|Pop. density:||53.4 inh./km²|
Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil. Its capital is Florianópolis, which lies on the island named Santa Catarina. Neighboring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. To the west it also borders Argentina.
The Atlantic Ocean coast has many beaches, islands, bays and inlets. The centre of the is covered with groves of Brazilian pines, the southwest has prairies, and the east and west strips of forests.
The state dates from the Spanish settlement of Santa Catarina island in 1542. After the Portuguese took control in 1675, they later established the captaincy of Santa Catarina in 1738. Large numbers of European immigrants, especially from Germany, began arriving in the early 19th century, and the state remains a center of German culture in Brazil. Immigrants from Italy, Poland, Russia, and other parts of Europe later arrived, with one result being an abundance of small, family held farms in the state's interior.
Santa Catarina has one of the highest standards of living in Brazil, and is a major agricultural and industrial center. Cattle breeding and mineral mining are predominant.
Other key cities apart from the captital include Joinville, Blumenau, the site of a major annual Oktoberfest (the 2nd biggest of the world), and the resort town of Balneário Camboriu.
|The central shield in the flag shows the coat of arms of the state. It is located on a green lozenge, which itself is located on red-white-red horizontal stripes. The flag was adopted on October 29 1953 by law no. 975.|