The name is derived from the ranch known as farmhouse Os Patos, owned by the original settlers, which had the name because of the large number of wild ducks found in the region. In 1826 the first settlers, Antônio da Silva Guerra and his wife, Luísa Correia de Andrade, donated lands for the new settlement, called Vila de Santo Antônio dos Patos. In 1892 Patos de Minas gained city status with the name of Patos, which was lengthened in 1944 to Patos de Minas
Patos de Minas occupies a privileged position in the ranking of cities in the state and country in socio-economic development. A study in Veja magazine in 2001 placed Patos in fifth place among five thousand cities with the greatest socio-economic development between 1970 and 1996.
Rare among Brazilian cities of this size, around 99% of all the streets of the city are paved and have public lighting and almost all of the inhabitants (97%) receive treated water. Sewage treatment reached 98% of the urban population. City government site
The highest ranking municipality in Minas Gerais in 2000 was Poços de Caldas with 0.841, while the lowest was Setubinha with 0.568. Nationally the highest was São Caetano do Sul in São Paulo with 0.919, while the lowest was Setubinha. In more recent statistics (considering 5,507 municipalities) Manari in the state of Pernambuco has the lowest rating in the country—0,467—putting it in last place.
The main sources of income are agriculture, services, light industry, and livestock raising. Dairy products, jerked beef, and pork by-products are processed in the city. In 2005 the GDP was R$1,217 billion, with 750 million generated by services, 189 million by industry, and 154 million by agriculture.
Patos is known nationally for its corn production. The "Princess of the Alto Paranaíba" as it is called, has become the national capital of corn, a fact that has attracted investors from all over the country to set up industries in agro-industry, garments, beverages, and packaging. It is also one of the most important seed producing centers in the country.
Corn is so important in the life of the town that every May Patos puts on a festival, the biggest in the state, called Fenamilho, the Festa Nacional do Milho (National Corn Festival), in which there are rodeos and performances by country and western groups.
Main crops in 2006
Farm data in 2006
Pedro Pereira dos Santos Airport, built in the early 1990s, can receive medium-sized passenger planes from the Brasília to the Fokker F-27. It is located 6.5 km. from the city. In March 2016, Flyways Airline started operating in the airport with 2 flights per week from Patos de Minas to the capital city Belo Horizonte.
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