This article is about the country in South America.
For other uses, see Brazil (disambiguation).
|Federative Republic of Brazil
República Federativa do Brasil (Portuguese)
|Largest city||São Paulo|
and national language
|Ethnic groups (2010)|
|Religion (2010)||86.8% Christianity|
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|Vice President||Hamilton Mourão|
|President of the||Rodrigo Maia|
|President of the||Davi Alcolumbre|
|President of the||Luiz Fux|
|Upper house||Federal Senate|
|Lower house||Chamber of Deputies|
|Independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves|
|Declared||7 September 1822|
|Recognized||29 August 1825|
|Republic||15 November 1889|
|Current constitution||5 October 1988|
|Total||8,515,767 km (3,287,956 sq mi) (5th)|
|2019 estimate||210,147,125 (6th)|
|Density||25/km (64.7/sq mi) (200th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
|Total||$3.078 trillion (8th)|
|Per capita||$14,563 (83rd)|
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|Total||$1.363 trillion (12th)|
|Per capita||$6,450 (83rd)|
high · 10th
high · 79th
|Currency||Real (R$) (BRL)|
|Time zone||UTC−2 to −5 (BRT)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||BR|
Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil; Brazilian Portuguese: [bɾaˈziw), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America.
It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world; as well as the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi).
This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.
The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress.
Main article: Name of Brazil
The word "Brazil" likely comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa ("ember") and the suffix -il (from -iculum or -ilium).
As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was highly valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil.
Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples (mostly Tupi) along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders (mostly Portuguese, but also French) in return for assorted European consumer goods.
The official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross" (Terra da Santa Cruz), but European sailors and merchants commonly called it simply the "Land of Brazil" (Terra do Brasil) because of the brazilwood trade.
The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name.
Some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots".
This was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years.
The pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture.
The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 400 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, and complex social formations such as chiefdoms.
Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people, mostly semi-nomadic, who subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, the boundaries between these groups and their subgroups were marked by wars that arose from differences in culture, language and moral beliefs.
While heredity had some weight, leadership status was more subdued over time, than allocated in succession ceremonies and conventions.
Slavery among the Indians had a different meaning than it had for Europeans, since it originated from a diverse socioeconomic organization, in which asymmetries were translated into kinship relations.
The Portuguese encountered indigenous peoples divided into several tribes, most of whom spoke languages of the Tupi–Guarani family, and fought among themselves.
Though the first settlement was founded in 1532, colonization effectively began in 1534, when King John III of Portugal divided the territory into the fifteen private and autonomous Captaincy Colonies of Brazil.
However, the decentralized and unorganized tendencies of the captaincy colonies proved problematic, and in 1549 the Portuguese king restructured them into the Governorate General of Brazil in the city of Salvador, which became the capital of a single and centralized Portuguese colony in South America.
In the first two centuries of colonization, Indigenous and European groups lived in constant war, establishing opportunistic alliances in order to gain advantages against each other.
By the mid-16th century, cane sugar had become Brazil's most important export, and slaves purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the slave market of Western Africa (not only those from Portuguese allies of their colonies in Angola and Mozambique), had become its largest import, to cope with plantations of sugarcane, due to increasing international demand for Brazilian sugar.
Portuguese Brazil received more than 2.8 million slaves from Africa between the years of 1500 to 1800.
By the end of the 17th century, sugarcane exports began to decline, and the discovery of gold by bandeirantes in the 1690s would become the new backbone of the colony's economy, fostering a Brazilian Gold Rush which attracted thousands of new settlers to Brazil from Portugal and all Portuguese colonies around the world.
This increased level of immigration in turn caused some conflicts between newcomers and old settlers.
In this era other European powers tried to colonize parts of Brazil, in incursions that the Portuguese had to fight, notably the French in Rio during the 1560s, in Maranhão during the 1610s, and the Dutch in Bahia and Pernambuco, during the Dutch–Portuguese War, after the end of Iberian Union.
The Portuguese colonial administration in Brazil had two objectives that would ensure colonial order and the monopoly of Portugal's wealthiest and largest colony: to keep under control and eradicate all forms of slave rebellion and resistance, such as the Quilombo of Palmares, and to repress all movements for autonomy or independence, such as the Minas Conspiracy.
United Kingdom with Portugal
Main article: United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves
In late 1807, Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened the security of continental Portugal, causing Prince Regent João, in the name of Queen Maria I, to move the royal court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.
There they established some of Brazil's first financial institutions, such as its local stock exchanges, and its National Bank, additionally ending the Portuguese monopoly on Brazilian trade and opening Brazil to other nations.
In 1809, in retaliation for being forced into exile, the Prince Regent ordered the Portuguese conquest of French Guiana.
With the end of the Peninsular War in 1814, the courts of Europe demanded that Queen Maria I and Prince Regent João return to Portugal, deeming it unfit for the head of an ancient European monarchy to reside in a colony.
In 1815, to justify continuing to live in Brazil, where the royal court had thrived for six years, the Crown established the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves, thus creating a pluricontinental transatlantic monarchic state.
However, the leadership in Portugal, resentful of the new status of its larger colony, continued to demand the return of the court to Lisbon (v. Liberal Revolution of 1820).
In 1821, acceding to the demands of revolutionaries who had taken the city of Porto, D. João VI departed for Lisbon.
Tensions between Portuguese and Brazilians increased, and the Portuguese Cortes, guided by the new political regime imposed by the 1820 Liberal Revolution, tried to re-establish Brazil as a colony.
The Brazilians refused to yield, and Prince Pedro decided to stand with them, declaring the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822.
The last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on 8 March 1824; Portugal officially recognized Brazil on 29 August 1825.
On 7 April 1831, worn down by years of administrative turmoil and political dissent with both liberal and conservative sides of politics, including an attempt of republican secession, and unreconciled to the way that absolutists in Portugal had given in the succession of King John VI, Pedro I went to Portugal to reclaim his daughter's crown, abdicating the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who thus became the Empire's second monarch, with the royal title of Dom Pedro II).
As the new Emperor could not exert his constitutional powers until he came of age, a regency was set up by the National Assembly.
In the absence of a charismatic figure who could represent a moderate face of power, during this period a series of localized rebellions took place, such as the Cabanagem in Grão-Pará Province, the Malê Revolt in Salvador da Bahia, the Balaiada (Maranhão), the Sabinada (Bahia), and the Ragamuffin War, which began in Rio Grande do Sul and was supported by Giuseppe Garibaldi.
These emerged from the dissatisfaction of the provinces with the central power, coupled with old and latent social tensions peculiar to a vast, slaveholding and newly independent nation state.
This period of internal political and social upheaval, which included the Praieira revolt in Pernambuco, was overcome only at the end of the 1840s, years after the end of the regency, which occurred with the premature coronation of Pedro II in 1841.
