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South America :: Brazil Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Brazil
  • Background field listing

    Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than a half century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Having successfully weathered a period of global financial difficulty in the late 20th century, Brazil was seen as one of the world's strongest emerging markets and a contributor to global growth. The awarding of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the first ever to be held in South America, was seen as symbolic of the country's rise. However, from about 2013 to 2016, Brazil was plagued by a sagging economy, high unemployment, and high inflation, only emerging from recession in 2017. Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF (2011-2016) was removed from office in 2016 by Congress for having committed impeachable acts against Brazil's budgetary laws, and her vice president, Michel TEMER, served the remainder of her second term. In October 2018, Jair BOLSONARO won the presidency with 55 percent of the vote and assumed office on 1 January 2019.

  • Geography :: Brazil
  • Location field listing
    Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    10 00 S, 55 00 W
    Map references field listing
    South America
    Area field listing
    total: 8,515,770 sq km
    land: 8,358,140 sq km
    water: 157,630 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

    country comparison to the world: 6
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than the US
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 16,145 km
    border countries (10): Argentina 1263 km, Bolivia 3403 km, Colombia 1790 km, French Guiana 649 km, Guyana 1308 km, Paraguay 1371 km, Peru 2659 km, Suriname 515 km, Uruguay 1050 km, Venezuela 2137 km
    Coastline field listing
    7,491 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
    Climate field listing
    mostly tropical, but temperate in south
    Terrain field listing
    mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 320 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m
    Natural resources field listing
    alumina, bauxite, beryllium, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, niobium, phosphates, platinum, tantalum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 32.9% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 8.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 23.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 61.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 5.2% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    54,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the vast majority of people live along, or relatively near, the Atlantic coast in the east; the population core is in the southeast, anchored by the cities of Sao Paolo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro
    Natural hazards field listing
    recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; illegal wildlife trade; illegal poaching; 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; wetland degradation; severe oil spills
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    largest country in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador; most of the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland, extends through the west central part of the country; shares Iguazu Falls, the world's largest waterfalls system, with Argentina
  • People and Society :: Brazil
  • Population field listing
    211,715,973 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Brazilian(s)
    adjective: Brazilian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    white 47.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 43.1%, black 7.6%, Asian 1.1%, indigenous 0.4% (2010 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language)

    note: less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages

    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 64.6%, other Catholic 0.4%, Protestant 22.2% (includes Adventist 6.5%, Assembly of God 2.0%, Christian Congregation of Brazil 1.2%, Universal Kingdom of God 1.0%, other Protestant 11.5%), other Christian 0.7%, Spiritist 2.2%, other 1.4%, none 8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Brazil's rapid fertility decline since the 1960s is the main factor behind the country's slowing population growth rate, aging population, and fast-paced demographic transition. Brasilia has not taken full advantage of its large working-age population to develop its human capital and strengthen its social and economic institutions but is funding a study abroad program to bring advanced skills back to the country. The current favorable age structure will begin to shift around 2025, with the labor force shrinking and the elderly starting to compose an increasing share of the total population. Well-funded public pensions have nearly wiped out poverty among the elderly, and Bolsa Familia and other social programs have lifted tens of millions out of poverty. More than half of Brazil's population is considered middle class, but poverty and income inequality levels remain high; the Northeast, North, and Center-West, women, and black, mixed race, and indigenous populations are disproportionately affected. Disparities in opportunities foster social exclusion and contribute to Brazil's high crime rate, particularly violent crime in cities and favelas (slums).

