States of Brazil

The federative units of Brazil (Portuguese: unidades federativas do Brasil) are subnational entities with a certain degree of autonomy (self-government, self-regulation and self-collection) and endowed with their own government and constitution, which together form the Federative Republic of Brazil. There are 26 states (estados) and one federal district (distrito federal). The states are generally based on historical, conventional borders which have developed over time. The Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities, assuming the constitutional and legal powers, attributions and obligations equivalent to those of states and municipalities, being divided into administrative regions.

The codes given below are defined in ISO 3166-2:BR.

Estado (Portuguese)
CategoryFederated state
LocationFederative Republic of Brazil
Populations496,936 (Roraima) – 44,035,304 (São Paulo)
Areas5,802 km2 (2,240.2 sq mi) (Federal District) – 1,570,800 km2 (606,470 sq mi) (Amazonas)
GovernmentState government


The present states of Brazil trace their history directly to the captaincies established by Portugal following the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided part of South America between Portugal and Spain.

Brazilian State Map with Capitals and Flags
The States of Brazil, their respective flags, their state capitals, and their largest cities.

The first administrative divisions of Brazil were the hereditary captaincies (capitanias hereditárias), stretches of land granted by the Portuguese Crown to noblemen or merchants with a charter to colonize the land. As the map shows, these divisions generally followed lines of latitude. Each of the holders of these captaincies was referred to as a captain donatary (capitão donatário). These captaincies were to be passed from father to son, but the Crown retained the power to revoke them, which the King indeed did in the 16th century.

In 1549, the Portuguese Crown appointed Tomé de Sousa as the first governor-general of the vast Portuguese dominion in South America. This dominion overall became known as the State of Brazil (Estado do Brasil). In several periods of history, the northern half of the dominion was detached from the State of Brazil, becoming a separate entity known as the State of Maranhão. Maranhão by then referred not only to current Maranhão, but rather to the whole of the Amazon region; the name marã-nã in old Tupi language means "wide river", referring to the Amazon River.

After the Iberian Union (1580–1640), the territory of Portuguese colonial domains in South America was more than doubled, and the land was divided into hereditary and royal captaincies, with the latter being governed directly by the Crown. Unlike Spanish America, the whole territory remained united under a single governor-general (with the permanent title of viceroy after 1720), based in Salvador (after 1763, in Rio de Janeiro). This arrangement later helped to keep Brazil as a unified nation-state, avoiding fragmentation similar to that of the Spanish domains.

In 1759, the heritability of the captaincies was totally abolished by the government of the Marquis of Pombal, with all captains becoming appointed by the Crown. The captaincies were officially renamed "provinces" on 28 February 1821.

With independence, in 1822, the former captaincies became provinces of the Empire of Brazil. Most internal boundaries were kept unchanged from the colonial period, generally following natural features such as rivers and mountain ridges. Minor changes were made to suit domestic politics (such as transferring the Triângulo Mineiro from Goiás to Minas Gerais, splitting Paraná and transferring the south bank of the São Francisco River from Pernambuco to Bahia), as well as additions resulting from diplomatic settlement of territorial disputes by the end of the 19th century (Amapá, Roraima, Palmas). When Brazil became a republic in 1889, all provinces immediately became states.

In 1943, with the entrance of Brazil into the Second World War, the Vargas regime detached seven strategic territories from the border of the country in order to administer them directly: Amapá, Rio Branco, Acre, Guaporé, Ponta Porã, Iguaçu and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. After the war, the first four territories became states, with Rio Branco and Guaporé being renamed Roraima (1962) and Rondônia (1956), respectively, whilst Ponta Porã and Iguaçu remained as territories.

In 1960, the rectangular-shaped Distrito Federal was carved out of Goiás in preparation for the new capital, Brasília. The previous federal district became Guanabara State, but in 1975 it was merged with Rio de Janeiro State, retaining its name and with the municipality of Rio de Janeiro as its capital.

In 1977, Mato Grosso was split into two states. The northern area retained the name Mato Grosso while the southern area became the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, with Campo Grande as its capital. The new Mato Grosso do Sul incorporated the territory of Ponta Porã and the northern part of Iguaçu. Central Iguaçu went to Paraná, and southern Iguaçu went to Santa Catarina.

In 1988, the northern portion of Goiás became the state of Tocantins, with Palmas as its capital. Also, the archipelago Fernando de Noronha became part of Pernambuco.