During the last phase of the monarchy, internal political debate centered on the issue of slavery.
The Atlantic slave trade was abandoned in 1850, as a result of the British Aberdeen Act, but only in May 1888 after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for an ethical and legal dismantling of slavery in the country, was the institution formally abolished.
The foreign-affairs policies of the monarchy dealt with issues with the countries of the Southern Cone with whom Brazil had borders.
Although there was no desire among the majority of Brazilians to change the country's form of government, on 15 November 1889, in disagreement with the majority of Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup.
15 November is now Republic Day, a national holiday.
The early republican government was nothing more than a military dictatorship, with army dominating affairs both in Rio de Janeiro and in the states.
Freedom of the press disappeared and elections were controlled by those in power.
If in relation to its foreign policy, the country in this first republican period maintained a relative balance characterized by a success in resolving border disputes with neighboring countries, only broken by the Acre War (1899–1902) and its involvement in World War I (1914–1918), followed by a failed attempt to exert a prominent role in the League of Nations; Internally, from the crisis of Encilhamento and the Armada Revolts, a prolonged cycle of financial, political and social instability began until the 1920s, keeping the country besieged by various rebellions, both civilian and military.
Little by little, a cycle of general instability sparked by these crises undermined the regime to such an extent that in the wake of the murder of his running mate, the defeated opposition presidential candidate Getúlio Vargas, supported by most of the military, successfully led the October 1930 Coup.
Vargas and the military were supposed to assume power temporarily, but instead closed the Congress, extinguished the Constitution, ruled with emergency powers and replaced the states' governors with their own supporters.
In the 1930s, three failed attempts to remove Vargas and his supporters from power occurred.
The 1935 uprising created a security crisis in which the Congress transferred more power to the executive.
The 1937 coup d'état resulted in the cancellation of the 1938 election, formalized Vargas as dictator, beginning the Estado Novo era, which was noted for government brutality and censorship of the press.
Foreign policy during the Vargas years was marked by the antecedents and World War II.
With the Allied victory in 1945 and the end of the Nazi-fascist regimes in Europe, Vargas's position became unsustainable and he was swiftly overthrown in another military coup, with democracy "reinstated" by the same army that had ended it 15 years earlier.
Vargas committed suicide in August 1954 amid a political crisis, after having returned to power by election in 1950.
Several brief interim governments followed Vargas's suicide.
The economy and industrial sector grew remarkably, but his greatest achievement was the construction of the new capital city of Brasília, inaugurated in 1960.
Kubitschek's successor, Jânio Quadros, resigned in 1961 less than a year after taking office.
The new regime was intended to be transitory but gradually closed in on itself and became a full dictatorship with the promulgation of the Fifth Institutional Act in 1968.
Oppression was not limited to those who resorted to guerrilla tactics to fight the regime, but also reached institutional opponents, artists, journalists and other members of civil society, inside and outside the country through the infamous "Operation Condor".
Despite its brutality, like other authoritarian regimes, due to an economic boom, known as an "economic miracle", the regime reached a peak in popularity in the early 1970s.
Slowly, however, the wear and tear of years of dictatorial power that had not slowed the repression, even after the defeat of the leftist guerrillas, plus the inability to deal with the economic crises of the period and popular pressure, made an opening policy inevitable, which from the regime side was led by Generals Ernesto Geisel and Golbery do Couto e Silva.
With the enactment of the Amnesty Law in 1979, Brazil began a slow return to democracy, which was completed during the 1980s.
Civilians returned to power in 1985 when José Sarney assumed the presidency.
He became unpopular during his tenure through failure to control the economic crisis and hyperinflation he inherited from the military regime.
In 1994, Cardoso produced a highly successful Plano Real, that, after decades of failed economic plans made by previous governments attempting to curb hyperinflation, finally stabilized the Brazilian economy.
The peaceful transition of power from Cardoso to his main opposition leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006), was seen as proof that Brazil had achieved a long-sought political stability.
However, sparked by indignation and frustrations accumulated over decades from corruption (including that of then President Rouseff), police brutality, inefficiencies of the political establishment and public service, numerous peaceful protests erupted in Brazil from the middle of first term of Dilma Rousseff, who had succeeded Lula after winning election in 2010.
Enhanced by political and economic crises with evidence of involvement by politicians from all the primary political parties in several bribery and tax evasion schemes, with large street protests for and against her, Rousseff was impeached by the Brazilian Congress in 2016.
President Temer is himself accused of corruption.
In 2018, 62% of the population on a poll claimed that corruption was Brazil's biggest problem.
With the discovery that the PT governments have practically gone bankrupt in Petrobras, Correios and many other state companies, through a great diversion of public funds and the use of their funds to bribe the National Congress, the Brazilian Senate and Judiciary, in addition to the indiscriminate use of BNDES to finance socialist dictatorships in Cuba, Venezuela, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (with Lula and Dilma openly supporting controversial figures such as Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Evo Morales, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and the Chinese Communist Party, among others), also counting on the attempts of Dilma Roussef to install "Popular Councils" to replace the power of the federal deputies, Jair Bolsonaro, former captain of the army and candidate of the right, is elected.
In the 2018 elections, candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) was elected president, who won in the second round Fernando Haddad, of the Workers Party (PT), with the support of 55.13% of the valid votes.
Main article: Geography of Brazil
Brazil occupies a large area along the eastern coast of South America and includes much of the continent's interior, sharing land borders with Uruguay to the south; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and France (French overseas region of French Guiana) to the north.
Its size, relief, climate, and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and third largest in the Americas, with a total area of 8,515,767.049 km (3,287,956 sq mi), including 55,455 km (21,411 sq mi) of water.
It spans four time zones; from UTC−5 comprising the state of Acre and the westernmost portion of Amazonas, to UTC−4 in the western states, to UTC−3 in the eastern states (the national time) and UTC−2 in the Atlantic islands.
Brazil is the longest country in the world, spanning 4,395 km (2,731 mi) from north to south.
Brazilian topography is also diverse and includes hills, mountains, plains, highlands, and scrublands.
Much of the terrain lies between 200 metres (660 ft) and 800 metres (2,600 ft) in elevation.
The main upland area occupies most of the southern half of the country.
The northwestern parts of the plateau consist of broad, rolling terrain broken by low, rounded hills.
The southeastern section is more rugged, with a complex mass of ridges and mountain ranges reaching elevations of up to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft).
In the north, the Guiana Highlands form a major drainage divide, separating rivers that flow south into the Amazon Basin from rivers that empty into the Orinoco River system, in Venezuela, to the north.
The highest point in Brazil is the Pico da Neblina at 2,994 metres (9,823 ft), and the lowest is the Atlantic Ocean.
Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world's most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic.