    Brazil has traditionally been a net recipient of immigrants, with its southeast being the prime destination. After the importation of African slaves was outlawed in the mid-19th century, Brazil sought Europeans (Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Germans) and later Asians (Japanese) to work in agriculture, especially coffee cultivation. Recent immigrants come mainly from Argentina, Chile, and Andean countries (many are unskilled illegal migrants) or are returning Brazilian nationals. Since Brazil's economic downturn in the 1980s, emigration to the United States, Europe, and Japan has been rising but is negligible relative to Brazil's total population. The majority of these emigrants are well-educated and middle-class. Fewer Brazilian peasants are emigrating to neighboring countries to take up agricultural work.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 21.11% (male 22,790,634/female 21,907,018)
    15-24 years: 16.06% (male 17,254,363/female 16,750,581)
    25-54 years: 43.83% (male 46,070,240/female 46,729,640)
    55-64 years: 9.78% (male 9,802,995/female 10,911,140)
    65 years and over: 9.21% (male 8,323,344/female 11,176,018) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 43.5
    youth dependency ratio: 29.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 13.8
    potential support ratio: 7.3 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 33.2 years
    male: 32.3 years
    female: 34.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.67% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Birth rate field listing
    13.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Death rate field listing
    6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Population distribution field listing
    the vast majority of people live along, or relatively near, the Atlantic coast in the east; the population core is in the southeast, anchored by the cities of Sao Paolo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 87.1% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.05% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    22.043 million Sao Paulo, 13.458 million Rio de Janeiro, 6.084 million Belo Horizonte, 4.646 million BRASILIA (capital), 4.137 million Porto Alegre, 4.127 million Recife (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    60 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 15.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 18.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 74.7 years
    male: 71.2 years
    female: 78.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.73 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    80.2% (2013)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 91.6% of population
    total: 98.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 8.4% of population
    total: 1.6% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    9.5% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    2.17 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 92.8% of population
    rural: 60.1% of population
    total: 88.3% of population
    unimproved: urban: 7.2% of population
    rural: 39.9% of population
    total: 11.7% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.5% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    920,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    14,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Brazil; as of 10 November 2020, Brazil has reported a total of 5,631,181 cases of COVID-19 or 26,492 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 762 cumulative deaths per 1 million population; the Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring US passengers who have been in Brazil to travel through select airports where the US Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    22.1% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Education expenditures field listing
    6.2% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 93.2%
    male: 93%
    female: 93.4% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 14 years (2011)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 28.5%
    male: 25.3%
    female: 32.8% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
  • Government :: Brazil
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
    conventional short form: Brazil
    local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
    local short form: Brasil
    etymology: the country name derives from the brazilwood tree that used to grow plentifully along the coast of Brazil and that was used to produce a deep red dye
    Government type field listing
    federal presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Brasilia
    geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W
    time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February

    note: Brazil has four time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands

    name bestowed on the new capital of Brazil upon its inauguration in 1960; previous Brazilian capitals had been Salvador from 1549 to 1763 and Rio de Janeiro from 1763 to 1960

