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Capital: Brasilia
Population: 167,000,000
Description: Portuguese is spoken by the vast majority of the population. However, there are sizable colonies of speakers of German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Japanese. Indians number less than 200,000. Of their languages the most important are Tupi and Arawak, both spoken in the valley of the Amazon. Carib is spoken in the north, Ge in the east, Guarani in the south, and Panoan in the west.
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Brazil Map


Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W

Map references: South America

total: 8,511,965 sq km
land : 8,456,510 sq km
water: 55,455 sq km
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries:
total: 14,691 km
border countries: Argentina 1,224 km, Bolivia 3,400 km, Colombia 1,643 km, French Guiana 673 km, Guyana 1,119 km, Paraguay 1,290 km, Peru 1,560 km, Suriname 597 km, Uruguay 985 km, Venezuela 2,200 km

Coastline: 7,491 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf : 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m

Natural resources: bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber

Land use:
arable land : 5%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 22%
forests and woodland: 58%
other : 14% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 28,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south

Environment - current issues: deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers the existence of a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Tropical Timber 94

Geography - note: largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador


Population: 174,468,575

Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.57% (male 25,390,039; female 24,449,902)
15-64 years: 65.98% (male 56,603,895; female 58,507,289)
65 years and over : 5.45% (male 3,857,564; female 5,659,886) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.91% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 18.45 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 9.34 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over :0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 36.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 63.24 years
male: 58.96 years
female: 67.73 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian

Ethnic groups: white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and black 38%, black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80%

Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.3%
male: 83.3%
female : 83.2% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form: Brazil
local long form : Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form: Brasil

Data code: BR

Government type: federal republic

National capital: Brasilia

Administrative divisions: 26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins

Independence: 7 September 1822 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 September (1822)

Constitution: 5 October 1988

Legal system: based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory over 18 and under 70 years of age

Executive branch:
chief of state : President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 4 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)
election results: Fernando Henrique CARDOSO elected president; percent of vote - Fernando Henrique CARDOSO 53%, Luis Inacio LULA da Silva 26%, Eneas CARNEIRO 7%, Orestes QUERCIA 4%, Leonel BRIZOLA 3%, Espiridiao AMIN 3%; note - second direct presidential election since 1960

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado federal (81 seats; three members from each state or federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third elected after a four year period, two-thirds elected after the next four-year period ) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections:Federal Senate - last held 4 October 1998 for one-third of Senate (next to be held NA October 2002 for two-thirds of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 4 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)
election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PMDB 27, PFL 20, PSDB 16, PT 7, PPB 5, PSB 3, PDT 2, PPS 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PFL 106, PSDB 99, PMDB 82, PPB 60, PT 58, PTB 31, PDT 25, PSB 19, PL 12, PCdoB 7, other 14

Judicial branch: Supreme Federal Tribunal, judges are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate

Political parties and leaders: Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Jader BARBALHO, president]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Teotonio VILELA Filno]; Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Miguel ARRAES, president]; Brazilian Progressive Party or PPB [Paulo Salim MALUF]; Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Sergio Roberto Gomes SOUZA, chairman]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Leonel BRIZOLA, president]; Liberal Front Party or PFL [Jorge BORNHAUSEN, president]; Liberal Party or PL [Francisco Teixeira de OLIVEIRA]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Ciro GOMEZ, president]; Worker's Party or PT [Jose DIRCEU, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders: left wing of the Catholic Church and labor unions allied to leftist Workers' Party are critical of government's social and economic policies.

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), BIS (pending member), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MTCR, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNPREDEP, UNTAES, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: AmbassadorRubens Antonio BARBOSA
chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-2700
FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827
consulate(s) general : Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador vacant); Charge d'Affaires Cristobal R. OROZCO
embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Lote 3, Brasilia, Distrito Federal
mailing address: Unit 3500, APO AA 34030
telephone: [55] (61) 321-7272
FAX : [55] (61) 225-9136
consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
consulate(s): Recife

Flag description: green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars (one for each state and the Federal District) arranged in the same pattern as the night sky over Brazil; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress)