Major rivers include the Amazon (the world's second-longest river and the largest in terms of volume of water), the Paraná and its major tributary the Iguaçu (which includes the Iguazu Falls), the Negro, São Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and Tapajós rivers.
Main article: Climate of Brazil
The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical.
The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil.
Many regions have starkly different microclimates.
An equatorial climate characterizes much of northern Brazil.
There is no real dry season, but there are some variations in the period of the year when most rain falls.
Temperatures average 25 °C (77 °F), with more significant temperature variation between night and day than between seasons.
Over central Brazil rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savanna climate.
This region is as extensive as the Amazon basin but has a very different climate as it lies farther south at a higher altitude.
In the interior northeast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme.
The semiarid climatic region generally receives less than 800 millimetres (31.5 in) of rain, most of which generally falls in a period of three to five months of the year and occasionally less than this, creating long periods of drought.
Brazil's 1877–78 Grande Seca (Great Drought), the worst in Brazil's history, caused approximately half a million deaths.
A similarly devastating drought occurred in 1915.
South of Bahia, near the coasts, and more southerly most of the state of São Paulo, the distribution of rainfall changes, with rain falling throughout the year.
The south enjoys subtropical conditions, with cool winters and average annual temperatures not exceeding 18 °C (64.4 °F); winter frosts and snowfall are not rare in the highest areas.
Biodiversity and environment
Brazil's large territory comprises different ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world, with the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado, sustaining the greatest biodiversity.
In the south, the Araucaria pine forest grows under temperate conditions.
The rich wildlife of Brazil reflects the variety of natural habitats.
Concern for the environment has grown in response to global interest in environmental issues.
Brazil's Amazon Basin is home to an extremely diverse array of fish species, including the red-bellied piranha.
By 2013, Brazil's "dramatic policy-driven reduction in Amazon Basin deforestation" was a "global exception in terms of forest change", according to scientific journal Science.
From 2003 to 2011, compared to all other countries in the world, Brazil had the "largest decline in annual forest loss", as indicated in the study using high-resolution satellite maps showing global forest cover changes.
The annual loss of forest cover decreased from a 2003/2004 record high of more than 40,000 square kilometres (4,000×10^ ha; 9.9×10^ acres; 15,000 sq mi) to a 2010/2011 low of under 20,000 square kilometres (2,000×10^ ha; 4.9×10^ acres; 7,700 sq mi), reversing widespread deforestation from the 1970s to 2003.
However, in 2019, when the Bolsonaro government came to power, the rate of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increased sharply threatening to reach a tipping point after it the forest will collapse, having severe consequences for the world.
(see Tipping points in the climate system) This can also complicate the trade agreement with the European Union Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Bolsonaro criticised what he described as sensational reporting in the international media.
"It is a fallacy to say that the Amazon is the heritage of humankind, and a misconception, as confirmed by scientists, to say that our Amazonian forests are the lungs of world.
Using these fallacies, certain countries instead of helping, embarked on the media lies and behaved in a disrespectful manner and with a colonialist spirit."
According to a 2008 GreenPeace article, the natural heritage of Brazil is severely threatened by cattle ranching and agriculture, logging, mining, resettlement, oil and gas extraction, over-fishing, wildlife trade, dams and infrastructure, water pollution, climate change, fire, and invasive species.
In many areas of the country, the natural environment is threatened by development.
The construction of highways has opened up previously remote areas for agriculture and settlement; dams have flooded valleys and inundated wildlife habitats; and mines have scarred and polluted the landscape.
At least 70 dams are said to be planned for the Amazon region, including the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric dam.
In summer 2019, 2 states in Brazil Paraná and Santa Catarina banned fracking, what will have positive effects on the climate and water quality, because the shale gas and shale oil reserves in the state of Parana are the larger in the southern hemisphere.
Government and politics
The president is both head of state and head of government of the Union and is elected for a four-year term, with the possibility of re-election for a second successive term.
The current president is Jair Bolsonaro.
The President appoints the Ministers of State, who assist in government.
Legislative houses in each political entity are the main source of law in Brazil.
Judiciary authorities exercise jurisdictional duties almost exclusively.
The political-administrative organization of the Federative Republic of Brazil comprises the Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities.
The Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities, are the "spheres of government".
The classic tripartite branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial under a checks and balances system) are formally established by the Constitution.
The executive and legislative are organized independently in all three spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal and state and Federal District spheres.
All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected.
Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams.
For most of its democratic history, Brazil has had a multi-party system, proportional representation.
Voting is compulsory for the literate between 18 and 70 years old and optional for illiterates and those between 16 and 18 or beyond 70.
Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress.
It is common for politicians to switch parties, and thus the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly.
Almost all governmental and administrative functions are exercised by authorities and agencies affiliated to the Executive.
The country has more than 40 active political parties, and only one of them defines itself as a right-wing party (PSL), with a clear political imbalance.
The only party that claims to be purely liberal, without further consideration, is Novo.
When asked about their ideological spectrum, Brazilian parties tend to give obtuse and non-conclusive answers on the subject.
Most of Brazilian law is codified, although non-codified statutes also represent a substantial part, playing a complementary role.
Court decisions set out interpretive guidelines; however, they are seldom binding on other specific cases.
Doctrinal works and the works of academic jurists have strong influence in law creation and in law cases.
The legal system is based on the Federal Constitution, promulgated on 5 October 1988, and the fundamental law of Brazil.
All other legislation and court decisions must conform to its rules.
As of April 2007, there have been 53 amendments.
States have their own constitutions, which must not contradict the Federal Constitution.
Municipalities and the Federal District have "organic laws" (leis orgânicas), which act in a similar way to constitutions.
Legislative entities are the main source of statutes, although in certain matters judiciary and executive bodies may enact legal norms.
Jurisdiction is administered by the judiciary entities, although in rare situations the Federal Constitution allows the Federal Senate to pass on legal judgments.
There are also specialized military, labor, and electoral courts.
The highest court is the Supreme Federal Court.
This system has been criticized over the last few decades for the slow pace of decision-making.
Lawsuits on appeal may take several years to resolve, and in some cases more than a decade elapses before definitive rulings.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Federal Tribunal was the first court in the world to transmit its sessions on television, and also via YouTube.
More recently, in December 2009, the Supreme Court adopted Twitter to display items on the day planner of the ministers, to inform the daily actions of the Court and the most important decisions made by them.
Main article: Brazilian Armed Forces
The armed forces of Brazil are the largest in Latin America by active personnel and the largest in terms of military equipment.
It is also unique in Latin America for its large, elite forces specializing in unconventional missions, the Brazilian Special Operations Command, and the versatile Strategic Rapid Action Force, made up of highly mobilized and prepared Special Operations Brigade, Infantry Brigade Parachutist, 1st Jungle Infantry Battalion (Airmobile) and 12th Brigade Light Infantry (Airmobile) able to act anywhere in the country, on short notice, to counter external aggression.