The government of each state of Brazil is divided into executive, legislative and judiciary branches.

The state government constitutes the executive branch in each of the states. It is headed by a state governor and also includes a vice-governor, several secretaries of state—each one in charge of a given portfolio—and the state attorney-general.

The state legislature branch is the legislative assembly, a unicameral body composed of state deputies.

The judiciary in each of the states is made up of a Court of Justice and the judges of law. The judges of law constitute courts of first instance. The Court of Justice is the court of second instance of the state and is composed of judges called desembargadores.

Brazil (1572)

First division in two states

Mapa Brasil 1709

Greatest extent of São Paulo captaincy

Brazil (1750)

Treaty of Madrid

Brazil (1817)

Captaincies at the time of Pernambucan revolt

Brazil (1822)

Imperial provinces

Brazil (1889)

States at the start of Republic

Brazil (1943)

Border territories

Brazil, administrative divisions (states) - en - colored

Current states

Proposed division of Pará

On 11 December 2011, a consultative referendum was held in the state of Pará about splitting that state into three new ones (Pará, Tapajós and Carajás). Both Tapajós and Carajás were rejected by the population by approximate margins of 2:1,[1] despite being heavily favored in the proposed breakaway regions.


Flag Federative unit Abbreviation Capital Area (km2) Area (sq mi) Population (2017) Density (per km2, 2017) Density (per sq mi, 2017) GDP (billion R$ and % total, 2012) GDP per capita (R$, 2012) HDI (2014) Literacy (2014) Infant mortality (2014) Life expectancy (years, 2014) Statehood
Bandeira do Acre.svg Acre AC Rio Branco 152,581.4 58,912 829,619 5.44 14 9.629 (0.2%) 12,690 0.719 94% 1.6% 75.4 1962[2]
Bandeira de Alagoas.svg Alagoas AL Maceió 27,767.7 10,721 3,375,823 121.57 315 29.545 (0.7%) 9,333 0.667 90% 1.7% 73.5 1822
Bandeira do Amapá.svg Amapá AP Macapá 142,814.6 55,151 797,722 5.59 14 10.420 (0.2%) 14,914 0.747 99% 1.6% 75.4 1943
Bandeira do Amazonas.svg Amazonas AM Manaus 1,570,745.7 606,470 4,063,614 2.59 7 64.120 (1.7%) 17,855 0.709 96% 1.9% 73.7 1850
Bandeira da Bahia.svg Bahia BA Salvador 564,692.7 218,030 15,344,447 27.17 70 167.727 (3.8%) 11,832 0.703 91% 2.0% 74.3 1823
Bandeira do Ceará.svg Ceará CE Fortaleza 148,825.6 57,462 9,020,460 60.61 157 90.132 (2.0%) 10,473 0.716 93% 1.65% 74.9 1822[3]
Bandeira do Distrito Federal (Brasil).svg Distrito Federal DF Brasília 5,822.1 2,249.9 3,039,444 522.05 1,351 171.236 (3.9%) 64,653 0.839 98.8% 0.65% 79.8 Not a state
Bandeira do Espírito Santo.svg Espírito Santo ES Vitória 46,077.5 17,791 4,016,356 87.17 226 107.329 (2.2%) 29,996 0.771 99% 0.48% 80.1 1822
