Florianópolis (Portuguese pronunciation: [flo?i??n?polis]) is the capital city of Santa Catarina State in southern Brazil. It is composed of one main island, the Island of Santa Catarina (Ilha de Santa Catarina), a continental part and the surrounding small islands. It has a population of 408,161, according to a 2009 Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics estimate. The metropolitan area has an estimated population of 980,396. The city is known for having a high life quality, being the Brazilian capital city with the highest HDI (0.875) according to the UN.
The economy of Florianópolis is heavily based on information technology, tourism and services. The city has 42 beaches and is a center of surfing activity. The New York Times reported that "Florianopolis is the Party Destination of the Year in 2009." on January 11, 2009. Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the "Ten most dynamic cities of the world" list in 2006. Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named the city as "the best place to live in Brazil." As a result of this publicity, Florianópolis is growing as a second home destination for many Paulistas, Argentines, U.S. citizens and Europeans.
Most of the population lives on the island's central and northern half. The southern half is less inhabited. Many small commercial fishermen populate the island. The fishing boats, the lacemakers, the folklore, the cuisine and the colonial architecture contribute to the growing tourism and attract resources that compensate for the lack of any large industry. Villages immersed in tradition and history, such as Santo Antônio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha still resist the advances of modernity.
The Hercílio Luz International Airport serves the city. Florianópolis is home to the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Federal University of Santa Catarina).