Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. With an estimated population of 9.6 million people as of 2020, it is the seventh-most populous state of Brazil, the sixth-most densely populated and the 19th-largest in area among federative units of the country. Its capital and largest city, Recife, is one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country. Based on 2019 estimates, the Recife Metropolitan Region is seventh-most populous in the country, and the second-largest in northeastern Brazil. In 2015, the state had 4.6% of the national population and produced 2.8% of the national gross domestic product.
The contemporary state inherits its name from the Captaincy of Pernambuco, established in 1534. The region was originally inhabited by Tupi-Guarani-speaking peoples. European colonization began in the 16th century, under mostly Portuguese rule interrupted by a brief period of Dutch rule, followed by Brazilian independence in 1822. Large numbers of slaves were brought from Africa during the colonial era to cultivate sugarcane, and a significant portion of the state's population has some amount of African ancestry.