Flag of Goiás.svg Goiás GO Goiânia 340,086.7 131,310 6,778,772 19.93 52 123.926 (2.4%) 20,134 0.750 97% 0.9% 75.9 1822[4]
Bandeira do Maranhão.svg Maranhão MA São Luís 331,983.3 128,180 7,000,229 21.09 55 58.920 (1.2%) 8,760 0.678 90% 1.9% 72.5 1823[5]
Bandeira de Mato Grosso.svg Mato Grosso MT Cuiabá 903,357.9 348,790 3,344,544 3.70 10 80.830 (1.5%) 25,945 0.767 94% 1.3% 74.6 1822[6]
Bandeira de Mato Grosso do Sul.svg Mato Grosso do Sul MS Campo Grande 357,125.0 137,890 2,713,147 7.60 20 54.471 (1.0%) 21,744 0.762 97% 0.7% 76.1 1979[7]
Bandeira de Minas Gerais.svg Minas Gerais MG Belo Horizonte 586,528.3 226,460 21,119,536 36.01 93 403.551 (9.2%) 20,324 0.769 98.6% 0.61% 78.7 1822
Bandeira do Pará.svg Pará PA Belém 1,247,689.5 481,740 8,366,628 6.71 17 91.009 (1.9%) 11,678 0.675 94% 1.6% 74.2 1823
Bandeira da Paraíba.svg Paraíba PB João Pessoa 56,439.8 21,792 4,025,558 71.32 185 38.731 (0.8%) 10,151 0.701 92% 1.7% 74.1 1822[8]
Bandeira do Paraná.svg Paraná PR Curitiba 199,314.9 76,956 11,320,892 56.80 147 255.927 (5.8%) 24,194 0.790 98% 0.7% 77.8 1843[9]
Bandeira de Pernambuco.svg Pernambuco PE Recife 98,311.6 37,958 9,473,266 96.36 250 117.340 (2.3%) 13,138 0.709 92% 1.9% 74.8 1822[10]
Bandeira do Piauí.svg Piauí PI Teresina 251,529.2 97,726 3,219,257 12.80 33 25.721 (0.5%) 8,137 0.675 90% 1.8% 72.7 1822
Bandeira do estado do Rio de Janeiro.svg Rio de Janeiro RJ Rio de Janeiro 43,696.1 16,871 16,718,956 382.62 991 504.221 (11.5%) 31,064 0.778 99% 1.3% 77.1 1822[11]
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Norte.svg Rio Grande do Norte RN Natal 52,796.8 20,385 3,507,003 66.42 172 39.544 (0.9%) 12,249 0.717 95.1% 1.38% 76.7 1822
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Sul.svg Rio Grande do Sul RS Porto Alegre 281,748.5 108,780 11,322,895 40.19 104 277.658 (6.3%) 25,779 0.779 99% 0.4% 79.3 1822
Bandeira de Rondônia.svg Rondônia RO Porto Velho 237,576.2 91,729 1,805,788 7.60 20 29.362 (0.6%) 13,075 0.715 94.6% 1.85% 73.7 1981
Bandeira de Roraima.svg Roraima RR Boa Vista 224,299.0 86,602 522,636 2.33 6 7.314 (0.2%) 15,557 0.732 94.5% 1.51% 73.5 1988
Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg Santa Catarina SC Florianópolis 95,346.2 36,813 7,001,161 73.43 190 177.276 (4.0%) 27,771 0.813 99% 0.30% 81 1822
Bandeira do estado de São Paulo.svg São Paulo SP São Paulo 248,209.4 95,834 45,094,866 181.68 471 1,408.904 (32.1%) 33,624 0.819 99% 0.45% 79.8 1822
Bandeira de Sergipe.svg Sergipe SE Aracaju 21,910.3 8,459.6 2,288,116 104.43 270 27.823 (0.6%) 13,180 0.681 93% 1.8% 73.0 1822
Bandeira do Tocantins.svg Tocantins TO Palmas 277,620.9 107,190 1,550,194 5.58 14 19.530 (0.4%) 13,775 0.732 94% 1.7% 74.5 1988

