North America
North America
South America
South America


Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than a half century of populist and military government until 1985, when 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, one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.


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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 last Sunday in February
Brazil is divided into three 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)

5 October 1988

Legal system
Civil law; note - a new civil law code was enacted in 2002 replacing the 1916 code

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Voluntary between 16 to under 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory 18 to 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not vote by law

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011)
Cabinet appointed by the president
President and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held on 3 October 2010 with runoff on 31 October 2010 (next to be held on 5 October 2014 and, if necessary, a runoff election on 2 November 2014)
Election results
Dilma ROUSSEFF (PT) elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Dilma ROUSSEFF 56.01%, Jose SERRA (PSDB) 43.99%

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 of members 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)
Federal Senate - last held on 3 October 2010 for two-thirds of the Senate (next to be held in October 2014 for one-third of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014)
Election results
Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 20, PT 13, PSDB 10, DEM (formerly PFL) 7, PTdoB 6, PP 5, PDT 4, PR 4, PSB 4, PPS 1, PRB 1, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PT 87, PMDB 80, PSDB 53, DEM (formerly PFL) 43, PP 41, PR 41, PSB 34, PDT 28, PTdoB 21, PSC 17, PCdoB 15, PV 15, PPS 12, other 18

Judicial branch
Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Superior Tribunal of Justice or STJ; Superior Electoral Tribunal or TSE; 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 [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 [Marco Antonio PEREIRA]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Sergio GUERRA]; Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [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 [Jose AGRIPINO] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL); Freedom and Socialism Party or PSOL [Afranio BOPPRE]; Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz PENNA]; Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto MATOS]; Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE]; National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO]; Party of the Republic or PR [Alfredo PEREIRA DO NASCIMENTO]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Roberto Joao PEREIRA FREIRE]; Progressive Party or PP [Francisco DORNELLES]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS]; Social Democracy Party or PSD [Gilberto KASSAB]; Workers' Party or PT [Rui FALCAO]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Landless Workers' Movement or MST
Industrial federations; labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations; religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the Catholic Church

International organization participation
AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, BRICS, CAN (associate), CELAC, CPLP, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Mauro Luiz Iecker VIEIRA
3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 238-2805
FAX [1] (202) 238-2827
Consulate(s) general
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Thomas A. SHANNON
Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia
Mailing address Unit 7500, DPO, AA 34030
Telephone [55] (61) 3312-7000
FAX [55] (61) 3225-9136
Consulate(s) general Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
Consulate(s) Recife

Flag description
Green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress); the current flag was inspired by the banner of the former Empire of Brazil (1822-1889); on the imperial flag, the green represented the House of Braganza of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil, while the yellow stood for the Habsburg Family of his wife; on the modern flag the green represents the forests of the country and the yellow rhombus its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of 15 November 1889 - the day the Republic of Brazil was declared; the number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from an original 21 to the current 27 (one for each state and the Federal District)

National symbol(s)
Southern Cross constellation

National anthem
"Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem)
Joaquim Osorio Duque ESTRADA/Francisco Manoel DA SILVA
Music adopted 1890, lyrics adopted 1922; the anthem's music, composed in 1822, was used unofficially for many years before it was adopted


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  GPS points from Brazil (Brasi­lia)

Sitio Dos Grilos Sao Paulo

Salva Vidas Rio Grande Do Norte

Ribeirao Do Salto Estado De Minas Gerais

Travessao Tres Pontes Brazil (general)

Rio Baixao Da Mangabeira Estado Do Piaui

Serra Da Quixabeira Estado Da Paraiba

Cururipe Alagoas

Fazenda Acury Estado De Mato Grosso
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