Guarulhos is a Brazilian municipality. It is the second most populous city in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, the 13th most populous city in Brazil, and the 53rd most populous on the continent. It pertains to the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo city. In the last few years it has outgrown Campinas. The population in 2006 is 1,283,253, the population density is 4,035.26 inh./km², and the area is 318 km². It is the most populous non-capital city in the country and has the second-largest GDP in the state, the 8th largest in the country.
Guarulhos was founded on December 8, 1560 by the Jesuit priest Manuel de Paiva and entitled Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. Its origin is linked to five other small villages that were in charge of defending the boundaries of Sao Paulo de Piratininga Village against the Tamoios, a wild tribe of Indians that lived in that region.
In the 16th Century, Guarulhos was a strategic location: bordered the future Sao Paulo’s Capital and surrounded by the rivers Tiete (south), and Cabucu (east). On that same period was established, for similar purposes, Sao Miguel Village, called nowadays Sao Miguel Paulista District.
In 1880, Guarulhos was emancipated from Sao Paulo and named Nossa Senhora da Conceicao dos Guarulhos. Its current name, Guarulhos was adopted later, after the enactment of the law # 1.021, on November 6, 1906.
At the beginning of the twentieth century the city was remarked by the settlement of railroads and the power electricity system (Light & Power C.O.), by numerous requests for the implantation of a telephone system, industrial buildings permits, by commercial activities and public transportation.
During the 30s the city witnessed the actions of the Federal Intervention, and the Constitutional Movement (Reflections of the Revolution that marked the end of the "Old Republic" during the 30’s in Brazil).
In 1940 the Monteiro Lobato Municipal Library is founded, in 1941 the first Health Center of the city, and ten years after that the Holy House of Mercy of Guarulhos is established. On that decade arrive in the municipality Industries from different sectors: electricity; metallurgy; plastics; food; rubber; footwear; vehicles; clocks and leather.
In 1945 the Sao Paulo’s Air Base (BASP) was transferred from the Campo de Marte, a little airport in Sao Paulo, to Cumbica neighborhood in Guarulhos.
In 1958 the Rotary Club establishes a branch in the city.
The Municipal Conservatory of Guarulhos is founded in 1961.
In 1963 the Commercial & Industrial Association of Guarulhos is founded, nowadays the institution is called Commerce & Business Association of Guarulhos (Associacao Comercial e Empresarial de Guarulhos – ACE).
With the big boom of the Industrial sector, a large number of manpower was drawn. This new population settled themselves in urban area on a continuous process of land occupation. At this rate the population grew from 35,000 in 1950 to 101,000 in 1960, from 237,000 in 1970 to 532,726 in 1980. Most of these citizens devoted themselves to Industrial activities in Guarulhos (that hosts around 2,000 establishments), and Sao Paulo.
In 1985 the Cumbica Airport is opened. Today it is called "International Airport of Sao Paulo–Guarulhos Governor Andre Franco Montoro" (Aeroporto Internacional de Sao Paulo–Guarulhos Governador Andre Franco Montoro), the second-biggest airport in Latin America.
Between 2000 and 2006 its population grew three times as much as Sao Paulo State. According to IBGE, Guarulhos is the second most populous city in the State after Sao Paulo Capital. Most of its population is economically active and evenly distributed in terms of gender.