The largest country in Latin America
- Discovered by the Portuguese in 1500 AD.
- Named for Brazil wood ( Pau Brasil ) used for lumber.
- Became Monarchy, independent from Portugal in 1822.
- Current president is Dilma Vana Roussef ( since January of 2011 ).
Regimen and Form of Government: Presidential Republic.
Capital: Brasilia (Federal District).
National Date: Independence Day, September 7th.
Nationality: Brazilian(s) ( noun ), Brazilian ( adjective ).
States: 26 states, distributed among 5 geographic regions, North, Northeast, Central-west, Southwest, and South.
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Map references: South Americ.
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W
- the official language is Portuguese; however, the accent and the intonation are very different from what one hears in Portugal and other former Portuguese colonies;
- some people say that Brazilians speak “Brazilian”, just like Americans can say they speak “American”, and not English. And there are also many Brazilians who are descendants of immigrants and who speak German and Italian, especially in cities in southern Brazil.
- total: 8,511,965 sq km ( 3,3000,000 square miles )
- land: 8,456,510 sq km
- water: 55,455 sq km
- Note: includes Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo.
- Area-comparative: slightly smaller than the US Land boundaries ( total: 14,691 km ).
- contiguous zone: 24 nm
- continental shelf: 200 nm
- exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
- territorial sea: 12 nm
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
- 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.
- arable land: 8.45%
- permanent crops: 0.83%
- permanent pastures: 22%
- forests and woodland: 58%
- other: 90.72% ( 2011 est. )
Irrigated land: 54,000 sq km ( 2011 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.
Climate and Temperature in Brazil:
- mostly tropical, but temperate in south;
- Brazil’s climatic typology is very diverse. The huge territorial expanse, allied with factors such as temperature, altitude, barometric pressure and proximity to the ocean, provide the country with climatic conditions that can please everyone. It is one of the richest and most complex ecosystems in the world, with extremely diversified vegetation and sceneries;
- the Brazilian territory is divided into climatic strips: 92% of the territory is located between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. We can therefore say that the Brazilian climate is predominantly tropical, with equatorial and subtropical ( temperate zones ) strips distributed over the remaining 8% of the nation’s territory. The predominance of lower altitudes throughout the country provides more elevated temperatures, with averages exceeding 20°C;
- the seasons are the exact opposite of those in Europe and the United States, except in the northern region of the country. The average annual temperature is approximately 28ºC in the northern region and 20ºC, in the south;
- extreme temperatures are rare, but they may occur: in the winter, some cities in the south of the country experience negative temperatures, with frost and snow. And in Rio de Janeiro, in the peak of summer, the temperature may hit 40ºC.
- it is the fifth largest country in the world after Canada, the Russian Federation, China and the United States (about the same area as Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador combined). Except for a small number of islands, Brazil is a single and continuous land mass;
- the Equator passes through the northern region, near Macapá, and the Tropic of Capricorn cuts through the south of the country, near São Paulo;
- Brazil’s east to west extension ( 4,319.4 km ) is almost equivalent to its north to south distance ( 4,394.7 km );
- the country borders French Guiana, Suriname, Guiana, Venezuela and Colombia, to the north; Uruguay and Argentina, to the south; and Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, to the west. Ecuador and Chile are the only two countries on the South American continent that do not border Brazil. The Atlantic Ocean extends along the country’s entire eastern coast, providing 7,367 km of coastline.