Brazil's navy, the second-largest in the Americas, once operated some of the most powerful warships in the world with the two Minas Geraes-class dreadnoughts, which sparked a South American dreadnought race between Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.
The Air Force is the largest in Latin America and has about 700 manned aircraft in service and effective about 67,000 personnel.
Brazil has not been invaded since 1865 during the Paraguayan War.
Additionally, Brazil has no contested territorial disputes with any of its neighbors and neither does it have rivalries, like Chile and Bolivia have with each other.
The Brazilian military has also three times intervened militarily to overthrow the Brazilian government.
Brazil signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Main article: Foreign relations of Brazil
Brazil's international relations are based on Article 4 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes non-intervention, self-determination, international cooperation and the peaceful settlement of conflicts as the guiding principles of Brazil's relationship with other countries and multilateral organizations.
According to the Constitution, the President has ultimate authority over foreign policy, while the Congress is tasked with reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to Brazilian foreign policy.
Brazil is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth, an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language.
An increasingly well-developed tool of Brazil's foreign policy is providing aid as a donor to other developing countries.
Brazil does not just use its growing economic strength to provide financial aid, but it also provides high levels of expertise and most importantly of all, a quiet non-confrontational diplomacy to improve governance levels.
Total aid is estimated to be around $1 billion per year, which includes:
- technical cooperation of around $480 million ($30 million in 2010 provided directly by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC));
- estimated $450 million for in-kind expertise provided by Brazilian institutions specializing in technical cooperation.
This is in addition to humanitarian assistance and contributions to multilateral development agencies.
The scale of this aid places it on par with China and India.
The Brazilian South-South aid has been described as a "global model in waiting."
Law enforcement and crime
In Brazil, the Constitution establishes five different police agencies for law enforcement: Federal Police Department, Federal Highway Police, Federal Railroad Police, Military Police and Civil Police.
Of these, the first three are affiliated with federal authorities and the last two are subordinate to state governments.
All police forces are the responsibility of the executive branch of any of the federal or state powers.
The National Public Security Force also can act in public disorder situations arising anywhere in the country.
The country still has above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence and homicide.
The number considered tolerable by the WHO is about 10 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
In 2018, Brazil had a record 63,880 murders.
However, there are differences between the crime rates in the Brazilian states.
Brazil also has high levels of incarceration and the third largest prison population in the world (behind only China and the United States), with an estimated total of approximately 700,000 prisoners around the country (June 2014), an increase of about 300% compared to the index registered in 1992.
The high number of prisoners eventually overloaded the Brazilian prison system, leading to a shortfall of about 200,000 accommodations.
See also: Regions of Brazil
States have autonomous administrations, collect their own taxes and receive a share of taxes collected by the Federal government.
They have a governor and a unicameral legislative body elected directly by their voters.
They also have independent Courts of Law for common justice.
Despite this, states have much less autonomy to create their own laws than in the United States.
For example, criminal and civil laws can be voted by only the federal bicameral Congress and are uniform throughout the country.
The Brazilian regions are merely geographical, not political or administrative divisions, and they do not have any specific form of government.
Although defined by law, Brazilian regions are useful mainly for statistical purposes, and also to define the distribution of federal funds in development projects.
Municipalities, as the states, have autonomous administrations, collect their own taxes and receive a share of taxes collected by the Union and state government.
Each has a mayor and an elected legislative body, but no separate Court of Law.
Indeed, a Court of Law organized by the state can encompass many municipalities in a single justice administrative division called comarca (county).
Main article: Economy of Brazil
Brazil has a mixed economy with abundant natural resources.
After rapid growth in preceding decades, the country entered an ongoing recession in 2014 amid a political corruption scandal and nationwide protests.
Its Gross domestic product (PPP) per capita was $15,919 in 2017 putting Brazil in the 77th position according to IMF data.
Brazil has been the world's largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years.
Brazil's diversified economy includes agriculture, industry, and a wide range of services.
Brazil is the largest producer of sugar cane, soybeans, coffee, orange, and is the 2nd largest producer in the world of papaya, 3rd largest of maize, tobacco and pineapple, 4th place in cotton and cassava, 5th place in coconut and lemon, 6th in cocoa and avocado, 9th in rice, 10th in tomato and 11th in grape and apple.
The country is also one of the 3 largest banana producers in the world, but almost all production is destined for national consumption.
Part of the production is exported, and another part goes to the domestic market.
In the production of animal proteins, Brazil is today one of the largest countries in the world.
In 2019, the country was the world's largest exporter of chicken meat.
In the mining sector, Brazil stands out in the extraction of iron ore (where it is the second world exporter), copper, gold, bauxite (one of the 5 largest producers in the world), manganese (one of the 5 largest producers in the world), tin (one of the largest producers in the world), niobium (concentrates 98% of reserves known to the world) and nickel.
Brazil has become the fourth largest car market in the world.
In total, Brazil ranks 23rd worldwide in value of exports.
In the food industry, in 2019, Brazil was the second largest exporter of processed foods in the world.
In the footwear industry, in 2019, Brazil ranked 4th among world producers.
In 2018, the chemical industry of Brazil was the 8th in the world.
In textile industry, Brazil, although it was among the 5 largest world producers in 2013, is very little integrated in world trade.
Brazil pegged its currency, the real, to the U.S. dollar in 1994.
However, after the East Asian financial crisis, the Russian default in 1998 and the series of adverse financial events that followed it, the Central Bank of Brazil temporarily changed its monetary policy to a managed float regime scheme while undergoing a currency crisis, until definitively changing the exchange regime to free-float in January 1999.
Brazil received an International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue package in mid-2002 of $30.4 billion, a record sum at the time.
Brazil's central bank repaid the IMF loan in 2005, although it was not due to be repaid until 2006.
One of the issues the Central Bank of Brazil recently dealt with was an excess of speculative short-term capital inflows to the country, which may have contributed to a fall in the value of the U.S. dollar against the real during that period.
Nonetheless, foreign direct investment (FDI), related to long-term, less speculative investment in production, is estimated to be $193.8 billion for 2007.
Between 1993 and 2010, 7012 mergers and acquisitions with a total known value of $707 billion with the involvement of Brazilian firms were announced.
The year 2010 was a new record in terms of value with US$115 billion in transactions.
The largest transaction with involvement of Brazilian companies was the Cia.
Corruption costs Brazil almost $41 billion a year alone in 2010, with 69.9% of the country's firms identifying the issue as a major constraint in successfully penetrating the global market.
Local government corruption is so prevalent that voters perceive it as a problem only if it surpasses certain levels, and only if a local media e.g. a radio station is present to divulge the findings of corruption charges.
