A panoramic view of Iguazu Falls along the Brazil-Argentina border. The entire waterfall system consists of some 275 falls along 2.7 km (1.7 mi) of the Iguazu River.
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Introduction

Background

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. VARGAS governed over various versions of democratic and authoritarian regimes from 1930 to 1945. Democratic rule returned (including a democratically elected VARGAS administration from 1951 to 1955) and lasted until 1964, when the military overthrew President Joao GOULART. The military regime censored journalists and repressed and tortured dissidents in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The dictatorship lasted until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers, and the Brazilian Congress passed its current constitution in 1989. 

By far the largest and most populous country in South America, 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, under President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (2003-2010) 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 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. A money-laundering investigation, Operation Lava Jato, uncovered a vast corruption scheme and prosecutors charged several high-profile Brazilian politicians with crimes. Former-President LULA was convicted of accepting bribes and served jail time (2018-19), although his conviction was overturned in early 2021. In October 2018, Jair BOLSONARO won the presidency with 55% of the second-round vote and assumed office on 1 January 2019. The next national elections are scheduled for October 2022.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Geographic coordinates

10 00 S, 55 00 W

Map references

South America

Area

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

slightly smaller than the US

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 16,145 km

border countries (10): Argentina 1,263 km; Bolivia 3,403 km; Colombia 1,790 km; French Guiana 649 km; Guyana 1,308 km; Paraguay 1,371 km; Peru 2,659 km; Suriname 515 km; Uruguay 1,050 km; Venezuela 2,137 km

Coastline

7,491 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin

Climate

mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Terrain

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

Elevation

highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 320 m

Natural resources

alumina, bauxite, beryllium, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, niobium, phosphates, platinum, tantalum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber

Land use

agricultural land: 32.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 8.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 23.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 61.9% (2018 est.)

other: 5.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

54,000 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lagoa dos Patos - 10,140 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Lagoa Mirim (shared with Uruguay) - 2,970 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Amazon river mouth (shared with Peru [s]) - 6,400 km; Rio de la Plata/Parana river source (shared with Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay [m]) - 4,880 km; Tocantins - 3,650 km; Sao Francisco - 3,180 km; Paraguay river source (shared with Argentina and Paraguay [m]) - 2,549 km; Rio Negro river mouth (shared with Colombia [s] and Venezuela) - 2,250 km; Uruguay river source (shared with Argentina and Uruguay [m]) - 1,610 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km), Orinoco (953,675 sq km), Paraná (2,582,704 sq km), São Francisco (617,814 sq km), Tocantins (764,213 sq km)

Major aquifers

Amazon Basin, Guarani Aquifer System, Maranhao Basin

Population distribution

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

recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south

Geography - note

note 1: 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

note 2: cassava (manioc) the sixth most important food crop in the world - after maize, rice, wheat, potatoes, and soybeans - seems to have originated in the west-central part of Brazil; pineapples are probably indigenous to the southern Brazil-Paraguay region

Map description

Brazil map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and the Atlantic Ocean.

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Brazilian(s)

adjective: Brazilian

Ethnic groups

White 47.7%, mixed 43.1%, Black 7.6%, Asian 1.1%, Indigenous 0.4% (2010 est.)

Languages

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

major-language sample(s):
O Livro de Fatos Mundiais, a fonte indispensável para informação básica. (Brazilian Portuguese)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Religions

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

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

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% (2020 est.) (male 8,323,344/female 11,176,018)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.5

youth dependency ratio: 29.7

elderly dependency ratio: 13.8

potential support ratio: 7.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 33.2 years

male: 32.3 years

female: 34.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Birth rate

13.96 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Death rate

6.81 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Net migration rate

-0.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Population distribution

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

urban population: 87.6% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.87% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

22.430 million Sao Paulo, 13.634 million Rio de Janeiro, 6.194 million Belo Horizonte, 4.804 million BRASILIA (capital), 4.220 million Recife, 4.185 million Porto Alegre (2022)

Sex ratio

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: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

60 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Infant mortality rate

total: 13.31 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 14.75 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.92 years

male: 72.5 years

female: 79.5 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 112

Contraceptive prevalence rate

80.2% (2013)

note: percent of women aged 18-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 96.9% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 3.1% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

2.31 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 94.1% of population

rural: 63.6% of population

total: 90.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.9% of population

rural: 36.4% of population

total: 9.8% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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 18 August 2022, Brazil has reported a total of 34,201,280 cases of COVID-19 or 16,090.22 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 681,763 cumulative deaths or a rate 320.74 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 86.79% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.12 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.84 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.24 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Tobacco use

total: 12.8% (2020 est.)

