Partner Organisations

Country Profiles
Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822 and a republic in 1889. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil overcame more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country when in 1985 the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America`s leading economic power and a regional leader. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.
Country name:
conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form: Brazil
local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form: Brasil
Government type:
federal republic
name: Brasilia
geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October, ends third Sunday in February
note: Brazil is divided into four time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands
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
7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 7 September (1822)
5 October 1988
Legal system:
based on Roman codes, has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70, compulsory over 18 and under 70 years of age, note - military conscripts do not vote
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats, 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms, one-third and two-thirds elected every four years, alternately) 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 1 October 2006 for one-third of the Senate  , Chamber of Deputies - last held 1 October 2006
election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA, seats by party - PFL 6, PSDB 5, PMDB 4, PTB 3, PT 2, PDT 1, PSB 1, PL 1, PPS 1, PRTB 1, PP 1, PCdoB 1, Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA, seats by party - PMDB 89, PT 83, PFL 65, PSDB 65, PP 42, PSB 27, PDT 24, PL 23, PTB 22, PPS 21, PCdoB 13, PV 13, PSC 9, other 17, note - as of 1 January 2008: Federal Senate - seats by party - PMDB 20, DEM (formerly PFL) 14, PSDB 13, PT 12, PTB 6, PDT 5, PR 4, PRB 2, PSB 2, PCdoB 1, PP 1, PSOL 1, Chamber of Deputies - seats by party - PMDB 90, PT 83, PSDB 64, DEM (formerly PFL) 62, PP 41, PR 34, PSB 28, PDT 23, PTB 21, PPS 17, PV 13, PCdoB 13, PSC 7, PAN 4, PSOL 3, PMN 3, PTC 3, PHS 2, PTdoB 1, PRB 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate), Higher Tribunal of Justice, Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life), note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70
Political parties and leaders:
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Federal Deputy Michel TEMER], Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON], Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz], Brazilian Republican Party or PRB [Vitor Paulo Araujo DOS SANTOS], Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Senator Sergio GUERRA], Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Governor Eduardo Henrique Accioly CAMPOS], Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO], Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO], Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos Roberto LUPI], the Democrats or DEM (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL) [Federal Deputy Rodrigo MAIA], Freedom and Socialism Party or PSOL [Heloisa HELENA], Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz de Franca PENNA], Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto MATOS], Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE], Liberal Front Party or PFL (now known as the Democrats or DEM), National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO], Party of the Republic or PR [Sergio TAMER], Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Federal Deputy Fernando CORUJA], Progressive Party or PP [Francisco DORNELLES], Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS], Workers` Party or PT [Ricardo Jose Ribeiro BERZOINI]
International organization participation:
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)
Economy - overview:
Characterized by 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. Having weathered 2001-03 financial turmoil, capital inflows are regaining strength and the currency has resumed appreciating. The appreciation has slowed export volume growth, but since 2004, Brazil`s growth has yielded increases in employment and real wages. The resilience in the economy stems from commodity-driven current account surpluses, and sound macroeconomic policies that have bolstered international reserves to historically high levels, reduced public debt, and allowed a significant decline in real interest rates. A floating exchange rate, an inflation-targeting regime, and a tight fiscal policy are the three pillars of the economic program. From 2003 to 2007, Brazil ran record trade surpluses and recorded its first current account surpluses since 1992. Productivity gains coupled with high commodity prices contributed to the surge in exports. Brazil improved its debt profile in 2006 by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments. LULA DA SILVA restated his commitment to fiscal responsibility by maintaining the country`s primary surplus during the 2006 election. Following his second inauguration, LULA DA SILVA announced a package of further economic reforms to reduce taxes and increase investment in infrastructure. The government`s goal of achieving strong growth while reducing the debt burden is likely to create inflationary pressures.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.838 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.269 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.1%
industry: 30.8%
services: 64% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
99.47 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 14%
services: 66% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
9.8% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
31% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 44.8% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
56.7 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
17.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $244 billion
expenditures: $219.9 billion (FY07 est.)
Public debt:
43.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus, beef
textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
Industrial production growth rate:
4.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
396.4 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 8.3%
hydro: 82.7%
nuclear: 4.4%
other: 4.6% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
368.5 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
160 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
39.2 billion kWh, note - supplied by Paraguay (2005)
Oil - production:
1.59 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2.1 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
278,400 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
674,500 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
11.24 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
9.37 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
17.85 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
8.478 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
312.7 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$10.2 billion (2007 est.)
$159.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
Exports - partners:
US 17.8%, Argentina 8.5%, China 6.1%, Netherlands 4.2%, Germany 4.1% (2006)
$115.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
Imports - partners:
US 16.2%, Argentina 8.8%, China 8.7%, Germany 7.1%, Nigeria 4.3%, Japan 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:
$191.9 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$178 billion (24 December 2007)
Debt - external:
$230.3 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$214.3 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$99.99 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$711.1 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
real (BRL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
reals per US dollar - 1.85 (2007 est.), 2.1761 (2006), 2.4344 (2005), 2.9251 (2004), 3.0771 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Telephones - main lines in use:
38.8 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
99.919 million (2006)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good working system, fixed-line connections have remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per 100 persons, mobile-cellular telephone density has risen to nearly 55 per 100 persons
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations, mobile-cellular usage has more than tripled in the past 5 years
international: country code - 55, landing point for a number of submarine cables that provide direct links to South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe, satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM stations) (1999)
71 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
138 (1997)
36.5 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
8.265 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
50 (2000)
Internet users:
42.6 million (2006)
4,263 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 718
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 167
914 to 1,523 m: 467
under 914 m: 52 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3,545
1,524 to 2,437 m: 83
914 to 1,523 m: 1,555
under 914 m: 1,907 (2007)
16 (2007)
condensate/gas 244 km, gas 12,070 km, liquid petroleum gas 351 km, oil 5,214 km, refined products 4,410 km (2007)
total: 29,295 km
broad gauge: 4,932 km 1.600-m gauge (939 km electrified)
standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 23,773 km 1.000-m gauge (581 km electrified)
dual gauge: 396 km 1.000 m and 1.600-m gauges (three rails) (78 km electrified) (2006)
total: 1,751,868 km
paved: 96,353 km
unpaved: 1,655,515 km (2004)
50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 135 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,020,182 GRT/3,039,015 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 21, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 9, liquefied gas 12, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker 47, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 16 (Chile 1, Denmark 2, Germany 7, Mexico 1, Norway 1, Spain 4)
registered in other countries: 5 (Bahamas 1, Ghana 1, Liberia 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals:
Guaiba, Ilha Grande, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Santos, Sao Sebastiao, Tubarao