Useful country information
Land area: 3,265,059 sq mi (8,456,511 sq km); total area: 3,286,470 sq mi (8,511,965 sq km)
Population (2020 est.): 212,559,417 (growth rate: 1.1%); birth rate: 17.48/1000; infant mortality rate: 21.820.5/1000; life expectancy: 72.79; density per sq km: 22
Capital (2020 est.): Brasilia, 3,039,444
Largest cities: Sao Paulo, 19,900,000; Rio de Janeiro, 11,836,000; Salvador, 2,590,400; Belo Horizonte, 5,736,000; Recife, 1,485,500; Porto Alegre, 4,034,000
Monetary unit: Real
National name: Repblica Federativa do Brasil
Ethnicity/race: white 47.73%, pardo (Brazilian census category for mixed race, usually white and black) 43.13%, black 7.61%, asian 1.09%, indigenous 0.43%, undeclared 0% (responses exist, but are fewer than one in ten thousand) (2010)
National Holiday: Independence Day, September 7
Religion: Roman Catholic 74%, Protestant 15%, Spiritualist 1%, none 7% (2000)
Literacy rate: 88.6% (2011 est.)
Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has overcome more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of the interior.
Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, Brazil became Latin America's leading economic power by the 1970s. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem.
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