The city was established in 1669 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro. It was raised to a town in 1832 with the name of “Manaus”, which signifies “mother of the divine beings” in tribute to the indigenous country of Manaós, and lawfully changed into a city on October 24 of 1848 with the name of Cidade da Barra do Rio Negro, Portuguese for “The City of the Margins of Black River”. Just on September 4 of 1856 did it return to its current name.
It is the second biggest metropolitan territory in the Northern Brazil and the twelfth in all of Brazil, with 2,006,870 inhabitants (IBGE/2008). The population at 2008 was of 1.71 million people and it is the eighth most populous city of Brazil according to data from Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, the IBGE. The city gradually increased its participation in the GDP of Brazil in recent years, rising to account for 1.4% of the economy of the country.