male: 16.2% (2020 est.)

female: 9.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

Literacy

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)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 31.3%

male: 27.5%

female: 36.3% (2020 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

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

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping-London Protocol

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 11.49 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 462.3 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 401.83 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Land use

agricultural land: 32.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 8.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 23.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 61.9% (2018 est.)

other: 5.2% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 87.6% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.87% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.01% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Major infectious diseases

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 18 August 2022, Brazil has reported a total of 34,201,280 cases of COVID-19 or 16,090.22 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 681,763 cumulative deaths or a rate 320.74 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 86.79% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 79,889,010 tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 1,118,446 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 1.4% (2014 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lagoa dos Patos - 10,140 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Lagoa Mirim (shared with Uruguay) - 2,970 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Amazon river mouth (shared with Peru [s]) - 6,400 km; Rio de la Plata/Parana river source (shared with Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay [m]) - 4,880 km; Tocantins - 3,650 km; Sao Francisco - 3,180 km; Paraguay river source (shared with Argentina and Paraguay [m]) - 2,549 km; Rio Negro river mouth (shared with Colombia [s] and Venezuela) - 2,250 km; Uruguay river source (shared with Argentina and Uruguay [m]) - 1,610 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Amazon (6,145,186 sq km), Orinoco (953,675 sq km), Paraná (2,582,704 sq km), São Francisco (617,814 sq km), Tocantins (764,213 sq km)

Major aquifers

Amazon Basin, Guarani Aquifer System, Maranhao Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 16.74 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 9.511 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 39.43 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

8.647 trillion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

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

federal presidential republic

Capital

name: Brasilia

geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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

etymology: 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

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

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 2021

Legal system

civil law; note - a new civil law code was enacted in 2002 replacing the 1916 code

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years

Suffrage

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

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 an immediate second term, and additional terms after a one-term break); election last held on 7 October 2018 with runoff on 28 October 2018 (next to be held on 2 October 2022)

election results:
2018: 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%

2014:  Dilma ROUSSEFF reelected president in second round; percent of vote in second round - Dilma ROUSSEFF (PT) 51.6%, Aecio NEVES (PSDB) 48.4%; note - on 12 May 2016, Brazil's Senate voted to hold an impeachment trial of President Dilma ROUSSEFF, who was then suspended from her executive duties; Vice President Michel TEMER took over as acting president; on 31 August 2016 the Senate voted 61-20 in favor of conviction and her removal from office; TEMER served as president for the remainder of ROUSSEFF's term, which ended 1 January 2019

Legislative branch

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 party-list proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections:
Federal Senate - last held on 7 October 2018 for two-thirds of the Senate (next to be held on 2 October 2022 for one-third of the Senate)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 7 October 2018 (next to be held on 2 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 67, women 14, percent of women 17.3%    
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 437, women 76, percent of women 14.8%; total National Congress percent of women 15.2%

Judicial branch

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

Act (Agir) [Daniel TOURINHO] (formerly Christian Labor Party or PTC)
Avante [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE] (formerly Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB)
Brazil Union (Uniao Brasil); note - founded from a merger between the Democrats (DEM) and the Social Liberal Party (PSL) 
Brazilian Communist Party or PCB [Astrogildo PEREIRA]
Brazilian Democratic Movement or MDB [Luiz Felipe Baleia TENUTO Rossi]
Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Kassyo Santos RAMOS]
Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Aiceia RODRIGUES and Hamilton MOURAO]
Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Bruno ARAUJO]
Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Carlos Roberto SIQUEIRA de Barros]
Christian Democracy or DC [Jose Maria EYMAEL] (formerly Christian Social
Cidadania [Roberto Joao Pereira FREIRE] (formerly Popular Socialist Party or PPS)
Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Luciana SANTOS]
Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos LUPI]
Democratic Party or PSDC
Democrats or DEM [Jose AGRIPINO] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL); note - dissolved in February 2022
Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz PENNA]
Liberal Party or PL [Luciano BIVAR and Antonio de RUEDA] (formerly Party of the Republic or PR)
National Mobilization Party or PMN [Antonio Carlos Bosco MASSAROLLO]
New Party or NOVO [Eduardo RIBEIRO]
Patriota [Adilson BAROSSO Oliveira] (formerly National Ecologic Party or PEN)
Podemos [Renata ABREU] (formerly National Labor Party or PTN)
Progressive Party or PP [Ciro NOGUEIRA]
Republican Social Order Party or PROS [Euripedes JUNIOR]
Republicans (Republicanos) [Marcos Antonio PEREIRA] (formerly Brazilian Republican Party or PRB)
Social Christian Party or PSC [Everaldo Dias PEREIRA]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Alfredo COATIT Neto]
Social Liberal Party or PSL [Luciano Caldas BIVAR]
Socialism and Freedom Party or PSOL [Juliano MEDEIROS]
Solidarity or SD [Paulinho DA FORCA]
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 HOFFMANN]