See also


  1. ^ "Voters Reject Division of Brazilian State". Americas Quarterly. December 13, 2011.
  2. ^ "Acre". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  3. ^ "Ceará". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  4. ^ "Goiás". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  5. ^ "Maranhão | state, Brazil". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  6. ^ "Mato Grosso | state, Brazil". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  7. ^ "Mato Grosso do Sul | state, Brazil". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  8. ^ "Paraíba | state, Brazil". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  9. ^ "Paraná". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  10. ^ "Pernambuco | state, Brazil". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  11. ^ "Rio de Janeiro (State)". Retrieved 2019-04-04.

External links


Alagoas (Portuguese pronunciation: [alɐˈɡoɐs], [ɐlɐˈɡow.wɐs]) is one of the 27 states of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco (N and NW); Sergipe (S); Bahia (SW); and the Atlantic Ocean (E). It occupies an area of 27,767 km2, being slightly larger than Haiti. Its capital is the city of Maceió.

It is made up of 102 municipalities and its most populous cities are Maceió, Arapiraca, Palmeira dos Índios, Rio Largo, Penedo, União dos Palmares, São Miguel dos Campos, Santana do Ipanema, Delmiro Gouveia, Coruripe, Marechal Deodoro, and Campo Alegre.

It is the second smallest Brazilian state in area (larger only than Sergipe), and with Sergipe it is sometimes called the Rhode Island of Brazil. It is 16th in population. It is also one of the largest producers of sugarcane and coconuts in the country, and has an economy based on cattle raising.

Land of the sururu (or Charru Mussel), lagoon shellfish which serves as food for the coastal population, and of coconut water, Alagoas also possesses some of the country's richest folklore.

Initially, the Alagoano territory constituted the southern part of the Captaincy of Pernambuco and only gained its autonomy in 1817. Its occupation pushed the expansion of the captaincy's sugarcane farming, which required new areas of cultivation, southward. Thus arose Porto Calvo, Alagoas (now Marechal Deodoro) and Penedo, nuclei which guided the colonization, economic, and social life of the region for a long time.

The Dutch invasion in Pernambuco was extended to Alagoas in 1631. The invaders were expelled in 1645, after intense fighting in Porto Calvo, leaving the economy in ruins.

The escape of African slaves during the Dutch invasion created a serious labour shortage problem on the sugarcane plantations. Grouped in villages called quilombos, the Africans were only completely dominated at the end of the 17th century with the destruction of the most important quilombo, Palmares.

During the empire, the separatist and republican Confederation of the Equator (1824) received the support of noteworthy Alagoano figures. Throughout the 1840s, political life was marked by the conflict between the lisos (lit. "straights", not the sexual orientation connotation), conservatives, and the cabeludos (lit. "hairies"), liberals.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Alagoano hinterland lived through the pioneering experience of Delmiro Gouveia, a Pernambucano entrepreneur who installed the Estrela thread factory, which came to produce 200 spools daily. Delmiro Gouveia was killed in October 1917 in circumstances still unclarified, after being pressured, according to rumor, to sell his factory to competing foreign firms. After his death, his machines would be destroyed and thrown into Paulo Afonso Falls.

Nicknamed the Land of the Marshals (Terra dos Marechais), for being the birthplace of Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto, Alagoas gave the country numerous illustrious Brazilians among whom are the anthropologist Arthur Ramos, the maestro Hekel Tavares, the philologist Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, the musicians Djavan and Hermeto Pascoal the poet Jorge de Lima, the jurists Pontes de Miranda and Marcos Bernardes de Mello, besides the writers Lêdo Ivo and Graciliano Ramos.


Amapá (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐmɐˈpa]) is a state located in the northern region of Brazil. It is the second least populous state and the eighteenth largest by area. Located in the far northern part of the country, Amapá is bordered clockwise by French Guiana to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Pará to the south and west, and Suriname to the northwest. The capital and largest city is Macapá.

In the colonial period the region was called Portuguese Guiana and was part of Portugal's State of Brazil. Later, the region was distinguished from the other Guianas. Amapá was once part of Pará, but became a separate territory in 1943, and a state in 1990.The dominant feature of the region, and 90 percent of its total area, is the Amazon Rainforest. Unexplored forests occupy 70 percent of Amapá, and Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, established in 2002, is the largest tropical forest park in the world. The estuary of the River Oiapoque is the northernmost point of coastal Brazil.


Ceará ([seaˈɾa], locally in Ceará or in Northeast Region of Brazil the pronunciation is [sɪaˈɾa]) is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is the eighth-largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main tourist destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of Fortaleza, the country's fourth most populous city.

Literally, the name Ceará means "sings the jandaia". According to José de Alencar, one of the most important writers of Brazil and an authority in Tupi Guaraní, Ceará means turquoise or green waters. There are also theories that the state name would derive from Siriará, a reference to the crabs from the seashore.

The state is best known for its extensive coastline, with 600 kilometers (370 mi) of sand. There are also mountains and valleys producing tropical fruits. To the south, on the border of Paraíba, Pernambuco and Piauí, is the National Forest of Araripe.

Federal District (Brazil)

The Federal District (Portuguese: Distrito Federal [d͡ʒisˈtɾitu fedeˈɾaṷ]) is one of 27 federative units of Brazil. Located in the Center-West Region, it is the smallest Brazilian federal unit and the only one that has no municipalities, being divided into 31 administrative regions, totaling an area of 5,779,999 km². In its territory, is located the federal capital of Brazil, Brasília, that is also the seat of government of the Federal District.

First Brazilian Republic

The First Brazilian Republic or República Velha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁeˈpublikɐ ˈvɛʎɐ], "Old Republic") is the period of Brazilian history from 1889 to 1930. The República Velha ended with the Brazilian Revolution of 1930 that installed Getúlio Vargas as a dictator.


