macrohistory & world report

Federal Republic of Brazil

Map of Brazil

Map of Brazil (its capital Brazilia)

World Factbook as of October 2014: "Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader, one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery. High income inequality and crime remain pressing problems, as well as recent years' slow down in economic growth."

Per capita GDP
2014: $12,100 105th among 228 countries

GDP real growth rate
2013: 2.3%
2012: 0.9%

Unemployment rate
2013: 5.7%
2012: 5.5%
2011: 6.1%
2010 6.7%

Distribution of family incomes – GINI index
Brazil ranks 16th least equal among 141 countries, with a GINI score of 51.9. Its revenue to GDP rate is unusually high, at 44%.

Land in Brazil is said to be largely in the hands of a few wealthy families.

2012: n the two largest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, a third of the people, it is said, live in slums.

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2006: 2.6%


In 2013, 15.7% of population was involved in agriculture – high compared to the more highly industrialized countries, which are typically between 2 and 3 percent.

Sixty-five years and over: 7.6%

Life espectancy (at birth)
2014: 73.28

Birth/death ratio:
2014: 14.72/6.54

Living in an urban area
2011: 84.6%
2010: 87%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 0.09 persons per 1,000 population per year

2000 census: white 53.7%, mulatos 38.5%, black 6.2%. Others are Japanese, Arab Amerindian, 0.9%

2000 census: nominally Roman Catholic, 73.6%, Protestant 15.4 %, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, none 7.4%


South America. Brazil is 8,456,510 square kilometers of land compared to 9,161,923 square kilometers for the United States.


Brazil is divided into states and has a federal Congress divided between the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Capital: Brasilia.

Recent History

In the 1970s, Brazil invested in the production of alcohol to replace gasoline.

2002: Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, elected in 2002∫, is a former shoeshine boy and metal worker. He is commonly described as a man of the Left.

Investment in its economy estimated for 2004 is 18% of  GDP compared to 15.2% for the United States. Sweden's is 15.7%.

With help from its alternative fuel production, Brazil expects to be energy sufficient In 2006. Many of its cars use alternative fuels and many of its gas stations have two sets of pumps: one for "alcohol" the other for gasoline. Brazilians and Japanese are engaged in a joint venture for Brazil exporting ethanol (alcohol) to Japan.

In Brazil are desperate people and others willing and able to take advantage of them. The result: slavery. People have been told they could have good jobs in Amazonia. Transported there they are then forced to pay for their transportation, food, tools and housing. According to a report at, "some 18,000 people have been released from forced labor in Brazil since 1995," and in 2006 "thousands of Brazilians continue to be trafficked from impoverished parts of the country."

Police Corruption and Tourists, July 27, 2007: UPI reports two San Francisco policemen in Brazil during the Pan American Games were stopped by "two uniformed police officers" and searched for drugs. Although no drugs were found the Brazilian cops told the two tourists they would have to pay a bribe or be arrested. The Brazilian cops left the tourists' with $2,200 of their money and an MP3 player.

2007: Brazil has a vast tropical forest area where Indian peoples live. According to the World Factbook, deforestation is destroying  the habitat and endangering "a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area," and "there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade."

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.