Minas Gerais is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product (GDP), and the fourth largest by area in the country. The state’s capital and largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a major urban and finance center in Latin America, and is the sixth largest municipality in Brazil. With an area of 586,528 square kilometres (226,460 sq mi) — larger than Metropolitan France — it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil. The main producer of coffee and milk in the country, Minas Gerais is known for its heritage of architecture and colonial art in historical cities Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the Rio Doce. The state also holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. Some of the highest peaks in Brazil are in the mountain ranges in the southern part of the state, such as Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Cervo.
Those born and raised in Minas Gerais, also called Mineiros, bear an unmistakable accent that sets them apart from fellow Brazilians, although people born in different regions of the state bear slightly different accents, some resembling those of neighboring states, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. They are considered reserved, prudent, relatively silent to the point of melancholy, but welcoming and family-focused. It is one of the most religious states, with a large proportion of staunch Roman Catholics and a burgeoning Evangelical and neo-Pentecostal population, with pockets of African religions. The Spiritist doctrine is also professed by a significant portion of the population, partly due to the influence of Chico Xavier, the main spiritual icon of Brazil, who lived in Minas Gerais all his life.
2 Contagem – Population 646.570
3 Uberlândia – Population 644.000
Tancredo Neves/Confins International Airport is located in the municipalities of Lagoa Santa and Confins, 38 km (23 mi) from Belo Horizonte, and was opened in January 1984. It was planned from the start for future expansion in steps to meet growing demand. Theairport has one of the lowest rates of shutdown for bad weather in the country. However, the Confins airport was not using much of its capacity until 2005, when it was decided that a large part of the Pampulha .