Goiás (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡojˈjas]) is a state of Brazil, located in the Center-West region of the country. The name Goiás (formerly, Goyaz) comes from the name of an indigenous community. The original word seems to have been guaiá, a compound of gua e iá, meaning "the same person" or "people of the same origin." It borders the Federal District and the states of (from north clockwise) Tocantins, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso.

The most populous state of its region, Goiás is characterized by a landscape of chapadões (plateaus). In the height of the drought season, from June to September, the lack of rain makes the level of the Araguaia River go down and exposes almost 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of beaches, making it the main attraction of the State. At the Emas National Park in the municipality of Mineiros, it is possible to observe the typical fauna and flora from the region. At the Chapada dos Veadeiros the attractions are the canyons, valleys, rapids and waterfalls. Other attractions are the historical city of Goiás (or Old Goiás), 132 km (82 mi) from Goiânia, established in the beginning of 18th Century, and Caldas Novas, with its hot water wells attracting more than one million tourists per year. In Brazil's geoeconomic division, Goiás belongs to the Centro-Sul (Center-South), being the northernmost state of the southern portion of Brazil.

List of Brazilian federative units by Human Development Index

Introduced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990, the Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of education, income and longevity indices, calculated in order to measure social and economic development within countries. It consists of a number between 0 and 1, comprising five tiers of human development—very low, low, medium, high, or very high—wherein the development is considered higher when closer to 1. According to the latest Human Development Report, published in 2015 and reflecting data from 2014, Brazil placed 75th among 188 countries with an HDI value of 0.755. The UNDP highlighted the "rapid advance" of Brazil in two decades, leaving a situation of low human development (0.590) in 1990, reaching medium development (0.669) in 2000 and, finally, achieving high human development (0.726) in 2010.In order to bring a human development perspective to the national level, the UNDP also created, in 1998, the Human Development Atlas in Brazil, which calculates the HDI of all the Brazilian administrative divisions, based on data provided by the decennial censuses conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Released in 2013, in partnership with the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the João Pinheiro Foundation (FJP), the latest edition of the Human Development Atlas in Brazil shows that the average HDI of the Brazilian federative units grew by 47.5% from 1991 to 2010.Since the beginning of the statistical series in 1991, the Federal District, which contains the national capital—Brasília—, has the highest HDI among the 27 federative units of Brazil, being the only one to fall in the category of very high human development according to 2010 figures. It also topped every subindex composing the HDI, except for longevity, when, in 1991, it was surpassed by Santa Catarina. Meanwhile, Alagoas set out the lowest HDI since 2000, especially due to a poor performance in education. Tocantins put forward the fastest progress in HDI value (0.330) from 1991 to 2010, while Rio de Janeiro had the smallest increase (0.188). According to the UNDP report, the states of the North and Northeast regions have the lowest indicators, with most municipalities registering low or medium human development, while in the South, more than 65% of municipalities have achieved high human development.

List of Brazilian federative units by gross regional product

Brazil produced, in 1999, a gross domestic product (GDP) of R$44,403,000 million or US$2,223,737 million in nominal terms, ranking 7th worldwide, and Int$2,896,461 million in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms, ranking 7th worldwide, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In that year, the Brazilian economy grew 1.0% in real terms according to revised figures of the IBGE. The per capita accounts of the GDP were R$22,813.47 or US$11.521,95 in nominal terms, and Int$14,537.40 in PPP terms. The Brazilian population, in 2012, was 193,300,291, ranking 5th worldwide and totaling 2.84% of the world's population.

Brazil is formed by the union of 27 federative units—26 states and the Federal District, which contains the capital city, Brasília. Of these, seven states; São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Bahia and Santa Catarina; with the Federal District, concentrate almost 80% of the national economy. São Paulo is the richest and most populous state of Brazil, ranking 16th and 27th worldwide, respectively; Rio de Janeiro is the second richest and the third most populous state, ranking 65th and 59th worldwide; and Minas Gerais is the third richest and the second most populous state, ranking 80th and 55th worldwide. Piauí has the lowest GRP per capita at the same time that the Federal District has the highest. Amapá, Acre and Roraima are the poorest states in the country with 0.59% of the national GDP.


