Brazil

Brazil

Reference Information

Population

209 Million

Official Language

Portuguese

Primary Language

Portuguese

Currency

Real

Capital

Brasília

Current Time in Brasília

04:51:15, 12/07/2019

Overview

Of the South American nations, Brazil has always been among the most unique. Encompassing a huge amount of land and inhabited by a diverse populace, it both shares a similar history of colonization with its neighbors and is separated from them by a language barrier.

Though Brazil has experienced its share of turbulence over its history, it has become a country with a strong economy and one that is incredibly popular with tourists. Though it's impossible to tell what Brazil's future will be, it's easy to be confident in the idea that it may choose to follow a different path than that walked by many of its neighbors.

Quick Facts about Brazil

  • Brazil is the largest Portuguese speaking country on Earth by both area and by population.
  • Tourists have been visiting Brazil since 1502.
  • Brazil has the second-largest population of people of Japanese descent in the world.
  • There are still around 67 uncontacted native tribes living in Brazil.
  • Brazil is home to more species of monkeys than any other nation on Earth.

Borders

Brazil's massive size and central location mean that the country borders almost every other nation in South America. Directly south of Brazil is Uruguay, while Paraguay and Argentina are to the southwest.

Peru and Bolivia are to the west of the country, while Colombia is to the northwest. Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname are all to the country's north. The only South American countries it does not border are Chile and Ecuador.

Area

Brazil has a physical area of 3.2 million square miles. This makes it the fifth largest country in the world and the third-large country in the Americas, as well as South America's largest country.

It has a coastline of 4,655 miles and its massive size encompasses a significant amount of the Amazon rain forest. In fact, Brazil is one of only seventeen countries rated as megadiverse.

Languages

The official national language of Brazil is Portuguese, and it is spoken by about ninety-eight percent of the country's residents. It also has upwards of 217 indigenous languages, though less than forty thousand Brazilians speak any of those languages with any degree of fluency.

There are also ten other languages spoken in Brazil by significant numbers of people, including German, Italian, Japanese, English, Polish, Ukrainian, Arabic, Korean, East Pomeranian, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

Weather

Given Brazil's massive size, it makes sense that the weather in the country can vary quite a bit based on location. Coastal areas tend to get hotter, while cities on the plateaus are milder. Areas near the equator have relatively little seasonal variation, while those areas further south can have significant variance between the summers and the winters.

Taken as a whole, Brazil does tend to be relatively warm - though not necessarily as hot as popular depictions make it out to be.

Government

Brazil is considered a presidential representative democratic republic. In this form of government, the role of both head of state and head of the government is held by the President. The President is responsible for appointing cabinet ministers and Supreme Court judges as well as functioning as the commander-in-chief of the military.

The legislative power of the national government is held by a bicameral National Congress made up of a Federal Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. Brazil is further broken down into 26 self-governing states, which both share power with and are sometimes subordinate to the national government.