    Administrative divisions field listing
    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 field listing
    7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 7 September (1822)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest ratified 5 October 1988
    amendments: proposed by at least one third of either house of the National Congress, by the president of the republic, or by simple majority vote by more than half of the state legislative assemblies; passage requires at least three-fifths majority vote by both houses in each of two readings; constitutional provisions affecting the federal form of government, separation of powers, suffrage, or individual rights and guarantees cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2017
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
    Suffrage field listing
    voluntary between 16 to 18 years of age, over 70, and if illiterate; compulsory between 18 to 70 years of age; note - military conscripts by law cannot vote
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Jair BOLSONARO (since 1 January 2019); Vice President Antonio Hamilton Martins MOURAO (since 1 January 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Jair BOLSONARO (since 1 January 2019); Vice President Antonio Hamilton Martins MOURAO (since 1 January 2019)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 October 2018 with runoff on 28 October 2018 (next to be held in October 2022)
    election results: Jair BOLSONARO elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Jair BOLSONARO (PSL) 46%, Fernando HADDAD (PT) 29.3%, Ciro GOMEZ (PDT) 12.5%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 4.8%, other 7.4%; percent of vote in second round - Jair BOLSONARO (PSL) 55.1%, Fernando HADDAD (PT) 44.9%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of:
    Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members each from 26 states and 3 from the federal district directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 8-year terms, with one-third and two-thirds of the membership elected alternately every 4 years)
    Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
    Federal Senate - last held on 7 October 2018 for two-thirds of the Senate (next to be held in October 2022 for one-third of the Senate)
    Chamber of Deputies - last held on 7 October 2018 (next to be held in October 2022)
    election results:
    Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 7, PP 5, REDE 5, DEM 4, PSDB 4, PSDC 4, PSL 4, PT 4, PDT 2, PHS 2, PPS 2, PSB 2, PTB 2, Podemos 1, PR 1, PRB 1, PROS 1, PRP 1, PSC 1, SD 1; composition - men 70, women 11, percent of women 13.6%    
    Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PT 56, PSL 52, PP 37, PMDB 34, PSDC 34, PR 33, PSB 32, PRB 30, DEM 29, PSDB 29, PDT 28, SD 13, Podemos 11, PSOL 10, PTB 10, PCdoB 9, NOVO 8, PPS 8, PROS 8, PSC 8, Avante 7, PHS 6, Patriota 5, PRP 4, PV 4, PMN 3, PTC 2, DC 1, PPL 1, REDE 1; composition - men 462, women 51, percent of women 9.9%; total National Congress percent of women 10.4%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Federal Court or Supremo Tribunal Federal (consists of 11 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president and approved by the Federal Senate; justices appointed to serve until mandatory retirement at age 75
    subordinate courts: Tribunal of the Union, Federal Appeals Court, Superior Court of Justice, Superior Electoral Court, regional federal courts; state court system
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Avante [Luis TIBE] (formerly Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB) 
    Brazilian Communist Party or PCB [Ivan Martins PINHEIRO]
    Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Michel TEMER]
    Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Cristiane BRASIL]
    Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]
    Brazilian Republican Party or PRB [Marcos Antonio PEREIRA]
    Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Tasso JEREISSATI]
    Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Carlos Roberto SIQUEIRA de Barros]
    Christian Democracy or DC [Jose Maria EYMAEL] (formerly Christian Social Democratic Party or PSDC)
    Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]
    Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]
    Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos Roberto LUPI]
    The Democrats or DEM [Jose AGRIPINO] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL)
    Free Homeland Party or PPL [Sergio RUBENS]
    Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz PENNA]
    Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Eduardo MACHADO]
    National Mobilization Party or PMN [Telma RIBEIRO dos Santos]
    New Party or NOVO [Moises JARDIM]
    Party of the Republic or PR [Alfredo NASCIMENTO]
    Patriota [Adilson BARROSO Oliveira] (formerly National Ecologic Party or PEN)
    Podemos [Renata ABREU] (formerly National Labor Party or PTN) 
    Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Roberto Joao Pereira FREIRE]
    Progressive Party or PP [Ciro NOGUEIRA]
    Progressive Republican Party or PRP [Ovasco Roma Altimari RESENDE]
    Republican Social Order Party or PROS [Euripedes JUNIOR]
    Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Guilherme CAMPOS]
    Social Liberal Party or PSL [Luciano Caldas BIVAR]
    Socialism and Freedom Party or PSOL [Luiz ARAUJO]
    Solidarity or SD [Paulo PEREIRA DA SILVA]
    Sustainability Network or REDE [Marina SILVA]
    United Socialist Workers' Party or PSTU [Jose Maria DE ALMEIDA]
    Workers' Cause Party or PCO [Rui Costa PIMENTA]
    Workers' Party or PT [Gleisi HOFFMAN]
    International organization participation field listing
    AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, BRICS, CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, CPLP, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OECD (enhanced engagement), OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Nestor Jose FORSTER (since 11 July 2019)
    chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 238-2700
    FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford (CT), Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires William POPP (since 3 November 2018)
    telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000
    embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia
    mailing address: Unit 7500, DPO AA 34030
    FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136
    consulate(s) general: Belo Horizonte, Recife, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
    Flag description field listing
    green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress); the current flag was inspired by the banner of the former Empire of Brazil (1822-1889); on the imperial flag, the green represented the House of Braganza of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil, while the yellow stood for the Habsburg Family of his wife; on the modern flag the green represents the forests of the country and the yellow rhombus its mineral wealth (the diamond shape roughly mirrors that of the country); the blue circle and stars, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of 15 November 1889 - the day the Republic of Brazil was declared; the number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from an original 21 to the current 27 (one for each state and the Federal District)

    note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, and Vanuatu

    National symbol(s) field listing
    Southern Cross constellation; national colors: green, yellow, blue
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem)
    lyrics/music: Joaquim Osorio Duque ESTRADA/Francisco Manoel DA SILVA

    note: music adopted 1890, lyrics adopted 1922; the anthem's music, composed in 1822, was used unofficially for many years before it was adopted

  • Economy :: Brazil
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Brazil is the eighth-largest economy in the world, but is recovering from a recession in 2015 and 2016 that ranks as the worst in the country’s history. In 2017, Brazil`s GDP grew 1%, inflation fell to historic lows of 2.9%, and the Central Bank lowered benchmark interest rates from 13.75% in 2016 to 7%.

