The city was founded on August 25, 1854. The first chapel was built in 1856, where today lies the "Praça Francisco Barreto". In January 8, 1897, Barretos was officially established as a municipality.
The tertiary sector of the city is the most relevant, with 72.09% of the city GDP. Industry is 21.64% of the GDP, and the primary sector corresponds to 6.28%. The largest Latin American cancer center is based in this city.