A Map of Brazil


Background: Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has overcome more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of the interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, Brazil became South America's leading economic power by the 1970s. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem.
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean Area: Total: 8,511,965 sq km, land: 8,456,510 sq km, water: 55,455 sq km. 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
Climate and Terrain: 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
People: Population: 176,029,560. 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) 80%. Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French.
Government: Government type: Federative republic. Capital: Brasilia. Independence: 7 September 1822 (from Portugal).
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. The maintenance of large current account deficits via capital account surpluses became problematic as investors became more risk averse to emerging market exposure as a consequence of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian bond default in August 1998. After crafting a fiscal adjustment program and pledging progress on structural reform, Brazil received a $41.5 billion IMF-led international support program in November 1998. In January 1999, the Brazilian Central Bank announced that the real would no longer be pegged to the US dollar. GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9% industry: 32% services: 59%.
Statistics: Telephones - main lines in use: 17.039 million. Telephones - mobile cellular: 4.4 million. Radio broadcast stations: AM 1,365, FM 296. Radios: 71 million. Television broadcast stations: 138. Televisions: 36.5 million. Internet users: 11.94 million. Highways: Total: 1.98 million km, paved: 184,140 km, unpaved: 1,795,860 km. Airports: 3,365. Airports - with paved runways: 627, with unpaved runways: 2,738.

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