    The economy has been negatively affected by multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials, including the impeachment and conviction of Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF in August 2016. Sanctions against the firms involved — some of the largest in Brazil — have limited their business opportunities, producing a ripple effect on associated businesses and contractors but creating opportunities for foreign companies to step into what had been a closed market.

    The succeeding TEMER administration has implemented a series of fiscal and structural reforms to restore credibility to government finances. Congress approved legislation in December 2016 to cap public spending. Government spending growth had pushed public debt to 73.7% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from over 50% in 2012. The government also boosted infrastructure projects, such as oil and natural gas auctions, in part to raise revenues. Other economic reforms, proposed in 2016, aim to reduce barriers to foreign investment, and to improve labor conditions. Policies to strengthen Brazil’s workforce and industrial sector, such as local content requirements, have boosted employment, but at the expense of investment.

    Brazil is a member of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), a trade bloc that includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - Venezuela’s membership in the organization was suspended In August 2017. After the Asian and Russian financial crises, Mercosur adopted a protectionist stance to guard against exposure to volatile foreign markets and it currently is negotiating Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and Canada.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $3.248 trillion (2017 est.)
    $3.216 trillion (2016 est.)
    $3.332 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 8
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $2.055 trillion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.13% (2019 est.)
    1.2% (2018 est.)
    1.62% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $15,600 (2017 est.)
    $15,600 (2016 est.)
    $16,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 108
    Gross national saving field listing
    15% of GDP (2017 est.)
    14.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    14.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 63.4% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 20% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 15.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 12.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -11.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 6.6% (2017 est.)
    industry: 20.7% (2017 est.)
    services: 72.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
    Industries field listing
    textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    0% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Labor force field listing
    86.621 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 9.4%
    industry: 32.1%
    services: 58.5% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    11.93% (2019 est.)
    12.26% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Population below poverty line field listing
    4.2% (2016 est.)