Initiatives, like this exposure, strengthen awareness which is indicated by the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index; ranking Brazil 69th out of 178 countries in 2012.
Brazil also has a large cooperative sector that provides 50% of the food in the country.
The world's largest healthcare cooperative Unimed is also located in Brazil, and accounts for 32% of the healthcare insurance market in the country.
Main article: Energy in Brazil
Brazil is the world's tenth largest energy consumer with much of its energy coming from renewable sources, particularly hydroelectricity and ethanol; the Itaipu Dam is the world's largest hydroelectric plant by energy generation, and the country has other large plants like Belo Monte and Tucuruí.
The first car with an ethanol engine was produced in 1978 and the first airplane engine running on ethanol in 2005.
In total electricity generation, in 2019 Brazil reached 170,000 megawatts of installed capacity, more than 75% from renewable sources (the majority, hydroelectric plants).
Recent oil discoveries in the Pre-salt layer have opened the door for a large increase in oil production.
The governmental agencies responsible for the energy policy are the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Council for Energy Policy, the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, and the National Agency of Electricity.
In January this year, 3.168 million barrels of oil per day and 138.753 million cubic meters of natural gas were extracted.
Main article: Tourism in Brazil
Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and key to the economy of several regions of the country.
Revenues from international tourists reached US$6 billion in 2010, showing a recovery from the 2008–2009 economic crisis.
Historical records of 5.4 million visitors and US$6.8 billion in receipts were reached in 2011.
Among the most popular destinations are the Amazon Rainforest, beaches and dunes in the Northeast Region, the Pantanal in the Center-West Region, beaches at Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, cultural tourism in Minas Gerais and business trips to São Paulo.
In terms of the 2015 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to develop business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, Brazil ranked in the 28st place at the world's level, third in the Americas, after Canada and United States.
Brazil's main competitive advantages are its natural resources, which ranked 1st on this criteria out of all countries considered, and ranked 23rd for its cultural resources, due to its many World Heritage sites.
The TTCI report notes Brazil's main weaknesses: its ground transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped (ranked 116th), with the quality of roads ranking in 105th place; and the country continues to suffer from a lack of price competitiveness (ranked 114th), due in part to high ticket taxes and airport charges, as well as high prices and high taxation.
Safety and security have improved significantly: 75th in 2011, up from 128th in 2008.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), international travel to Brazil accelerated in 2000, particularly during 2004 and 2005.
However, in 2006 a slow-down took place, and international arrivals had almost no growth in 2007–08.
In spite of this trend, revenues from international tourism continued to rise, from USD 4 billion in 2005 to 5 billion in 2007, despite 330 000 fewer arrivals.
This favorable trend is the result of the strong devaluation of the US dollar against the Brazilian Real, which began in 2004, but which makes Brazil a more expensive international destination.
This trend changed in 2009, when both visitors and revenues fell as a result of the Great Recession of 2008–09.
By 2010, the industry had recovered, and arrivals grew above 2006 levels to 5.2 million international visitors, and receipts from these visitors reached US$6 billion.
In 2011 the historical record was reached with 5.4 million visitors and US$6.8 billion in receipts.
Despite continuing record-breaking international tourism revenues, the number of Brazilian tourists travelling overseas has been growing steadily since 2003, resulting in a net negative foreign exchange balance, as more money is spent abroad by Brazilians than comes in as receipts from international tourists visiting Brazil.
Tourism expenditures abroad grew from US$5.8 billion in 2006, to US$8.2 billion in 2007, a 42% increase, representing a net deficit of US$3.3 billion in 2007, as compared to US$1.5 billion in 2006, a 125% increase from the previous year.
This trend is caused by Brazilians taking advantage of the stronger Real to travel and making relatively cheaper expenditures abroad.
Brazilians traveling overseas in 2006 represented 4% of the country's population.
In 2005, tourism contributed with 3.2% of the country's revenues from exports of goods and services, and represented 7% of direct and indirect employment in the Brazilian economy.
In 2006 direct employment in the sector reached 1.9 million people.
Domestic tourism is a fundamental market segment for the industry, as 51 million people traveled throughout the country in 2005, and direct revenues from Brazilian tourists reached US$22 billion, 5.6 times more receipts than international tourists in 2005.
In 2006 Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza were the most popular destinations for business trips.
Science and technology
Main article: Science and technology in Brazil
Technological research in Brazil is largely carried out in public universities and research institutes, with the majority of funding for basic research coming from various government agencies.
Brazil's most esteemed technological hubs are the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, the Butantan Institute, the Air Force's Aerospace Technical Center, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation and the INPE.
Owner of relative technological sophistication, the country develops submarines, aircraft, as well as being involved in space research, having a Vehicle Launch Center Light and being the only country in the Southern Hemisphere the integrate team building International Space Station (ISS).
The country is also a pioneer in the search for oil in deep water, from where it extracts 73% of its reserves.
Uranium is enriched at the Resende Nuclear Fuel Factory, mostly for research purposes (as Brazil obtains 88% from its electricity from hydroelectricity) and the country's first nuclear submarine was delivered in 2015 (by France).
Brazil is one of the three countries in Latin America with an operational Synchrotron Laboratory, a research facility on physics, chemistry, material science and life sciences, and Brazil is the only Latin American country to have a semiconductor company with its own fabrication plant, the CEITEC.
According to the Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 of the World Economic Forum, Brazil is the world's 61st largest developer of information technology.
Brazil also has a large number of outstanding scientific personalities.
Among the most renowned Brazilian inventors are priests Bartolomeu de Gusmão, Landell de Moura and Francisco João de Azevedo, besides Alberto Santos-Dumont, Evaristo Conrado Engelberg, Manuel Dias de Abreu, Andreas Pavel and Nélio José Nicolai.
Brazilian science is represented by the likes of César Lattes (Brazilian physicist Pathfinder of Pi Meson), Mário Schenberg (considered the greatest theoretical physicist of Brazil), José Leite Lopes (only Brazilian physicist holder of the UNESCO Science Prize), Artur Ávila (the first Latin American winner of the Fields Medal) and Fritz Müller (pioneer in factual support of the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin).
Main article: Transport in Brazil
Brazilian roads are the primary carriers of freight and passenger traffic.
The road system totaled 1.98 million km (1.23 million mi) in 2002.
The total of paved roads increased from 35,496 km (22,056 mi) in 1967 to 184,140 km (114,419 mi) in 2002.
Currently it's possible to travel from Rio Grande, in the extreme south of the country, to Brasília (2,580 km (1,603 mi)) or Casimiro de Abreu, in the state of Rio de Janeiro (2,045 km (1,271 mi)), only on divided highways.
Kubitschek was responsible for the installation of major car manufacturers in the country (Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors arrived in Brazil during his rule) and one of the points used to attract them was support for the construction of highways.