Economy - overview: Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. Prior to the institution of a stabilization plan - the Plano Real (Real Plan) - in mid-1994, stratospheric inflation rates had disrupted economic activity and discouraged foreign investment. Since then, tight monetary policy has brought inflation under control - consumer prices increased by only 10% in 1996 compared to more than 1,000% in 1994. At the same time, GDP growth slowed from 5.7% in 1994 to 2.9% in 1996 due to tighter credit. The steadily appreciating currency has also encouraged imports, contributing to a growing trade deficit, and depressed export growth. Brazil's more stable economy allowed it to weather the fallout in 1995 from the Mexican peso crisis relatively well, and record levels of foreign investment have since flowed in, helping to swell official foreign exchange reserves to $60 billion in 1996; stock markets reflected this increased investor confidence, gaining 53% in dollar terms. President CARDOSO remains ommitted to further reducing inflation in 1997 and putting Brazil on track for expanded economic growth, but he faces several key challenges. Fiscal reforms requiring constitutional amendments are stalled in the Brazilian legislature; in their absence, the government is continuing to run deficits and has limited room to relax its interest and exchange rate policies much if it wants to keep inflation under control. High interest rates have made servicing domestic debt dramatically more burdensome for both public and private sector entities, contributing to federal and state budget problems and a surge in bankruptcies.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.13 trillion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,500 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry: 29%
services: 62% (1999 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 6% (2000)

Labor force:
total: 79 million (1999 est.)
by occupation: services 53.2%, agriculture 23.1%, industry 23.7%

Unemployment rate: 7.1% (2000 est.)

revenues: $151 billion
expenditures: $149 billion, including capital expenditures of $36 billion (1998)

Industries: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment

Industrial production growth rate: 6.9% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 59.036 million kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 337.44 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 353.674 billion kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef

total value: $55.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: iron ore, soybean bran, orange juice, footwear, coffee, motor vehicle parts
partners: US 23%, Argentina 11%, Germany 5%, Netherlands 5%, Japan 5% (1999)

total value: $55.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: crude oil, capital goods, chemical products, foodstuffs, coal
partners :US 24%, Argentina 12%, Germany 10%, Japan 5%, Italy 5% (1999)

Debt - external: $232 billion (2000)

Economic aid:
recipient : ODA, $107 million (1993)

Currency: 1 real (R$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: R$ per US$1 - 1.043 (January 1997), 1.005 (1996), 0.918 (1995), 0.639 (1994); CR$ per US$1 - 390.845 (January 1994), 88.449 (1993), 4.513 (1992)
note: on 1 August 1993 the cruzeiro real (CR$), equal to 1,000 cruzeiros, was introduced; another new currency, the real (R$) was introduced on 1 July 1994, equal to 2,750 cruzeiro reais

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 17.039 million (1997)

Telephone system: good working system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations
international:3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to MERCOSUR Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM stations) (1999)

Radios:71 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 138 (1997)
note: Brazil has the world's fourth largest television broadcasting system

Televisions: 36.5 million (1997)


total: 30,539 km (2,129 km electrified); note - excludes urban rail
broad gauge: 5,679 km 1.600-m gauge (1199 km electrified)
standard gauge : 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 24,666 km 1.000-m gauge (930 km electrified)
dual gauge: 336 km 1.000-m and 1.600-m gauges (three rails) (1999 est.)

total: 1.98 million km
paved: 184,140 km
unpaved: 1,795,860 km (1996)

Waterways: 50,000 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 2,980 km; petroleum products 4,762 km; natural gas 4,246 km (1998)

Ports and harbors: Belem, Fortaleza, Ilheus, Imbituba, Manaus, Paranagua, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande, Salvador, Santos, Vitoria

Merchant marine:
total : 171 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,788,999 GRT/6,067,314 DWT
ships by type: bulk 42, cargo 26, chemical tanker 10, combination ore/oil 11, container 13, liquefied gas tanker 11, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 62, passenger-cargo 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 11
note: Brazil owns 16 additional ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,270,275 DWT that operate under Bahamian, Liberian, Panamanian, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines registry (1996 est.)

Airports: 2,871 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1,658
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m : 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 125
914 to 1,523 m: 304
under 914 m: 1,205 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 1,213
1,524 to 2,437 m: 67
914 to 1,523 m: 1,146 (1996 est.)


Military branches: Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy (includes Marines), Brazilian Air Force, Federal Police (paramilitary)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 45,876,084 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 30,843,947 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males : 1,756,732 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $6.736 billion (1994)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.1% (1994)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: short section of the boundary with Paraguay, just west of Salto das Sete Quedas (Guaira Falls) on the Rio Parana, has not been precisely delimited; two short sections of boundary with Uruguay are in dispute - Arroio Invernada (Arroyo de la Invernada) area of the Rio Quarai (Rio Cuareim) and the islands at the confluence of the Rio Quarai and the Uruguay River

Illicit drugs: limited illicit producer of cannabis, minor coca cultivation in the Amazon region, mostly used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian and Colombian cocaine headed for the US and Europe