    note: approximately 4% of the population are below the "extreme" poverty line

    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 0.8%
    highest 10%: 43.4% (2016 est.)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 733.7 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 756.3 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Public debt field listing
    84% of GDP (2017 est.)
    78.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    3.4% (2017 est.)
    8.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Current account balance field listing
    -$50.927 billion (2019 est.)
    -$41.54 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Exports field listing
    $217.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $184.5 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 21.8%, US 12.5%, Argentina 8.1%, Netherlands 4.3% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, automobiles
    Imports field listing
    $153.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $139.4 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 18.1%, US 16.7%, Argentina 6.3%, Germany 6.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $374 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $367.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Debt - external field listing
    $547.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $548.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Exchange rates field listing
    reals (BRL) per US dollar -
    3.19 (2017 est.)
    3.48 (2016 est.)
    3.4901 (2015 est.)
    3.3315 (2014 est.)
    2.3535 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Brazil
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    567.9 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    509.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Electricity - exports field listing
    219 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Electricity - imports field listing
    41.31 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    150.8 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    17% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    64% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Crude oil - production field listing
    2.587 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    736,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    297,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    12.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    2.811 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    2.956 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    279,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    490,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Natural gas - production field listing
    23.96 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    34.35 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    134.5 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    10.51 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    377.4 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    513.8 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
  • Communications :: Brazil
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 33,585,164
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15.97 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 207,862,093
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98.84 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: Brazil is one of the largest mobile and broadband markets in Latin America; 5G auction delayed due to interference issues; four major (mobile network operators) MNOs offering a range of voice and data services; broadband penetration only behind Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay; country is a pioneer in the region for M-commerce (electronic commerce conducted on mobile phones) (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line connections have remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 16 per 100 persons; less-expensive mobile-cellular technology has been a major impetus broadening telephone service to the lower-income segments of the population with mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 99 per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 55; landing points for a number of submarine cables, including Malbec, ARBR, Tamnat, SAC, SAm-1, Atlantis -2, Seabras-1, Monet, EllaLink, BRUSA, GlobeNet, AMX-1, Brazilian Festoon, Bicentenario, Unisur, Junior, Americas -II, SAE x1, SAIL, SACS and SABR that provide direct connectivity to South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe; 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; satellites is a major communication platform, as it is almost impossible to lay fiber optic cable in the thick vegetation (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    state-run Radiobras operates a radio and a TV network; more than 1,000 radio stations and more than 100 TV channels operating - mostly privately owned; private media ownership highly concentrated
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 140,908,998
    percent of population: 67.47% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 31,233,004
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
  • Transportation :: Brazil
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 9 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 443
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 102,109,977 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,845,650,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    PP (2016)
    Airports field listing
    4,093 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 698 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 7 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 27 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 179 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 436 (2017)
    under 914 m: 49 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 3,395 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 92 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1,619 (2013)
    under 914 m: 1,684 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    13 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    5959 km refined petroleum product (1,165 km distribution, 4,794 km transport), 11696 km natural gas (2,274 km distribution, 9,422 km transport), 1985 km crude oil (distribution), 77 km ethanol/petrochemical (37 km distribution, 40 km transport) (2016)
    Railways field listing
    total: 29,850 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 194 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    narrow gauge: 23,341.6 km 1.000-m gauge (24 km electrified) (2014)
    broad gauge: 5,822.3 km 1.600-m gauge (498.3 km electrified) (2014)
    dual gauge: 492 km 1.600-1.000-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Roadways field listing
    total: 2 million km (2018)
    paved: 246,000 km (2018)
    unpaved: 1.754 million km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Waterways field listing
    50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 864
    by type: bulk carrier 12, container ship 17, general cargo 45, oil tanker 41, other 749 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Belem, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Sao Sebastiao, Tubarao
    oil terminal(s): DTSE/Gegua oil terminal, Ilha Grande (Gebig), Guaiba Island terminal, Guamare oil terminal
    container port(s) (TEUs): Santos (3,853,719) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Pecem, Rio de Janiero
    river port(s): Manaus (Amazon)
    dry bulk cargo port(s): Sepetiba ore terminal, Tubarao
  • Military and Security :: Brazil
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Brazilian Armed Forces: Brazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil, MB, includes Naval Aviation and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB); Public Security Forces (2020)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.5% of GDP (2019)
    1.5% of GDP (2018)
    1.4% of GDP (2017)
    1.4% of GDP (2016)
    1.4% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    size assessments for the Brazilian Armed Forces vary; approximately 360,000 active personnel (215,000 Army; 75,000 Navy; 70,000 Air Force) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Brazilian military's inventory consists of a mix of domestically-produced and imported weapons, largely from Europe and the US; since 2010, France, Germany, the UK, and the US are the leading suppliers of military equipment to Brazil; Brazil's defense industry is capable of designing and manufacturing equipment for all three military services and for export; it also jointly produces equipment with other countries (2019 )
    Military deployments field listing
    220 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 10-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s, when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2012)
    Military - note field listing
    the military's primary role is enforcing border security, particularly in the Amazon states; it also assists with internal security operations with a focus on organized crime

    Brazilian police forces are divided into Federal Police (around 15,000 personnel), Military Police (approximately 400,000 personnel), and Civil Police (approximately 125,000 personnel); the Federal Police serve under the Ministry of Justice, while the Military and Civil police are subordinate to the state governments; the National Public Security Force (Forca Nacional de Seguranca Publica or SENASP) is a national police force made up of Military Police from various states; article 144 of the Brazilian constitution states that all state Military Police are classified as reserve troops and ancillary forces of the Brazilian Army
  • Transnational Issues :: Brazil
  • Disputes - international field listing

    uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Brazil's border region with Venezuela

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 251,832 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or received alternative legal stay) (2020)
    stateless persons: 7 (2019)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; illicit producer of cannabis; trace amounts of coca cultivation in the Amazon region, used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian, Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; illicit narcotics proceeds are often laundered through the financial system; significant illicit financial activity in the Tri-Border Area