Department of Health Informatics from Federal University of São Paulo Paulo


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)


Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W
Map references: South America
total area: 8,511,965 sq km
land area: 8,456,510 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than the US
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo
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
International disputes: short section of the boundary with Paraguay, just west of Salto das Sete Quedas (Guaira Falls) on the Rio Parana, is in dispute; two short sections of boundary with Uruguay are in dispute - Arroio Invernada (Arroyo de la Invernada) area of the Rio Quarai (Rio Cuareim) and the islands at the confluence of the Rio Quarai and the Uruguay River
Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt 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: 7%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 19%
forest and woodland: 67%
other: 6%
Irrigated land: 27,000 sq km (1989 est.)
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
natural hazards: recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
international agreements: party to - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification
Geographic note: largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador


Population: 162,661,214 (July 1996 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 25,286,278; female 24,422,897)
15-64 years: 65% (male 52,232,435; female 53,094,724)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,072,720; female 4,552,160) (July 1996 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.16% (1996 est.)
Birth rate: 20.8 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Death rate: 9.19 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
all ages: 0.98 male(s)/female (1996 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 55.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.62 years
male: 56.67 years
female: 66.81 years (1996 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.34 children born/woman (1996 est.)
noun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian
Ethnic divisions: white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and African 38%, African 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 70%
Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.)
total population: 83.3%
male: 83.3%
female: 83.2%


Name of country:
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
Type of government: federal republic
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 and head of government: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995) was elected for a four-year term by popular vote; election last held 3 October 1994; (next to be held October 1998); results - 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; Vice President Marco MARCIEL (since NA)
cabinet: Cabinet was appointed by the president
Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congresso Nacional)
Federal Senate (Senado Federal): election last held 3 October 1994 for two-thirds of Senate (next to be held October 1996 for one-third of the Senate); results - PMBD 28%, PFL 22%, PSDB 12%, PPR 7%, PDT 7%, PT 6%, PTB 6%, other 12%; seats - (81 total) seats by party NA
Chamber of Deputies (Camara dos Deputados): election last held 3 October 1994 (next to be held October 1998); results - PMDB 21%, PFL 18%, PDT 7%, PSDB 12%, PPR 10%, PTB 6%, PT 10%, other 16%; seats - (517 total) seats by party NA
note: party totals since Fall 1994 have changed considerably due to extensive party-switching
Judicial branch: Supreme Federal Tribunal, judges are appointed for life by the Senate
Political parties and leaders: National Reconstruction Party (PRN), Daniel TOURINHO, president; Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Paes DE ANDRADE, president; Liberal Front Party (PFL), Jorge BORNHAUSEN, president; Workers' Party (PT), Jose DIRCEU, president; Brazilian Workers' Party (PTB), Rodrigues PALMA, president; Democratic Labor Party (PDT), Leonel BRIZOLA, president; Brazilian Progressive Party (PPB), Espiridiao AMIN, president; Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Artur DA TAVOLA, president; Popular Socialist Party (PPS), Roberto FREIRE, president; Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), Joao AMAZONAS, chairman; Liberal Party (PL), Alvaro VALLE, president
Other political or pressure groups: left wing of the Catholic Church and labor unions allied to leftist Workers' Party are critical of government's social and economic policies
International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MTCR, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paulo Tarso FLECHA de LIMA
chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-2700
FAX: [1] (202) 745-2827
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and San Francisco
consulate(s): Houston
US diplomatic representation:
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): Porto Alegre, Recife


Economic overview: With its large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil has South America's largest GDP by far and has the potential to become a major player in the world economy. Prior to the institution of a stabilization plan in mid-1994, stratospheric inflation rates had devastated the economy and discouraged foreign investment. Since then, tight monetary policy has apparently brought inflation under control - consumer prices increased by 23% in 1995 compared to more than 1,000% in 1994. At the same time, GDP growth slowed from 5.7% to 4.2% as credit was tightened and the steadily appreciating real encouraged imports while depressing export growth. The increased stability of the Brazilian economy allowed it to weather the fallout from the Mexican peso crisis relatively well, with foreign funds flowing in during the second half of 1995 to swell official foreign exchange reserves past the $50 billion mark. Stock market indices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, however, ended 26% lower in 1995. President CARDOSO remains committed to further reducing inflation in 1996 while boosting growth, but he faces key challenges. Servicing domestic debt has become dramatically more burdensome for both public and private sector entities because of very high real interest rates which are contributing to growing budget deficits and a surge in bankruptcies. Fiscal reforms, many of which require constitutional amendments, are proceeding at a slow pace through the Brazilian legislature; in their absence, the government is maintaining its strict monetary policy. Brazil's natural resources remain a major, long-run economic strength.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $976.8 billion (1995 est.)
GDP real growth rate: 4.2% (1995)
GDP per capita: $6,100 (1995 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 16%
industry: 25%
services: 59% (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 23% (1995)
Labor force: 57 million (1989 est.)
by occupation: services 42%, agriculture 31%, industry 27%
Unemployment rate: 5% (1995 est.)
revenues: $58.7 billion
expenditures: $54.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)
Industries: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (1995 est.)
capacity: 55,130,000 kW
production: 241.4 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,589 kWh (1993)
Agriculture: coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, coca cultivation in the Amazon region has diminished in recent years because of its low alkaloid content, mostly for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian and Colombian cocaine headed for the US and Europe
Exports: $46.5 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: iron ore, soybean bran, orange juice, footwear, coffee, motor vehicle parts
partners: EU 27.6%, Latin America 21.8%, US 17.4%, Japan 6.3% (1993)
Imports: $49.7 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: crude oil, capital goods, chemical products, foodstuffs, coal
partners: US 23.3%, EU 22.5%, Middle East 13.0%, Latin America 11.8%, Japan 6.5% (1993)
External debt: $94 billion (1995 est.)
Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $107 million (1993)
Currency: 1 real (R$) = 100 centavos
Exchange rates: R$ per US$1 - 0.975 (January 1996), 0.918 (1995), 0.639 (1994); CR$ per US$1 - 390.845 (January 1994), 88.449 (1993), 4.513 (1992), 0.407 (1991)
note: on 1 August 1993 the cruzeiro real (CR$), equal to 1,000 cruzeiros, was introduced; another new currency, the real (R$) was introduced on 1 July 1994, equal to 2,750 cruzeiro reals
Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 27,418 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: 1,661,850 km
paved: 142,919 km
unpaved: 1,518,931 km (1992 est.)
Waterways: 50,000 km navigable
Pipelines: crude oil 2,000 km; petroleum products 3,804 km; natural gas 1,095 km
Ports: Belem, Fortaleza, Ilheus, Imbituba, Manaus, Paranagua, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande, Salvador, Santos, Vitoria
Merchant marine:
total: 207 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,108,543 GRT/8,477,760 DWT
ships by type: bulk 48, cargo 29, chemical tanker 11, combination ore/oil 12, container 14, liquefied gas tanker 11, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 64, passenger-cargo 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 11 (1995 est.)
total: 2,950
with paved runways over 3 047 m: 5
with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 19
with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 122
with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 295
with paved runways under 914 m: 1,298
with unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 66
with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1,145 (1995 est.)


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.)


Branches: Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy (includes Marines), Brazilian Air Force, Federal Police (paramilitary)
Manpower availability:
males age 15-49: 45,091,300
males fit for military service: 30,330,711
males reach military age (18) annually: 1,734,981 (1996 est.)
Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $6.736 billion, 1.1% of GDP (1994)