The Brazilian States: Santa Catarina


This is the second post from Denmark Brazil,that is part of the series,” The Brazilian Estates”. This series of posts will cover all Brazilian regions.Denmark Brazil will be exploring Santa Catarina today, its opportunities, challenges, main idustries and a lot more.

So lets get started…

Santa Catarina

Santa Catarina is situated in the southern region of Brazil. Up to the north Santa Catarina makes boarders with Paraná, another Brazilian southern estate. To the east it boarders with the Atlantic Ocean and to West with Argentina. During the months of January or February it is very common to see Argentinan or Uruguyan tourists spending some quality time in Santa Catarina’s coast.

Santa Catarina is located in a strategic position within the Mercosul market. Florianópolis, the capital is located at:

  • 1850 km distance from the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires;
  • 1350 km from the Paraguayan capital, Assuncion;
  • 1360 km from the Uruguayan capital,Montevidéo,
  • 705 km from São Paulo,
  • 1144 from Rio de Janeiro and
  • 1673 Km from the Brazilian federal capital, Brasília.

Some info that you won’t find at ” The Economist Intelligence Unit :D”

Just for the sake of curiosity Santa Catarina is the 20th estate with the largest territorial extension ( Santa Catarina is just as big as Portugal 😀 ) and it comprises an area  95.736.165 km2. Furthermore, Santa Catarina is the 10th most populous estate in Brazil and catholicism is the predominant religion. Santa Catarina is the estate with the second lowest iliteracy rate in Brazil, around 3,86% of the population above 10 years old is iliterate.

According to IBGE, the Brazilian Institute of Geopgraphy and Estatistcs it is estimated that around 6,6 million people live in Santa Catarina.  There are more than 50 different ethinical groups living , being that the majority are decendants of portuguese,germans, italians, polish, indians and africans.

Below you will find a list with the main cities and most populous estates of Santa Catarina. Wikipedia has helped a lot in this case :D. However, the list was taken from IBGE.

Santa Catarinas main cities and most populous

Source: IBGE and Wikipedia

Santa Catarina’s economy at a glance

Another reason why Santa Catarina is famous in Brazil and over the worlds is due to its diversified industry, qualified labour and loads of exports in some specific sectors. Santa Catarina´s GDP is the 7th in Brazil and in 2011 it was recorded a GDP of 169 Billion BRL, being composed as it follows below:

  • 34,1 % Industry
  • 59,2% Services
  • 6,7% Agriculture

The economy of Santa Catarina is characterized by the concentration of industries in several hubs.





Plastic waste




Vale do Itajaí





North and Northeast


Metal & Steel

Machinery & Equipments ( Heavy Industry)

Electrical Material

Auto Parts



Highlands ( Regiao Serrana)






Non metallic mineral products

It’s worth to highlight that in Florianópolis ( Capital), Blumenau, Criciúma, Chapecó e Joinville the technology industry is developing in huge strides.

I have found a map with the main industrial hubs per region in Santa Catarina.  Below the map you will find a legend

Santa Catarina main idustries


Norte= North

Planalto Serrano= Highlands



 Santa Catarina’s Industries in numbers

Food Industry


Comprises 3 258 industries

101,1 thousand jobs generated

17,4% of the total industrial transformation rate of Santa Catarina

41,8% of the total exports of SC, 2,6 Bi USD in 2012

The food industry of Santa Catarina is quite strong. The estate is the first largest pork producer and the second largest producer of poultry. The fishing industry is also very strond in Santa Catarina and the estate is the largest producer of fish of Brazil.

Fabrics and Clothing Industry

hering producao

9.702 industries untill 2011

164,4 jobs generated

17,7% of the total industrial transformation rate of Santa Catarina

1,9% of the total exports of SC, 172 Mi USD untill 2012

Santa Catarina is the second largest fabric and clothing hub of Brazil in terms of job generation. Furthermore Santa Catarina is the largest producer of pillows. Within the international commerce scene SC is the largest Brazilian exporter of kitchen clothing, cotton toweled fabrics and cotton T-shirts.

Machinery and Equipments

maquinas e equtos

1.475 Industries untill 2011

39,6 thousand jobs created untill 2011

6,6% of the total industrial transformation rate of Santa Catarina

16,2% of the total exports of SC, 1,4 Bi USD untill 2012

The machinery and equipment industry of SC is famous for the production of industrial compressors. SC is the Brazilian largest exporter of hermetic motocompressors.