With the implementation of Fiat in 1976 ending an automobile market closed loop, from the end of the 1990s the country has received large foreign direct investments installing in its territory other major car manufacturers and utilities, such as Iveco, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai, Toyota among others.
Brazil is the seventh most important country in the auto industry.
The total length of railway track was 30,875 km (19,185 mi) in 2002, as compared with 31,848 km (19,789 mi) in 1970.
Most of the railway system belonged to the Federal Railroad Corporation RFFSA, which was privatized in 2007.
The São Paulo Metro was the first underground transit system in Brazil.
The country has an extensive rail network of 28,538 kilometres (17,733 miles) in length, the tenth largest network in the world.
Currently, the Brazilian government, unlike the past, seeks to encourage this mode of transport; an example of this incentive is the project of the Rio–São Paulo high-speed rail, that will connect the two main cities of the country to carry passengers.
There are about 2,500 airports in Brazil, including landing fields: the second largest number in the world, after the United States.
São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, near São Paulo, is the largest and busiest airport with nearly 20 million passengers annually, while handling the vast majority of commercial traffic for the country.
For freight transport waterways are of importance, e.g. the industrial zones of Manaus can be reached only by means of the Solimões–Amazonas waterway (3,250 kilometres (2,020 miles) with 6 metres (20 feet) minimum depth).
The country also has 50,000 kilometres (31,000 miles) of waterways.
Coastal shipping links widely separated parts of the country.
Of the 36 deep-water ports, Santos, Itajaí, Rio Grande, Paranaguá, Rio de Janeiro, Sepetiba, Vitória, Suape, Manaus and São Francisco do Sul are the most important.
Bulk carriers have to wait up to 18 days before being serviced, container ships 36.3 hours on average.
Main article: Health in Brazil
On the other hand, private healthcare systems play a complementary role.
Public health services are universal and offered to all citizens of the country for free.
However, the construction and maintenance of health centers and hospitals are financed by taxes, and the country spends about 9% of its GDP on expenditures in the area.
In 2012, Brazil had 1.85 doctors and 2.3 hospital beds for every 1,000 inhabitants.
Despite all the progress made since the creation of the universal health care system in 1988, there are still several public health problems in Brazil.
In 2006, the main points to be solved were the high infant (2.51%) and maternal mortality rates (73.1 deaths per 1000 births).
The number of deaths from noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (151.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants) and cancer (72.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants), also has a considerable impact on the health of the Brazilian population.
Finally, external but preventable factors such as car accidents, violence and suicide caused 14.9% of all deaths in the country.
The Brazilian health system was ranked 125th among the 191 countries evaluated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000.
Main article: Education in Brazil
The Federal Constitution and the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education determine that the Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities must manage and organize their respective education systems.
Each of these public educational systems is responsible for its own maintenance, which manages funds as well as the mechanisms and funding sources.
The constitution reserves 25% of the state budget and 18% of federal taxes and municipal taxes for education.
According to the IBGE, in 2011, the literacy rate of the population was 90.4%, meaning that 13 million (9.6% of population) people are still illiterate in the country; functional illiteracy has reached 21.6% of the population.
Illiteracy is highest in the Northeast, where 19.9% of the population is illiterate.
Higher education starts with undergraduate or sequential courses, which may offer different options of specialization in academic or professional careers.
Depending on the choice, students can improve their educational background with courses of post-graduate studies or broad sense.
Attending an institution of higher education is required by Law of Guidelines and Bases of Education.
Of the top 20 Latin American universities, eight are Brazilian.
Most of them are public.
Brazil's private institutions tend to be more exclusive and offer better quality education, so many high-income families send their children there.
The result is a segregated educational system that reflects extreme income disparities and reinforces social inequality.
However, efforts to change this are making impacts.
Media and communication
The Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, the first newspaper published in the country, began to circulate on 10 September 1808.
Radio broadcasting began on 7 September 1922, with a speech by then President Pessoa, and was formalized on 20 April 1923 with the creation of "Radio Society of Rio de Janeiro."
Today it is the most important factor in popular culture of Brazilian society, indicated by research showing that as much as 67% of the general population follow the same daily soap opera broadcast.
The population of Brazil, as recorded by the 2008 PNAD, was approximately 190 million (22.31 inhabitants per square kilometre or 57.8/sq mi), with a ratio of men to women of 0.95:1 and 83.75% of the population defined as urban.
The population is heavily concentrated in the Southeastern (79.8 million inhabitants) and Northeastern (53.5 million inhabitants) regions, while the two most extensive regions, the Center-West and the North, which together make up 64.12% of the Brazilian territory, have a total of only 29.1 million inhabitants.
The first census in Brazil was carried out in 1872 and recorded a population of 9,930,478.
From 1880 to 1930, 4 million Europeans arrived.
In the 1940s the annual population growth rate was 2.4%, rising to 3.0% in the 1950s and remaining at 2.9% in the 1960s, as life expectancy rose from 44 to 54 years and to 72.6 years in 2007.
It has been steadily falling since the 1960s, from 3.04% per year between 1950 and 1960 to 1.05% in 2008 and is expected to fall to a negative value of –0.29% by 2050 thus completing the demographic transition.
In 2008, the illiteracy rate was 11.48% and among the youth (ages 15–19) 1.74%.
It was highest (20.30%) in the Northeast, which had a large proportion of rural poor.
Illiteracy was high (24.18%) among the rural population and lower (9.05%) among the urban population.
Race and ethnicity
Main article: Race and ethnicity in Brazil
According to the National Research by Household Sample (PNAD) of 2008, 48.43% of the population (about 92 million) described themselves as White; 43.80% (about 83 million) as Pardo (brown), 6.84% (about 13 million) as Black; 0.58% (about 1.1 million) as Asian; and 0.28% (about 536 thousand) as Amerindian (officially called indígena, Indigenous), while 0.07% (about 130 thousand) did not declare their race.
In 2007, the National Indian Foundation estimated that Brazil has 67 different uncontacted tribes, up from their estimate of 40 in 2005.
Brazil is believed to have the largest number of uncontacted peoples in the world.
Since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500, considerable genetic mixing between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans has taken place in all regions of the country (with European ancestry being dominant nationwide according to the vast majority of all autosomal studies undertaken covering the entire population, accounting for between 65% to 77%).
Socially significant closeness to one racial group is taken in account more in the basis of appearance (phenotypes) rather than ancestry, to the extent that full siblings can pertain to different "racial" groups.
Skin color and facial features do not line quite well with ancestry (usually, Afro-Brazilians are evenly mixed and European ancestry is dominant in Whites and pardos with a significant non-European contribution, but the individual variation is great).
