General Information about Brazil


General Information about Brazil

Land Size

Brazil has an area of 3,287,613 square miles (8,514,879 square kilometres), slightly smaller than the US and 35 times larger than the UK. Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country, and covers three time zones in an east-west direction.



The topography of Brazil varies considerably from large forest areas, desert, plains and grasslands to mountain ranges. The highest point is the Pico da Neblina at 9,888 feet (3,014 metres). The Amazon, the longest river in the Americas at 4,050 miles (6,516 km), is navigable from the sea to the interior.



The climate can vary considerably from tropical in Amazonas state to temperate in the southern region of the country. Humidity is high in a number of the coastal and Amazon basin areas.


Capital City

The capital is Brasilia. Other major cities include Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Manaus, Recife, Porto Alegre and Belem.



The currency is the real, abbreviated as BRL in this report.


Exchange Rate

BRL 2.39 = USD 1.00 (January 2014).



The official language is Portuguese. English is increasingly spoken in business circles.


Life Expectancy

Projected average life expectancy at birth between 2010 and 2015 was 69.9 years for males and 78.4 years for females.



The population in 2013 was projected to be 196.50 million.



There is freedom of worship. The main religion is Christianity.



The constitution gives Brazil the status of a federal republic.


Basis of Legal System

The federal constitution is the cornerstone of the Brazilian legislative system. It provides for the fundamental rights and guarantees of the citizen, governs the political and administrative organization of the republic as a whole and defines the roles of the executive, legislative and judicial branches.


Court System

The Brazilian judiciary is divided into federal and state court systems. Both are subordinate to the Federal Supreme Court.


State Healthcare

The Brazilian constitution grants all citizens the right to free medical assistance from public providers by the government.


Economy – Gross Domestic Product – 2012

GDP (BRL bn) 4,402.53 / GDP (USD bn) 2,254.47 / GDP per capita (USD) 11,348.62


Economic Structure

Brazil surpassed the United Kingdom to become the sixth largest economy in the world in 2011.



Source: Country Intelligence – Country Profiles provided by Marsh Connect from Axco Insurance Services Limited.