Metal and Steel

aco e ferro

3.570 Industries untill 2011

57,7 thousand jobs created

11,2% of the total trannsformation rate of SC untill 2011

2,8% of the total exports of SC, 249 Million USD untill 2012

In SC is located the largest industry of the world of engine blocks and cylinder heads for heavy line.SC also holds the first position in LATAM in terms of special fastening products (screws,gaskets,nuts,etc). SC is the main Brazilian exporter of engine cylinder blocks


tecnologia stacatarian

The technology sector in Santa Catarina is under the spotlight, as it grows more than 20% a year. It is concentrated mainly in the cities of Blumenau,Chapecó,Criciúma,Florianópolis e Joinville, and the technology sector is extremely integrated to the surrounding regions and therefore industries located in other cities.

In total there are nearly 1800 technology companies spread throughout all 5 hubs and together they generate 2,5 Bi USD and more than 20.000 direct jobs.

Ceramics Industry


714 Industries

19,5 thousand jobs generated

2,5% of the total tranformation industry rate of SC untill 2011

1,2% of the total exports of SC, 110 Million USD untill 2012

Santa Catarina has a very important ceramic hub and is the second largest Brazilian exporter of ceramics. In Santa Catarina is located the largest Brazilian ceramic tiles firm. Furthermore it is also in the estate the second largest producer of electric insulators of LATAM. The Brazilian ceramic industry is ganing notoriety worldwide.



2.250 Industries untill 2011

26,7 thousand jobs generated untill 2011

1,7 % of the total industrial transformation rate untill 2011

2,3 % of the total exports of SC

SC is famous for it’s furniture production with a predominance of wood. In the municipalities of São Bento do Sul and Rio Negrinho are the majority of the companies, while located at west of the estate is the second largest hub in terms of production.



2.902 Industries untill 2011

38,7 thousand jobs generated

2,7% of the total industry transformation rate of SC untill 2011

4,5% of the total exports of SC, 451 Million USD untill 2012

The wood industry in SC is famous for exporting doors, door frames and thresholds for doors.

Plastic Products


952 Industries untill 2011

35 thousand jobs generated untill 2011

5,4% of the the Total industrial transformation rate until 2011

0,8% of the total exports of SC, 74 million USD untill 2012

Santa Catarina’s plastic industry is famous for producing pvc pipes, fitting and acessories, disposable packaging and is also the largest transformation industry of  EPS ( expanded polystrene) or as it is better known Styrofoam.

Machinery, Devices and Electrical Equipment

330 Industries

31,6 thousand jobs generated

9,9% of the total transformation rate of SC untill 2011

9,1% of the total exports of SC untill 2012

Santa Catarina is famous for producing electrical generators, transformers and engines. The estate is the largest exporter of threephase alternating current motors of 75kW in Brazil

Automotive Vehicles and Autoparts


374 industries untill 2011

14,4 thousandjobs generated

4,3% of the total transformation industry rate of SC untill 2011

7% of the total exports of SC

SC is famous for exporting autoparts such as starter drives, cylinder blocks,cylinder heads for diesel engines,being the largest exporter of the country in this last item,

Maritime Industry

industria naval

56 Industries

4,1 thousand jobs generated

0,8% of the total transformation rate of SC untill 2011

The exports totalized 322 thousand USD untill 2012

The maritime industry in SC is the third largest of Brazil. It is forecasted that more jobs will be generated in this industry as the government has recently pointed the Maritime industry as a prioritary sector, and tons of investments are being done in this field. In Itajaí it is the largest shipyard for the construction of tugboats.

 Pulp & Paper

papel e celulose

395 Industries

19,7 thousand jobs generated

5,2% of the total transformation rate of SC untill 2011

2,1% of the total exports of the estate, totalling 188 million USD untill 2012

The pulp and paper industry of Santa Catarina holds an 8,4% share on the sector in Brazil, taking into consideration the total transformation rate. The estate is the largest exporter of paper/paperboard of Brazil and it is in Santa Catarina that the largest recycling group of Brazil is located.


I hope I could have contributed to you and hopefully that you have enjoyed this post and you are more Brazilian savvy.

Is there anything else that you know or that you would like to know about Santa Catarina? Drop me a line at the comment thread.

Mange tak

Carlos Monteiro is a Brazilian citizen, graduated in Business Administration by the Catholic University of São Paulo. He lives in Odense, Denmark with his Danish Wife, Cathrine, and their half Danish /Brazilian daughter Ines Marie. You are very welcome to be in contact him at any time.


    • Awesome, thank you fernando. Keep following Denmark Brazil and let us know if there something we could contribute to you.
      Please if you really liked it, we ask you to share!
      All the best,

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