The brown population (officially called pardo in Portuguese, also colloquially ) is a broad category that includes caboclos (assimilated Amerindians in general, and descendants of Whites and Natives), mulatos (descendants of primarily Whites and Afro-Brazilians) and cafuzos (descendants of Afro-Brazilians and Natives).
People of considerable Amerindian ancestry form the majority of the population in the Northern, Northeastern and Center-Western regions.
Higher percents of Blacks, mulattoes and tri-racials can be found in the eastern coast of the Northeastern region from Bahia to Paraíba and also in northern Maranhão, southern Minas Gerais and in eastern Rio de Janeiro.
From the 19th century, Brazil opened its borders to immigration.
About five million people from over 60 countries migrated to Brazil between 1808 and 1972, most of them of Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, German, Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arab origin.
Brazil has the second largest Jewish community in Latin America making up 0.06% of its population.
Main article: Religion in Brazil
Roman Catholicism is the country's predominant faith.
Brazil has the world's largest Catholic population.
According to the 2010 Demographic Census (the PNAD survey does not inquire about religion), 64.63% of the population followed Roman Catholicism; 22.2% Protestantism; 2.0% Kardecist spiritism; 3.2% other religions, undeclared or undetermined; while 8.0% have no religion.
Religion in Brazil was formed from the meeting of the Catholic Church with the religious traditions of enslaved African peoples and indigenous peoples.
This confluence of faiths during the Portuguese colonization of Brazil led to the development of a diverse array of syncretistic practices within the overarching umbrella of Brazilian Catholic Church, characterized by traditional Portuguese festivities, and in some instances, Allan Kardec's Spiritism (a religion which incorporates elements of spiritualism and Christianity).
Religious pluralism increased during the 20th century, and the Protestant community has grown to include over 22% of the population.
However, in the last ten years Protestantism, particularly in forms of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism, has spread in Brazil, while the proportion of Catholics has dropped significantly.
After Protestantism, individuals professing no religion are also a significant group, exceeding 8% of the population as of the 2010 census.
Greater Rio de Janeiro, not including the city proper, is the most irreligious and least Roman Catholic Brazilian periphery, while Greater Porto Alegre and Greater Fortaleza are on the opposite sides of the lists, respectively.
In October 2009, the Brazilian Senate approved and enacted by the President of Brazil in February 2010, an agreement with the Vatican, in which the Legal Statute of the Catholic Church in Brazil is recognized.
The agreement confirmed norms that were normally complied with regarding religious education in public elementary schools (which also ensures the teaching of other beliefs), marriage and spiritual assistance in prisons and hospitals.
The project was criticized by parliamentarians who understood the end of the secular state with the approval of the agreement.
According to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) urban areas already concentrate 84.35% of the population, while the Southeast region remains the most populated one, with over 80 million inhabitants.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese (Article 13 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Brazil), which almost all of the population speaks and is virtually the only language used in newspapers, radio, television, and for business and administrative purposes.
Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas, making the language an important part of Brazilian national identity and giving it a national culture distinct from those of its Spanish-speaking neighbors.
Brazilian Portuguese has had its own development, mostly similar to 16th-century Central and Southern dialects of European Portuguese (despite a very substantial number of Portuguese colonial settlers, and more recent immigrants, coming from Northern regions, and in minor degree Portuguese Macaronesia), with a few influences from the Amerindian and African languages, especially West African and Bantu restricted to the vocabulary only.
As a result, the language is somewhat different, mostly in phonology, from the language of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries (the dialects of the other countries, partly because of the more recent end of Portuguese colonialism in these regions, have a closer connection to contemporary European Portuguese).
In 1990, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which included representatives from all countries with Portuguese as the official language, reached an agreement on the reform of the Portuguese orthography to unify the two standards then in use by Brazil on one side and the remaining lusophone countries on the other.
This spelling reform went into effect in Brazil on 1 January 2009.
In Portugal, the reform was signed into law by the President on 21 July 2008 allowing for a six-year adaptation period, during which both orthographies will co-exist.
The remaining CPLP countries are free to establish their own transition timetables.
The sign language law legally recognized in 2002, (the law was regulated in 2005) the use of the Brazilian Sign Language, more commonly known by its Portuguese acronym LIBRAS, in education and government services.
LIBRAS teachers, instructors and translators are recognized professionals.
Minority languages are spoken throughout the nation.
One hundred and eighty Amerindian languages are spoken in remote areas and a significant number of other languages are spoken by immigrants and their descendants.
In the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Nheengatu (a currently endangered South American creole language – or an 'anti-creole', according to some linguists – with mostly Indigenous Brazilian languages lexicon and Portuguese-based grammar that, together with its southern relative língua geral paulista, once was a major lingua franca in Brazil, being replaced by Portuguese only after governmental prohibition led by major political changes), Baniwa and Tucano languages had been granted co-official status with Portuguese.
There are significant communities of German (mostly the Brazilian Hunsrückisch, a High German language dialect) and Italian (mostly the Talian, a Venetian dialect) origins in the Southern and Southeastern regions, whose ancestors' native languages were carried along to Brazil, and which, still alive there, are influenced by the Portuguese language.
Talian is officially a historic patrimony of Rio Grande do Sul, and two German dialects possess co-official status in a few municipalities.
Learning at least one second language (generally English or Spanish) is mandatory for all the 12 grades of the mandatory education system (primary and secondary education, there called ensino fundamental and ensino médio respectively).
Brazil is the first country in South America to offer Esperanto to secondary students.
Main article: Culture of Brazil
The core culture of Brazil is derived from Portuguese culture, because of its strong colonial ties with the Portuguese Empire.
Some aspects of Brazilian culture were influenced by the contributions of Italian, German and other European as well as Japanese, Jewish and Arab immigrants who arrived in large numbers in the South and Southeast of Brazil during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Brazilian art has developed since the 16th century into different styles that range from Baroque (the dominant style in Brazil until the early 19th century) to Romanticism, Modernism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstractionism.
Brazilian cinema dates back to the birth of the medium in the late 19th century and has gained a new level of international acclaim since the 1960s.
Main article: Architecture of Brazil
The architecture of Brazil is influenced by Europe, especially Portugal.
It has a history that goes back 500 years to the time when Pedro Cabral discovered Brazil in 1500.
Portuguese colonial architecture was the first wave of architecture to go to Brazil.
It is the basis for all Brazilian architecture of later centuries.
Then in the 20th century especially in Brasilia, Brazil experimented with Modernist architecture.
The colonial architecture of Brazil dates to the early 16th century when Brazil was first explored, conquered and settled by the Portuguese.
The Portuguese built architecture familiar to them in Europe in their aim to colonize Brazil.
They built Portuguese colonial architecture which included churches, civic architecture including houses and forts in Brazilian cities and the countryside.
During 19th century Brazilian architecture saw the introduction of more European styles to Brazil such as Neoclassical and Gothic Revival architecture.
