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Map of Brazil


Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W

Map references: South America

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

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than the US

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

Coastline: 7,491 km

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

Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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


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Population: 169,806,557 (July 1998 est.)
note: Brazil took a census in August 1996 which showed a total of 157,079,573; this figure is about 5% lower than projections by the US Census Bureau, which is close to the implied underenumeration of 4.6% for 1991; since the full results of the census have not been released for analysis, the numbers shown for Brazil do not take into consideration the results of this 1996 census

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30% (male 26,090,859; female 25,132,122)
15-64 years: 65% (male 54,199,642; female 55,769,122)
65 years and over: 5% (male 3,499,272; female 5,115,540) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.24% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 20.92 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.53 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 36.96 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.36 years
male: 59.39 years
female: 69.59 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.33 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian

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

Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 70%

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

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


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

Data code: BR

Government type: federal republic

National capital: Brasilia

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

Independence: 7 September 1822 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 September (1822)

Constitution: 5 October 1988

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

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

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 3 October 1994 (next to be held NA October 1998)
election results: Fernando Henrique CARDOSO elected president; percent of vote—Fernando Henrique CARDOSO 53%, Luis Inacio LULA da Silva 26%, Eneas CARNEIRO 7%, Orestes QUERCIA 4%, Leonel BRIZOLA 3%, Espiridiao AMIN 3%; note—second direct presidential election since 1960

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; three members from each state or federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third elected after a four year period, two-thirds elected after the next four-year period) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Federal Senate—last held 3 October 1994 for two-thirds of Senate (next to be held October 1998 for one-third of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 3 October 1994 (next to be held October 1998)
election results: Federal Senate—percent of vote by party—PMDB 28%, PFL 22%, PSDB 12%, PPR 7%, PDT 7%, PT 6%, PTB 6%, other 12%; seats by party—NA; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—PMDB 21%, PFL 18%, PDT 7%, PSDB 12%, PPR 10%, PTB 6%, PT 10%, other 16%; seats by party—NA
note: party totals since the fall of 1994 have changed considerably due to extensive party-switching

Judicial branch: Supreme Federal Tribunal, 11 judges are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate

Political parties and leaders: Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Paes DE ANDRADE, president]; Liberal Front Party or PFL [Jose JORGE, president]; Workers' Party or PT [Jose DIRCEU, president]; Brazilian Workers' Party or PTB [Rodrigues PALMA, president]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Leonel BRIZOLA, president]; Brazilian Progressive Party or PPB [Espiridiao AMIN, president]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Artur DA TAVOLA, president]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Roberto FREIRE, president]; Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Joao AMAZONAS, chairman]; Liberal Party or PL [Alvaro VALLE, president]

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

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

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

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

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


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Economy—overview: Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. Prior to the institution of a stabilization plan—the Plano Real (Real Plan) in mid-1994, stratospheric inflation rates had disrupted economic activity and discouraged foreign investment. Since then, tight monetary policy has brought inflation under control—consumer prices increased by less than 5% in 1997 compared to more than 1,000% in 1994. At the same time, GDP growth slowed from 5.7% in 1994 to about 3.0% in 1997 due to tighter credit. The strong currency, another cornerstone of the Real Plan, has encouraged imports—contributing to a growing trade deficit—and restrained export growth. Brazil's more stable economy allowed it to weather the fallout in 1995 from the Mexican peso crisis relatively well. Record levels of foreign investment have flowed in, helping support the Real Plan through financial shocks in October-November 1997 that occurred in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. These shocks caused Brazil's foreign exchange reserves to drop by $8 billion to $52 billion and the stock market to decline by about 25%, although it still ended up more than 30% for the year. President CARDOSO remains committed to defending the Real Plan, but he faces several key challenges domestically and abroad. His package of fiscal reforms requiring constitutional amendments has progressed slowly through the balkanized Brazilian legislature; in their absence, the government continues to run deficits and has limited room to relax its interest and exchange rate policies if it wants to keep inflation under control. Some foreign investors remain concerned about the viability of Brazil's exchange rate policy because of the country's fiscal and current account deficits. The government thus has to contend with the possibility of capital flight or a speculative attack that could draw down foreign reserves to a critical level and force a devaluation.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.04 trillion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1997)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,300 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 13%
industry: 38%
services: 49% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 4.8% (1997)

Labor force:
total: 57 million (1989 est.)
by occupation: services 42%, agriculture 31%, industry 27%

Unemployment rate: 7% (1997 est.)

revenues: $87.5 billion
expenditures: $96 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 57.64 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 264.895 billion kWh (1995)
note: imported about 36.95 billion kWh of electricity from Paraguay

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,878 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $53 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: iron ore, soybean bran, orange juice, footwear, coffee, motor vehicle parts
partners: EU 28%, Latin America 23%, US 20%, Argentina 12% (1996)

total value: $61.4 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: crude oil, capital goods, chemical products, foodstuffs, coal
partners: EU 26%, US 22%, Argentina 13%, Japan 5% (1996)

Debt—external: $192.9 billion (December 1997)

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

Currency: 1 real (R$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: R$ per US$1—1.120 (January 1998), 1.078 (1997), 1.005 (1996), 0.918 (1995), 0.639 (1994); CR$ per US$1—390.845 (January 1994), 88.449 (1993)
note: on 1 August 1993 the cruzeiro real (CR$), equal to 1,000 cruzeiros, was introduced; another new currency, the real (R$) was introduced on 1 July 1994, equal to 2,750 cruzeiro reais

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 14,426,673 (1992 est.)

Telephone system: good working system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations
international: 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations—3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean Region East)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1,223, FM 0, shortwave 151

Radios: 60 million (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 112
note: Brazil has the world's fourth largest television broadcasting system

Televisions: 30 million (1993 est.)


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total: 26,895 km (1,750 km electrified)
broad gauge: 5,730 km 1.600-m gauge
standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 20,958 km 1.000-m gauge; 13 km 0.760-m gauge
dual gauge: 523 km 1.000-m and 1.600-m gauges

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

Waterways: 50,000 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 2,000 km; petroleum products 3,804 km; natural gas 1,095 km

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

Merchant marine:
total: 188 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,498,081 GRT/7,279,945 DWT
ships by type: bulk 37, cargo 26, chemical tanker 9, combination ore/oil 11, container 16, liquefied gas tanker 10, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 61, passenger-cargo 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 11 (1997 est.)

Airports: 3,291 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 502
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 130
914 to 1,523 m: 319
under 914 m: 29 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 2,789
1,524 to 2,437 m: 76
914 to 1,523 m: 1,324
under 914 m: 1,389 (1997 est.)




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