Maranhão (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐɾɐˈɲɐ̃w]) is a state in Brazil. Located in the country's Northeast Region, it has a population of about 7 million and an area of 332,000 km2. Going clockwise from the north, it borders on the Atlantic Ocean and the states of Piauí, Tocantins and Pará. The people of Maranhão have a distinctive accent inside the common Northeastern Brazilian dialect. Maranhão is described in books such as The Land of the Palm Trees by Gonçalves Dias and Casa de Pensão by Aluísio Azevedo.

The dunes of Lençóis are an important area of environmental preservation. Also of interest is the state capital of São Luís, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. Another important conservation area is the Parnaíba River delta, between the states of Maranhão and Piauí, with its lagoons, desert dunes and deserted beaches or islands, such as the Caju island, which shelters rare birds.

Mato Grosso

Mato Grosso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu] – lit. "Thick Bushes") is one of the states of Brazil, the third largest by area, located in the western part of the country.Neighboring states (from west clockwise) are: Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. The nation of Bolivia is located to the southwest. A state with a flat landscape that alternates between vast chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso contains three main ecosystems: the Cerrado, the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest. Open pasture vegetation covers 40% of the state.

The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with caves, grottoes, tracks, and waterfalls, is one of its tourist attractions. In the north is the biodiverse Amazonian forest, which originally covered half of the state. Much of this has been disrupted and cleared for logging, agricultural purposes and pastures. The Xingu Indigenous Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Further south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for nearly one thousand species of animals and many aquatic birds.

Mato Grosso do Sul

Mato Grosso do Sul (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu du ˈsuw]) is one of the Midwestern states of Brazil. Its total area of 357,125 square kilometers, or 137,891 square miles, is roughly the same size as Germany.

Neighboring Brazilian states are (from north clockwise) Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay, to the southwest, and Bolivia, to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising. Crossed in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn, Mato Grosso do Sul generally has a warm, sometimes hot, and humid climate, and is crossed by numerous tributaries of the Paraná River.

The state is also known for its natural environment, and is a destination for domestic and international tourism. The Pantanal lowlands cover 12 municipalities and presents a variety of flora and fauna, with forests, natural sand banks, savannahs, open pasture, fields and bushes. The city Bonito, in the mountain of Bodoquena, has prehistoric caves, natural rivers, waterfalls, swimming pools and the Blue Lake cave.

The name Mato Grosso do Sul is Portuguese for "Thick Bushes of the South"; the name is inherited from its northern neighbour state of Mato Grosso, of which it was part until the 1970s. It is not uncommon for people to mistakenly refer to Mato Grosso do Sul as simply "Mato Grosso". Other names that were proposed, at the time of the split and afterwards, include "Pantanal" (a reference to its best known geographical feature) and "Maracaju" (a reference to the Maracaju Mountain Range that crosses the state from north to south).

Paraná (state)

Paraná (Portuguese pronunciation: [paɾaˈna]) is one of the 26 states of Brazil, in the south of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the province of Misiones, Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraguay, with the Paraná River as its western boundary line.Its area is 199,307.9 km2 (76,953.2 sq mi), slightly smaller than Romania, a country with similar shape. It is subdivided into 399 municipalities. Its capital is the city of Curitiba. Other major cities are Londrina, Maringá, Ponta Grossa, Cascavel, São José dos Pinhais and Foz do Iguaçu.

Crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn, Paraná has what is left of the araucaria forest, one of the most important subtropical forests in the world. At the border with Argentina is the National Park of Iguaçu, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. At only 40 km (25 mi) from there, at the border with Paraguay, the largest dam in the world was built, the Hidroelétrica de Itaipu (Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam). The crime rate is considered low by Brazilian standards and the state is one of the most developed ones in the nation, ranking 4th in gross domestic product, only behind the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.


Paraíba (Tupi: pa'ra a'íba: "bad for navigation"; Portuguese pronunciation: [paɾaˈibɐ] (listen)) is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and it is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Paraíba is the third most densely populated state of the Northeast; João Pessoa, the sea-bordered state capital, and Campina Grande, in the interior, rank among the fifteen-largest municipalities in the Northeast of Brazil.

Paraíba is most populated along the Atlantic coast, which extends as far as Ponta do Seixas, the easternmost point of the Americas. The state is a tourist and industrial hotspot; it is known for its cultural heritage, amenable climate and geographical features, ranging from the seaside beaches to the Borborema Plateau. It is named after the Paraíba river.