This was usually mixed with Brazilian influences from their own heritage which produced a unique form of Brazilian architecture.
The architect Oscar Niemeyer idealized and built government buildings, churches and civic buildings in the modernist style.
Main article: Music of Brazil
The music of Brazil was formed mainly from the fusion of European and African elements.
Until the nineteenth century, Portugal was the gateway to most of the influences that built Brazilian music, although many of these elements were not of Portuguese origin, but generally European.
The first was José Maurício Nunes Garcia, author of sacred pieces with influence of Viennese classicism.
The major contribution of the African element was the rhythmic diversity and some dances and instruments that had a bigger role in the development of popular music and folk, flourishing especially in the twentieth century.
Popular music since the late eighteenth century began to show signs of forming a characteristically Brazilian sound, with samba considered the most typical and on the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
Jack A. Draper III, a professor of Portuguese at the University of Missouri, argues that Forró was used as a way to subdue feelings of nostalgia for a rural lifestyle.
Choro is a very popular music instrumental style.
Its origins are in 19th-century Rio de Janeiro.
Bossa nova is also a well-known style of Brazilian music developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s.
The phrase "bossa nova" means literally "new trend".
A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following starting in the 1960s.
Main article: Brazilian literature
Brazilian literature dates back to the 16th century, to the writings of the first Portuguese explorers in Brazil, such as Pêro Vaz de Caminha, filled with descriptions of fauna, flora and commentary about the indigenous population that fascinated European readers.
Machado de Assis, one of his contemporaries, wrote in virtually all genres and continues to gain international prestige from critics worldwide.
Brazilian Modernism, evidenced by the Week of Modern Art in 1922, was concerned with a nationalist avant-garde literature, while Post-Modernism brought a generation of distinct poets like João Cabral de Melo Neto, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Vinicius de Moraes, Cora Coralina, Graciliano Ramos, Cecília Meireles, and internationally known writers dealing with universal and regional subjects like Jorge Amado, João Guimarães Rosa, Clarice Lispector and Manuel Bandeira.
Main article: Brazilian cuisine
See also: List of Brazilian dishes
Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's varying mix of indigenous and immigrant populations.
This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences.
Often, it is mixed with cassava flour (farofa).
Fried potatoes, fried cassava, fried banana, fried meat and fried cheese are very often eaten in lunch and served in most typical restaurants.
Popular snacks are pastel (a fried pastry); coxinha (a variation of chicken croquete); pão de queijo (cheese bread and cassava flour / tapioca); pamonha (corn and milk paste); esfirra (a variation of Lebanese pastry); kibbeh (from Arabic cuisine); empanada (pastry) and empada, little salt pies filled with shrimps or heart of palm.
Brazil has a variety of desserts such as brigadeiros (chocolate fudge balls), bolo de rolo (roll cake with goiabada), cocada (a coconut sweet), beijinhos (coconut truffles and clove) and romeu e julieta (cheese with goiabada).
Local common fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, cocoa, cashew, guava, orange, lime, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum are turned in juices and used to make chocolates, ice pops and ice cream.
Main article: Cinema of Brazil
The Brazilian film industry began in the late 19th century, during the early days of the Belle Époque.
While there were national film productions during the early 20th century, American films such as Rio the Magnificent were made in Rio de Janeiro to promote tourism in the city.
The films Limite (1931) and Ganga Bruta (1933), the latter being produced by Adhemar Gonzaga through the prolific studio Cinédia, were poorly received at release and failed at the box office, but are acclaimed nowadays and placed among the finest Brazilian films of all time.
The 1941 unfinished film It's All True was divided in four segments, two of which were filmed in Brazil and directed by Orson Welles; it was originally produced as part of the United States' Good Neighbor Policy during Getúlio Vargas' Estado Novo government.
(Bruno Barreto, 1997) and Central do Brasil (Walter Salles, 1998), all of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the latter receiving a Best Actress nomination for Fernanda Montenegro.
The 2002 crime film City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles, was critically acclaimed, scoring 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, being placed in Roger Ebert's Best Films of the Decade list and receiving four Academy Award nominations in 2004, including Best Director.
The theatre in Brazil has its origins in the period of Jesuit expansion when theater was used for the dissemination of Catholic doctrine in the 16th century.
in the 17th and 18th centuries the first dramatists who appeared on the scene of European derivation was for court or private performances.
During the 19th century, dramatic theater gained importance and thickness, whose first representative was Luis Carlos Martins Pena (1813–1848), capable of describing contemporary reality.
Always in this period the comedy of costume and comic production was imposed.
Significant, also in the nineteenth century, was also the playwright Antônio Gonçalves Dias.
There were also numerous operas and orchestras.
At the end of the 19th century orchestrated dramaturgias became very popular and were accompanied with songs of famous artists like the conductress Chiquinha Gonzaga.
Already in the early 20th century there was the presence of theaters, entrepreneurs and actor companies, but paradoxically the quality of the products staggered, and only in 1940 the Brazilian theater received a boost of renewal thanks to the action of Paschoal Carlos Magno and his student's theater, the comedians group and the Italian actors Adolfo Celi, Ruggero Jacobbi and Aldo Calvo, founders of the Teatro Brasileiro de Comedia.
From the 1960s it was attended by a theater dedicated to social and religious issues and to the flourishing of schools of dramatic art.
Main article: Brazilian painting
Brazilian painting emerged in the late 16th century, influenced by Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Cubism and Abstracionism making it a major art style called Brazilian academic art.
The Missão Artística Francesa (French Artistic Mission) arrived in Brazil in 1816 proposing the creation of an art academy modeled after the respected Académie des Beaux-Arts, with graduation courses both for artists and craftsmen for activities such as modeling, decorating, carpentry and others and bringing artists like Jean-Baptiste Debret.
Upon the creation of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, new artistic movements spread across the country during the 19th century and later the event called Week of Modern Art broke definitely with academic tradition in 1922 and started a nationalist trend which was influenced by modernist arts.
Among the best-known Brazilian painters are Ricardo do Pilar and Manuel da Costa Ataíde (baroque and rococo), Victor Meirelles, Pedro Américo and Almeida Junior (romanticism and realism), Anita Malfatti, Ismael Nery, Lasar Segall, Emiliano di Cavalcanti, Vicente do Rego Monteiro, and Tarsila do Amaral (expressionism, surrealism and cubism), Aldo Bonadei, José Pancetti and Cândido Portinari (modernism).
Main article: Sport in Brazil
The most popular sport in Brazil is football.
In auto racing, three Brazilian drivers have won the Formula One world championship eight times.
On 2 October 2009, Rio de Janeiro was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games and 2016 Paralympic Games, making it the first South American city to host the games and second in Latin America, after Mexico City.
At the 1963 event, the Brazil national basketball team won one of its two world championship titles.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil.