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The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo and Maxakalí peoples.
In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon.
Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, estimated at about R3 billion (IBGE, 2008) (nearly US1 billion).
It is headquarters to Brazilian oil, mining, and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations—Petrobras and Vale—and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo.
The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data.
such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.
Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire.
Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire.
Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, which is considered the safest in the country.
Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the then Portuguese Monarch D. In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth (gold, precious stones, besides the sugar) than Salvador, Bahia, which is much farther to the northeast.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro.
In 1840, the number of slaves reached 220,000 people.
The Port of Rio de Janeiro was the largest port of slaves in America.