor of Espírito Santo, Alfeu Adolfo Monjardim de Andrade e Almeida, on June 7, 1891.
After Getúlio Vargas took power, the governors were elected by the national congress, and after this, a number of interveners were sent to govern the state. A short period of democracy returned when Carlos Monteiro Lindenberg was elected by Capixabas. However, after the 1964 military coup interveners were once again chosen by the national assembly. After Cristiano Dias Lopes, Arthur Carlos Gerhard Santos, Élcio Álvares and Eurico Rezende were chosen this way, open elections were used to choose all leaders from Gerson Camata up to the current governor Renato Casagrande.
During the first 300 years, the main cash crop was sugarcane, until 1850 when coffee, in high demand by Europeans, overtook it. During the colonial era, there were also periods of "gold rush" when agriculture was neglected, leading to food shortages, but not much gold was found in Espírito Santo. Another factor that impeded expansion was the prohibition of roads opening into Minas Gerais, where it was feared smuggling would be encouraged through Espírito Santo.
According to the IBGE as of 2012, there were 3,637,000 people residing in the state. The 2012 National Research by Household Sample census revealed the following numbers: 1,835,000 White (50.45%), 1,448,000 Brown (Multiracial) (39.81%), 336,000 Black (9.25%), 7,000 Asian (0.19%), 11,000 Indigenous (0.30%).
The population density was 72.7 inhabitants per square kilometer (188/sq mi). Urbanization: 82.2% (2006); Population growth: 2% (1991–2000); Houses: 1,056,000 (2006).
The pre-colonial Amerindians groups in Espírito Santo were the Tupiniquim, the Temininó, the Aymoré, the Puri and the Botocudo. They have largely been absorbed into the Portuguese-Brazilian civilization, few of them still living in reservations following subsistence farming methods and trying to preserve their fragile culture. Especially back in the 16th century, a number of towns in Espírito Santo were founded with primarily Amerindian populations converted to Catholicism, such as Serra and Santa Cruz. Amerindian food has made its way permanently into Capixaba life, featuring the fish-based moqueca capixaba as the state dish, among other local typical seafood dishes.
Technically from the region that is now Syria and Lebanon, they came to the state fleeing World War I. As at the time they were Ottoman Empire citizens, they were commonly called 'Turcos' (Turks). Large communities were established in the southern part of the state. Now their descendants control a good share of the local commerce. The Arab-Brazilians of Espírito Santo are generally Maronite Christians.
60-75% of the population of Espírito Santo have Italian ancestry, making it the state with the highest percentage of descendants of Italians in Brazil. They founded many towns in the area and have significant influence on Capixaba society. There are still a number of traditional Italian dance groups in the state and Italian culture festivals, such as the one held in the town of Venda Nova do Imigrante. Italian food is also a large part of Capixaba cuisine, and even industry. Italian cheeses like mozzarella are produced locally, and pasta is also made there, with Firenze Pastas being a local producer. Small scale farming, which is turning increasingly towards agrotourism, is appealing to its Italian roots to exploit that market. This is another prominent aspect of Capixaba life.
The first Portuguese colonists arrived in the area called Vila Velha on May 23, 1535 along with Vasco Fernandes Coutinho, the first Portuguese "Captain" of Espírito Santo. Later they also settled on Vitória Island in the Bay of Vitória.
A strong local influence, Germans were among the first colonists to cultivate land away from the coastal zone. The first German settlement, Santa Isabel, was founded in 1844. Like today's Capixaba Italian community, they still hold on to many aspects of their ancestors' homeland's culture, still having active traditional dance groups and festivals such as the Sommerfest in Domingos Martins. Testimony to this is the small Colonization museum in Domingos Martins, where one can find old photos, artifacts and documents pertaining to that settlement movement. Also during the same period, the first colonists from Luxembourg arrived in Espírito Santo.
Espírito Santo is home to the biggest community of Pommersch/Pomeranian speakers in the world. More than a century after arriving to Espírito Santo, the Pomeranian continues to be spoken and remains an important part of Espírito Santo's heritage for many people. To this day they continue centuries old customs within their communities.
Spaniards, especially from the Basque Provinces, settled in Espírito Santo in the times of the Iberian Union (1580–1640). Their main activity was the whale hunting, which were still easily found along Espírito Santo's coast at that time. Highlighting this fact, we find that one of Espírito Santo's history's most important heroines, Maria Ortiz, who took part on the resistance against the Dutch invaders in the early 17th century, was of Basque origin. This trend of Spanish immigration ceased after the Portuguese monarchy's restoration (see Iberian Union), however, a later wave of Spanish immigrants would arrive in larger numbers in the late 19th century.
The first African slaves in Espírito Santo arrived in Vitória in 1609; and years of slavery ensued. However, Espírito Santo was still to play a significant part in the Brazilian abolitionist movement in the guise of the Espírito Santo's slave rebellion of 1848-1849, which demanded intervention of imperial troops. Slavery started losing its economic importance in Espírito Santo after that event.
It's difficult to pin down the exact numbers of immigrants of each of these groups to Espírito Santo because they usually arrived under a common Austrian-Hungarian passport, or, in the case of the Tyroleans, under a Swiss or Italian passport. An important fact regarding Tyrolean immigration was that these groups were formed by young couples who left Tyrol due to the Austrian laws that imposed difficulties for Tyrolean men to marry before the age of 30 (they were supposed to remain in the Austrian army for a longer time), so large numbers of them started crossing the border to marry in Switzerland, and to leave Europe after the wedding. Tyrolean settlers were both of German and Italian language and concentrated in the region of Santa Leopoldina. Romanians (especially from Transylvania and Bukovina) and Roma usually arrived under Austrian passports. Large groups of gypsies settled in Espírito Santo's countryside in the late 19th century, being absorbed by the mainstream of its society later.
The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 50%, followed by the industrial sector at 44%. Agriculture represents 5% of GDP (2004). Espírito Santo's exports: manufacturing of iron and steel 35.8%, iron ore 25.2%, paper 17.6%, coffee 7.7%, granite 6.5% (2002).
Brazilian's economy share: Espírito Santo is Brazil's largest producer of petroleum. The main crops of the state are rice, coffee (one of the most important cash crops in Brazil), cacao, sugarcane, beans, fruit (mostly bananas and papayas), and maize. The livestock industry, important throughout Brazil, is primarily cattle raised for milk and beef. Industry consists mainly of canning, forestry, textiles, iron and steel works. The latter two are concentrated around Cariacica and the "Vale do Rio Doce" ironworks.
Vitória is an important port for exporting iron and steel, mainly due to the fact that the state is the biggest steel producer in the world. In São Mateus, petroleum reserves have been found on its continental shelf, and today are being commercially exploited.
Tourism plays an ever-increasing role in the state's economy. However, most of the visitors are from neighbouring states, rather than foreign countries. Popular destinations include coastal areas such as Guarapari, Jacaraípe and Manguinhos, but mountain retreats such as Domingos Martins are also popular. Guarapari is also a local tourist destination, known for its healing black sand beaches.
In 2016, an ongoing drought over much of the state negatively impacted coffee and other crops.
Vehicles: 850,141 (March 2007); Mobile phones: 1.8 million (April 2007); Telephones: 800,000 (April 2007); Cities: 78 (2007)Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES) (Federal University of Espírito Santo);
Instituto Federal do Espírito Santo (IFES);
Faculdades Integradas Espírito-santenses (FAESA) (Faculdades Integradas Espírito-santenses);
Universidade Vila Velha (UVV) (Vila Velha University);
Centro Universitário do Espírito Santo (Unesc-ES);
and many others.
Eurico de Aguiar Salles Airport is located on a land plot of just over 5.2 million square meters (1,300 acres). Since construction of its first step, finished in 1946, Vitória Airport has undergone several expansions and modernizations, but current demand has surpassed its capacity of 560 thousand passengers a year. The passenger terminal is air conditioned, with a constructed area of nearly 4,000 square meters (43,000 sq ft), a check-in concourse, 25 check-in counters and boarding and arrival lounges. The recent construction of new aircraft parking boxes on the aprons has improved the airport’s operational efficiency. In 2003 more than 1.2 million passengers used the airport, and in 2004 this rose to some 1.25 million. Vitória is one of the 32 airports in the Infraero network that has a cargo terminal. In May 1999 the first direct international freight connection to the United States (Miami) began operating to Vitória, facilitating imports to the state of Espírito Santo. Today there are five such flights a week. A new runway and terminal were due end of 2007 but several budget inconsistencies were found. Federal accounting court then froze all works sine die.
The most notable structures in Espírito Santo are Terceira Ponte (Third Bridge, the Tallest Bridge in Brazil), and Convento da Penha (Penha Convent).BR-101
The Port of Vitória has the most difficult access for ships of any port in Brazil. The Bay of Vitória is extremely narrow, with stones and mountains making it challenging for freighters and maritiime cruisers to reach the docks. This narrow approach also results in shipping passing closely to population centers. In Vitória, ships pass side by side with cars and pedestrians. The situation of the port in the center of the city also results in schedule complications, with limitations resulting from traffic constraints. Currently the main use of the port is for ship and oil platform repair, as well as for receiving medium-sized shipping.
The words in the central bar of the flag, Trabalha e Confia, translate to "[the Espírito Santo State] Works and Trusts [in God]". This motto is a truncated version of the Jesuit (well spread by the Spanish Catholic missionary José de Anchieta) motto "work as if everything depended on you, and trust as if everything depended on God", and was chosen by Jerônimo Monteiro, who governed the state from 1908 to 1912. The flag was designed in 1908, with colours inspired by those of Our Lady of Victory (Nossa Senhora da Vitória) in Portuguese vestments. It is one of the few flags in the world which uses the colour pink.