International organization participation

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, PROSUR, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Nestor Jose FORSTER, Jr. (since 23 December 2020)

chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 238-2700

FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827

email address and website:
http://washington.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/Main.xml

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford (CT), Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Douglas A. KONEFF (since July 2021)

embassy: SES - Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, 70403-900 - Brasilia, DF

mailing address: 7500 Brasilia Place, Washington DC  20521-7500

telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000

FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136

email address and website:
BrasilliaACS@state.gov

https://br.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Recife, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo

branch office(s): Belo Horizonte

Flag description

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)

Southern Cross constellation; national colors: green, yellow, blue

National anthem

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 23 (15 cultural, 7 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Brasilia (c); Historic Salvador de Bahia (c); Historic Ouro Preto (c); Historic Olinda (c); Iguaçu National Park (n); Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (c); Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes (c); Central Amazon Conservation Complex (n); Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves (n); Paraty and Ilha Grande – Culture and Biodiversity (m)

Economy

Economic overview

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.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,989,430,000,000 (2020 est.)

$3,115,910,000,000 (2019 est.)

$3,072,550,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 8

Real GDP growth rate

1.13% (2019 est.)

1.2% (2018 est.)

1.62% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Real GDP per capita

$14,100 (2020 est.)

$14,800 (2019 est.)

$14,700 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 110

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1,877,942,000,000 (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.7% (2019 est.)

3.6% (2018 est.)

3.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2018)

Moody's rating: Ba2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2018)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.7% (2017 est.)

services: 72.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, soybeans, maize, milk, cassava, oranges, poultry, rice, beef, cotton

Industries

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 9.4%

industry: 32.1%

services: 58.5% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

11.93% (2019 est.)

12.26% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 31.3%

male: 27.5%

female: 36.3% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Population below poverty line

4.2% (2016 est.)

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

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 0.8%

highest 10%: 43.4% (2016 est.)

Budget

revenues: 733.7 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 756.3 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

84% of GDP (2017 est.)

78.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$50.927 billion (2019 est.)

-$41.54 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 203

Exports

$239.18 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$260.07 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$274.9 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 27

Exports - partners

China 28%, United States 13% (2019)

Exports - commodities

soybeans, crude petroleum, iron, corn, wood pulp products (2019)

Imports

$227.44 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$269.02 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$267.52 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 27

Imports - partners

China 21%, United States 18%, Germany 6%, Argentina 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, vehicle parts, crude petroleum, integrated circuits, pesticides (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$374 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$367.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Debt - external

$681.336 billion (2019 est.)

$660.693 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Exchange rates

reals (BRL) per US dollar -

5.12745 (2020 est.)

4.14915 (2019 est.)

3.862 (2018 est.)

3.3315 (2014 est.)

2.3535 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 195.037 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 540,997,340,000 kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 395 million kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 25.113 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 105.727 billion kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 11.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 2.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 9.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 65.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 9.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 13.993 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 31.841 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 16,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 19.217 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 6.596 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 3,629,100 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 3,142,300 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 1,123,300 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 186,200 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 12,714,600,000 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 25,395,979,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 35,253,198,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 9,724,017,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 363.984 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

456.67 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 63.53 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 328.824 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 64.316 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 30,653,813 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 205,834,781 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 97 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Brazil is one of the largest mobile and broadband markets in Latin America with healthy competition and pricing; the development of 5G, was scheduled for March 2020 but was delayed due to interference issues with satellite TV broadcasts and the pandemic; the auction was completed November 2021; the licenses are obliged to provide 5G services to all capital cities by July 2022, as well as about 35,500km of the national highway network; the country also has one of the largest fixed line broadband markets in Latin America, though broadband subscriptions is only slightly above the regional average, trailing behind Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay; amendments to the licensing regime adopted in October 2019 also require that ISPs which have switched to authorizations invest money saved from lighter regulations in the expansion of broadband services; the fixed line broadband market has seen rapid growth for a number of years, with a growing focus on fiber broadband; in 2019 the number of fiber accesses overtook DSL connections; Vivo has the largest share of the fiber market, followed by Oi and Claro; the country is a key landing point for a number of important submarine cables connecting to the US, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa; several new cable systems are due to come into service through to 2022, which will increase bandwidth and push down broadband prices for end-users; investments have also been made into terrestrial fiber cables between Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. (2021)

domestic: fixed-line connections stand at roughly 14 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 97 per 100 persons (2020)

