In both South America and Latin America, Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world by area and the sixth most populous, at 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 211 million people. It is a democracy, a sovereign state and a society of multiple ethnicities.
It shares borders with Paraguay and Argentina at its southeastern tip, while it shares a land border with Bolivia in the north. The country lies between latitudes 11° and 14°S, and longitudes 60° and 71°W. The northern and southern borders with Paraguay and Argentina respectively form two of the largest swaths of the Brazilian Shield.
A highly diverse topography characterizes the terrain, ranging from the vast plains of the Amazon and Pantanal to the precipitous, incised mountains of the Cerrado biome in the center of the country. The Amazonian plateau and the Pampas were one of the last locations on the planet to be settled and were eventually joined by the plateau and the semiarid savannas and plains of the Cerrado biome.
Brazil has three distinct seasons. Winter is moderately wet, especially in the country’s central region, where the land is generally flat and drained by the great rivers of the Amazon and Parana. Spring and summer are hot, with average temperatures exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) and up to 38 °C (100 °F) in the center of the country. The dry season between December and May (or “simulada”), the period of high atmospheric pressure and low humidity, is notorious for its aridity and frequent heat waves.
The word “Brazil” is derived from the Tupi-Guarani word Brazil, meaning “earth” or “land”. It was borrowed from Portuguese through the portmanteau verb bebê, which is derived from the noun bê, meaning child, baby, or infant. In turn, bê is a combination of the words bisco, meaning “fresh” or “of quality,” and aguari, meaning “sea, ocean.” Brazil has a total of 31 states and 1 federal district.
Brazil is bordered by eight countries: Argentina to the north, Bolivia and Paraguay to the northeast, Colombia to the east, Chile to the south, and Uruguay to the west. The northeastern state of Maranhão borders on the Atlantic Ocean, in northeast Brazil. Its climate is tropical, with high rainfall in the Northeast.
Beneath the surface, Brazil has a well-developed manufacturing sector and is currently the second largest automobile producer in the Americas, after neighboring Argentina. But Brazil’s main export is iron ore. The country also has some of the most famous and successful soccer clubs in the world, like São Paulo FC, Corinthians, and Fluminense FC.
Date of last update: 27. May, 2021