São Filipe is linked with a highway that almost encircles the whole island of Fogo but it is inaccessible to the east by small narrow gravel stretch and a small road to Mount Fogo. Farmlands covers most of the area in the west, the central and the south, the rocky landscape with a few bushes and grasslands of Mount Fogo lies to the east. Its main industry are agriculture followed by tourism and other industries in small numbers. The population are made up of rural and some urban. The living standards are low in the rural areas. Literacy rate is high. Many villages are in the western and the southern parts and most of the island's fertile areas lies in this area because it is less slopey. The area formerly covered 3/4, it is covers half of the island.
It was created in 1991, when the older Municipality of Fogo was split in two, the southwestern part becoming the Municipality of São Filipe and the northeastern part becoming the Municipality of Mosteiros. In 2005, an eastern parish of the municipality was split off to become the Municipality of Santa Catarina do Fogo.