Brazil Geography

Brazil occupies nearly half of the total area of South America. It has borders with all the South American countries except for Chile and Ecuador. Its land mass totals approximately 3,300,000 square miles, more than the continental United States and slightly less than all the European countries together.

40% of the Brazilian territory is occupied by the Amazon Rain Forest.

Brazil covers almost half of the South American continent and it is bordered to the north, west and south by all South American countries except Chile and Ecuador; to the east is the Atlantic.

Brazil is topographically relatively flat, and at no point do the highlands exceed 3000m (10,000ft). Over 60% of the country is a plateau; the remainder consists of plains. The River Plate Basin (the confluence of the Parana and Uruguay Rivers, both of which have their sources in Brazil) in the far south is more varied, higher and less heavily forested.

North of the Amazon are the Guiana Highlands, partly forested, partly stony desert. The Brazilian Highlands of the interior, between the Amazon and the rivers of the south, form a vast tableland, the Mato Grosso, from which rise mountains in the southwest, that form a steep protective barrier from the coast called the Great Escarpment, breached by deeply cut river beds.

The population is concentrated in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Parana. Sao Paulo has a population of over 10 million, while over 5 million people live in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is composed of 26 states and 1 Federal District. The capital is Brasilia.

Geographic division

North: (States of Amazonas, Para, Roraima, Acre, Amapa, Tocantins and Rondonia).

Northeast: States of Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, Piaui and Maranhao.

Central West: States of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias.

Southeast: States of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, and Sao Paulo.

South: States of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.


8,511,965 km2;

Includes: Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo

Comparative area: slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries: 14,691 km total; Argentina 1,224 km, Bolivia 3,400 km, Colombia 1,643 km, French Guiana 673 km, Guyana 1,119 km, Paraguay 1,290 km, Peru 1,560 km, Suriname 597 km, Uruguay 985 km, Venezuela 2,200 km

Coastline: 7,491 km

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation;

Exclusive Fishing Zone: 200 nm;

Territorial Sea: 200 nm


Mainly tropical and sub-tropical; particularly humid in Amazon region and along the coast. Temperate on the southern coast and on the higher lands.

Rainy season in south goes from Nov-Mar, driest from Jun-Aug. Temperatures in Rio de Janeiro: winter (Jun-Sep) 14-30 degrees C, summer (Dec-Mar) 20-39 degrees C.

Environment: recurrent droughts in northeast; floods and frost in south; deforestation in Amazon basin; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

Note: largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

Population density: 17 per sq km.

Capital: Brasilia. Population: 1,567,709.


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