Manaus is a city in Brazil, the capital of the state of Amazonas. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers. It is the most populous city of Amazonas, according to the statistics of Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, and is a popular ecotourist destination. Manaus belongs to mesoregion Center Amazonense and microregion Manaus. It is located in northern Brazil, 1,936 kilometers (1,203 mi) from the federal capital, Brasília.
The city was founded in 1669 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro. It was elevated to a town in 1832 with the name of "Manaus", which means "mother of the gods" in tribute to the indigenous nation of Manaós, and legally transformed 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". Only on September 4 of 1856 did it revert to its current name.
It was known at the beginning of the century, as Heart of the Amazon and City of the Forest. Currently its main economic engine is the Industrial Pool of Manaus.
It is the largest metropolitan area in Northern Brazil and the eleventh in all of Brazil, with 2,283,906 inhabitants (IBGE/2012). The population in 2012 was 1.85 million people; it is the most populous city in North Region and seventh 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 decades, rising to account for 1.4% of the economy of the country in 2010, with all that economic power coming mainly from the Free Economic Zone located in the city. Currently, the city is one of 12 most influential cities of the country. Manaus alone represents 10.89% of the population of the whole of Northern Brazil and 49.9% of the population of the Amazon.[clarification needed]