Some of the most notable Brazilian writers and poets are from Paraíba like Augusto dos Anjos, José Américo de Almeida, José Lins do Rego, Ariano Suassuna and Pedro Américo, the last being also known for his historical paintings.


Piauí (Portuguese pronunciation: [piawˈwi], [pjɐwˈi]) is one of the states of Brazil, located in the country's Northeast Region.

Piauí has the shortest coastline of any coastal Brazilian state at 66 km (41 mi), and the capital, Teresina, is the only state capital in the northeast to be located inland. The reason for this is, unlike the rest of the area, Piauí was first colonised inland and slowly expanded towards the ocean, rather than the other way around. In the southeast of the state, the National Park of Serra da Capivara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has more than 400 archaeological sites and the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world, in a landscape dominated by canyons and caatinga.

Rio Grande do Norte

Rio Grande do Norte (UK: , US: , Portuguese: [ˈɦi.u ˈɡɾɐ̃di du ˈnɔhti̥]; lit. "Great Northern River", in reference to the mouth of the Potengi River) is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern region of the country, occupying the northeasternmost tip of the South American continent. Because of its geographic position, Rio Grande do Norte has a strategic importance. The capital and largest city is Natal. It is the land of the folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo. Its 410 km (254 mi) of sand, much sun, coconut palms and lagoons are responsible for the fame of beaches. Rocas Atoll, the only such feature in the Atlantic Ocean, is part of the state. The main economic activity is tourism, followed by the extraction of petroleum (the second largest producer in the country), agriculture, fruit growing and extraction of minerals, including considerable production of seasalt, among other economic activities. The state is famous for having many popular attractions such as the Cashew of Pirangi (the world's largest cashew tree), the dunes and the dromedaries of Genipabu, the famous beaches of Ponta Negra, Maracajaú and Pipa's paradise, the Carnatal the largest off-season carnival in Brazil, the Forte dos Reis Magos is a sixteenth-century fortress, the hills and mountains of Martins, the Natal Dunes State Park the second largest urban park in the country, and several other attractions. The state is also closest to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.


Rondônia (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁõˈdõniɐ]) is a state in Brazil, located in the northern part of the country. To the west is a short border with the state of Acre, to the north is the state of Amazonas, in the east is Mato Grosso, and in the south and southwest is Bolivia. Its capital is Porto Velho. The state was named after Cândido Rondon.


Roraima (Pemon: roro imã, "parrot mountain" i.e. "Green Peak", Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁoˈɾajmɐ]) is the northernmost and least populated state of Brazil, located in the Amazon region. It borders the states of Amazonas and Pará and the countries of Venezuela and Guyana. The population is approximately 450,000 (as of 2010), and the capital is Boa Vista. Roraima has fifteen municipalities, the fewest of any Brazilian state.


Tocantins (Portuguese pronunciation: [tokɐ̃ˈtʃĩs]A) is one of the states of Brazil. (From: Tukã´, Toucan + tï, beak. lit. "Toucan's beak" in Tupi language). It is the newest of the 26 Brazilian states, formed in 1988 and encompassing what had formerly been the northern two-fifths of the state of Goiás. Tocantins covers 277,620.91 square kilometres (107,190.03 sq mi) and has a population of 1,496,880 (2014 est.). Construction of its capital, Palmas, began in 1989; most of the other cities in the state date to the Portuguese colonial period. With the exception of Araguaína there are few other cities with a significant population in the state. The government has invested in a new capital, a major hydropower dam, railroads and related infrastructure to develop this primarily agricultural area.

Tocantins has attracted hundreds of thousands of new residents, primarily to Palmas. It is building on its hydropower resources. The Araguaia and Tocantins rivers drain the largest watershed that lies entirely inside Brazilian territory. The Rio Tocantins has been dammed for hydropower, creating a large reservoir that has become a center of recreation. Because it is in the central zone of the country, Tocantins has characteristics of the Amazon Basin, and also semi-open pastures, known as cerrado. The Bananal Island (Ilha do Bananal), in the southwest of the State, is the largest fluvial island in the world. Tocantins is also home to the Araguaia National Park, the Carajás Indian reservations, and Jalapão State Park, which is about 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Palmas. There, the rivers create oases in the dry landscape, attracting many ecotourists to the region.

Brazil Regions and states of Brazil
First-level administrative divisions of South American countries


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