General facts about Brazil


Brazil is composed of 26 states and one Federal District, all represented by a star on the national flag. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and third largest in the Americas, with a total area of 8,514,876.599 km2 (3,287,612 sq mi), including 55,455 km2 (21,411 sq mi) of water. Its population is 201 million inhabitants and 16 cities are populated by more than one million inhabitants.


Brazil has the largest economy of Latin America and also has the world's 7th largest GDP. 84% of its population live in urban areas and 40% live in a city with a population of more than 1 million inhabitants.



Brazil Map


Two boys playing football barefoot

Brazil : a young and diverse population


Brazilian population is characterized by a relatively young average age of 29 years old (compared to 36.3 years old in the USA, 39 in the UK and 38.6 in Canada) and a fertility rate under the population´s renewal threshold (1.82 children per woman). 


Brazil's population is also very diversified on an ethnical level. Brazil has the largest Lebanese and Japanese communities outside of their countries. Most Brazilians have European heritage from Portugal and Italy but also from Spain, Germany and Switzerland.



Tram in typical brazilian street

The Brazilian economy: shrinking in 2016


Since Dilma Roussef was first elected President in 2011, Brazil's economy grew only 2%, contrary to most emerging countries which grow around 5.2% according to the IMF.



A progressing education system with encouraging signs


Even though Brazil has very good universities, the remainder of its education system is still developing. The level of education is low, given the ratio of the number of children to schools, and the full-time education system is not applied in public schools. Despite the Bolsa Família, a monetary allocation meant to help children's education, child labour remains an issue (5% of Brazilian children still work daily).



Suprisingly, 6.7 million students are enrolled in university, though this sector is not very open to foreigners; only 15 000 foreigners participate in exchange programs to Brazil every year.