Rio de Janeiro (often referred to simply as Rio) is a Brazilian city, capital of the homonymous state, located in the southeast of the country. The largest international tourist destination in Brazil, Latin America, and the entire Southern Hemisphere, the capital of Rio de Janeiro is the most well-known Brazilian city abroad, functioning as a national "mirror", or "portrait", either positively or negatively. It is the second largest metropolis in Brazil (after São Paulo,) the sixth largest in America and the thirty-fifth in the world. It has the epithet of 'Wonderful City' and the one that is born in it is called 'carioca.' Part of the city was designated Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, with the name 'Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscape between Mountain and Sea,' classified by UNESCO on July 1, 2012 and categorized as a Cultural Landscape. 

It is one of the main economic, cultural, and financial centers in the country. It is internationally renowned for its cultural and landscape icons such as the Sugar Loaf, the Corcovado with the Christ the Redeemer statue, the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra Tijuca (among others), the Maracanã Stadium, the Nilton Santos Stadium, the bohemian neighborhood of Lapa and its arches, the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro, the forests of Tijuca and Pedra Branca, Quinta da Boa Vista, National Library, the island of Paquetá, the New Year's Eve in Copacabana, the Carioca Carnival, Bossa Nova and samba.

It represents the second largest GDP in the country [16] (and the 30th largest in the world,) estimated at around 140 billion reais (IBGE, 2007,) [9] and is home to the two largest Brazilian companies - Petrobras and Vale, and the major oil and telephone companies in Brazil, as well as the largest conglomerate in Latin American media and communication companies, Grupo Globo. [18] With a large number of universities and institutes, it is the second largest research and development center in Brazil, accounting for 19% of national scientific production, according to data from 2005. Only UFRJ published 5,952 articles between 1998 and 2002. [19] Rio de Janeiro is considered a global beta city - by the 2008 inventory of Loughborough University (GaWC.)  

It used to be the capital of the country (1621-1815,) a colony of the Portuguese Empire (1763-1815,) and of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves (1815-1822,) of the Empire of Brazil (1822-1889,) and of the United States of Brazil (1889-1968,) when the headquarters of the government was transferred to the newly constructed Brasilia. 

With 1,718 elementary schools, 1,492 preschool units, 566 secondary schools and 66 higher education institutions, the Carioca education network is the second largest in the country. In total, there are 1,414,048 enrollments and 73,508 registered teachers and professors. 

The HDI education factor in the city in 2000 reached the mark of 0.933 - a very high level, in accordance with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) standards - while the illiteracy rate indicated by the last demographic census by IBGE was 4.4% (superior only to the capitals in the South.)

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