Country Summary



After more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822. 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.



total: 8,515,770 sq km
land: 8,358,140 sq km
water: 157,630 sq km


mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Natural resources

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

People and Society


218,689,757 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

mixed 45.3%, White 43.5%, Black 10.2%, Indigenous 0.6%, Asian 0.4% (2022 est.)


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


Roman Catholic 50%, Evangelical 31%, Spiritist 3%, Umbanda, Candomble, or other Afro-Brazilian religions 2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist 1%, other 2%, none 10% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.64% (2023 est.)


Government type

federal presidential republic


name: Brasília

Executive branch

chief of state: President Luiz Inácio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2023); Vice President Geraldo José Rodrigues ALCKMIN Filho (since 1 January 2023); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Luiz Inácio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2023); Vice President Geraldo José Rodrigues ALCKMIN Filho (since 1 January 2023)

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


Economic overview

industrial-led economic growth model; recovering from 2014-2016 recession when COVID-19 hit; industry limited by Amazon rainforest but increasing deforestation; new macroeconomic structural reforms; high income inequality; left UNASUR to join PROSUR

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.25 trillion (2022 est.)
$3.158 trillion (2021 est.)
$3.008 trillion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$15,100 (2022 est.)
$14,700 (2021 est.)
$14,100 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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


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


$380.619 billion (2022 est.)
$315.494 billion (2021 est.)
$238.221 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 28%, United States 13% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron, soybeans, crude petroleum, sugar, poultry meats (2021)


$376.084 billion (2022 est.)
$306.087 billion (2021 est.)
$230.508 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

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

Imports - commodities

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

Exchange rates

reals (BRL) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
5.164 (2022 est.)
5.394 (2021 est.)
5.155 (2020 est.)
3.944 (2019 est.)
3.654 (2018 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024