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 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

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 (2022)

Internet users

total: 172,173,121 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 81% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 36,344,670 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Transportation

National air transport system

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 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 698

over 3,047 m: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 179

914 to 1,523 m: 436 (2017)

under 914 m: 49 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 3,395

1,524 to 2,437 m: 92

914 to 1,523 m: 1,619

under 914 m: 1,684 (2021)

Heliports

13 (2021)

Pipelines

5,959 km refined petroleum product (1,165 km distribution, 4,794 km transport), 11,696 km natural gas (2,274 km distribution, 9,422 km transport), 1,985 km crude oil (distribution), 77 km ethanol/petrochemical (37 km distribution, 40 km transport) (2016)

Railways

total: 29,849.9 km (2014)

standard gauge: 194 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 23,341.6 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge (24 km electrified)

broad gauge: 5,822.3 km (2014) 1.600-m gauge (498.3 km electrified)

dual gauge: 492 km (2014) 1.600-1.000-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 9

Roadways

total: 2 million km (2018)

paved: 246,000 km (2018)

unpaved: 1.754 million km (2018)

country comparison to the world: 4

Waterways

50,000 km (2012) (most in areas remote from industry and population)

country comparison to the world: 2

Merchant marine

total: 864

by type: bulk carrier 11, container ship 19, general cargo 42, oil tanker 31, other 761 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 27

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Belem, Itajai, 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): Itajai (1,223,262), Paranagua (865,110), Santos (4,165,248) (2019)

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

Military and security forces

Brazilian Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Brasileiras): Brazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil, MB, includes Naval Aviation (Aviacao Naval Brasileira) and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2022)

Military expenditures

1.3% of GDP (2021 est.)

1.4% of GDP (2020)

1.4% of GDP (2019) (approximately $35.6 billion)

1.5% of GDP (2018) (approximately $36 billion)

1.4% of GDP (2017) (approximately $34.4 billion)

country comparison to the world: 105

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 360,000 active military personnel (220,000 Army; 70,000 Navy; 70,000 Air Force) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Brazilian military's inventory consists of a mix of domestically-produced and imported weapons, largely from Europe and the US; since 2010, the US and several European countries 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 (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-45 years of age for compulsory military service for men (women exempted); only 5-10% of those inducted are required to serve; conscript service obligation is 10-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service (2022)

note: in 2020, women comprised approximately 9% of the Brazilian military

Military - note

the origins of Brazil's military stretch back to the 1640s

the three national police forces – the Federal Police, Federal Highway Police, and Federal Railway Police – have domestic security responsibilities and report to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Ministry of Justice); there are two distinct units within the state police forces: the civil police, which performs an investigative role, and the military police, charged with maintaining law and order in the states and the Federal District; despite the name, military police forces report to the Ministry of Justice, not the Ministry of Defense; 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; the armed forces also have some domestic security responsibilities and report to the Ministry of Defense

Brazil has Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status with the US; MNNA is a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation; while MNNA status provides military and economic privileges, it does not entail any security commitments (2022)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Brazil are a risk for armed robbery against ships; in 2021, three attacks against commercial vessels were reported, a decrease from the seven attacks in 2020; all of these occurred in the port of Macapa while ships were berthed or at anchor

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Hizballah (2022)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Brazil-Bolivia: The Roboré Accord of March 29, 1958 placed the long-disputed Isla Suárez/Ilha de Guajará-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Río Mamoré, between the two towns of Guajará-Mirim (Brazil) and Guayaramerin (Bolivia), under Bolivian administration but did not resolve the sovereignty dispute

Brazil-Colombia:
Contraband smuggling (narcotics and arms), illegal migration, trafficking in animals, plants, lumber, illegal exploitation of mineral resources, Colombian (FARC) insurgent incursions in the area remain problematic issues.

Brazil-Uruguay:
 The uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over over Arroyo de la Invernada triangle and sovereignty over Isla Brsillera leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question. Smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border.

Brazil-Venezuela: Colombian-organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Brazil's border region with Venezuela.

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 261,441 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or received alternative legal stay) (2020)

IDPs: 21,000

stateless persons: 14 (mid-year 2021)

Illicit drugs

a significant transit and destination country for cocaine; most of the cocaine enters Brazil from neighboring producing countries Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru then goes to West Africa and Europe, but an increasing percentage feeds substantial domestic drug consumption; second-largest consumer of cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine-derivative products in the world