Brazil Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Brazil: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, Brazil has around 212 million people.

Ethnic groups

The population of Brazil is made up of residents of European, African and Indian descent. In the north of the country, the majority of the population is of Black African or Indian descent. The further south you travel the more the picture changes in favor of people of Central and Southern European descent. Sao Paulo, for example, is characterized by a large Italian community. Further south, and especially in the state of Santa Catarina, there are entire cities with several generations of German ancestry, such as in Blumenau.

The percentage composition of the population is as follows:

  • European (54%)
  • Mestizo (34%)
  • African minorities (11%)
  • Japanese, Native American, and other minorities (1%)


Brazil’s official religion is Christianity, with the number of Catholics currently decreasing at 68% and US Protestant and Evangelical beliefs in particular increasing.

In connection with Brazil’s strong Indian and African influences, both Indian cults and Afro-Brazilian sects are widespread, often not in direct contradiction to the Christian religions – in Bahia under the name ‘Candomblé’, in Rio de Janeiro as ‘Macumba’, in Amazonas as ‘Pará’. This also includes practices such as Umbanda (“White Magic”) and Kardecism (seancén and communication with posterity through a medium.

National language

The national language of Brazil is Portuguese. When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil (around 1500) there were still 700 different Indian tribal languages.

Around 180 of them have survived to this day, 130 of them are considered endangered as they are only spoken by fewer than 600 people.

Capital and other cities

The capital of Brazil is Brasilia with a population of 2.6 million – in the metropolitan region 4.5 million. According to Abbreviation Finder, BRA stands for Brazil in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym..

  • Sao Paulo with over 12 million residents – in the metropolitan region 22 million
  • Rio de Janeiro has around 6.5 million residents – in the metropolitan region 12 million.
  • Belo Horizonte with around 2.5 million residents – in the metropolitan region 5.9 million
  • Recife with around 1.7 million residents – in the metropolitan region 3.7 million
  • Porto Allegre with around 1.5 million residents – 4 million in the metropolitan region
  • Salvador with around 2.9 million residents.

Brazil: geography, map

The country of Brazil takes up almost half of the South American continent. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Brazil.

It stretches along the continent’s Atlantic coast and is bordered to the south by Argentina and Uruguay, to the west by Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, and to the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Brazil’s widest diameter (4,319 km) is almost as big as its longest north-south distance (4,394 km).

Brazil is made up of four main geographic regions:

  • Coastal region
  • Planalto
  • Amazon
  • Paranà-Paraguai

Area and land use

Brazil covers an area of 8,547,404 km².

Of these, around 60% are plateaus and around 40% are flatlands.

  • ForestAround 50% of the country is forested; 40% of them are in the Amazon.
  • Meadow and pasturelandParts of the Caatinga are used as pastureland, with this area comprising about 11% of the area of the entire country; 17% of Amazonia (Campos Gerais) is also used as grazing land
  • Fields and fieldsAround 7% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing coffee, soy, wheat, rice, maize, cocoa, sugar plants and citrus trees.
  • The Amazon rainforestBiologists divide the Amazon into different types of vegetation, the classification of which depends on their proximity to a river.Mata de Várzea

    This is a temporarily flooded area, on which, for example, the Seringueira (latex tree) and many species of palm grow. Large trees such as the Jatobá (Hymenaea stilbocarpa) and the Maçaranduba (Mimusops elata) can also be found here.

    Mata de Igapó is a kind of “underwater forest” found in the lowlands that are permanently flooded by the river. The Victoria Régia (water lily) is a special embodiment of the vegetation of this region.

    Mata de Terra Firme

    denotes the mainland forest. This part is never flooded and it covers most of the region. Its trees are those giants of the jungle with a height of up to 65 meters and their crowns are able to block up to 95% of the sunlight – such as the Castanha do Pará (Bertholletia excelsa), the Caucho (Sapium bogotense) and the Guaraná (Paullinea cupana).

  • Other types of forestMata AtlânticaThe Atlantic rainforest occurs in Bahia, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná and Santa Catarina.

It belongs to the characteristic form of vegetation of the populated areas, which is why it has almost been eradicated. From its original extent only 8% is left today, which is mainly found in the southeast region.

33 different remaining forest stands of the Mata Atlântica were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. It is a very dense, closed forest, with tall supporting trees. The most common species are: Ipês (Tecoma ipe), Cedros (Cedrela fissilis), Palmiteiros (Euterpe edulis), Canelas (Lauraceae), Guapuruvus (Schizolobium excelsum).

  • Mata de AraucáriaTypical forest of the cooler zones, the higher altitudes and the mountains of the southern region – some stocks also in the state of São Paulo. The name of the forest comes from its most typical tree, the “Araucaria spruce” (Araucaria brasiliana), a conifer in Brazil. These forests are relatively open. The tree can reach a height of 30 m. Large stocks have disappeared due to overexploitation, they were used to build houses and as raw material for cellulose and paper production.Mata de Cocais

    Palm forests of various species, which are usually found in the transition zones between the Amazon rainforest and the caatingas. They are rich in various types of palm such as the babaçu (Orbignia martiana) – used for oil production, or the carnaúba (Copernicia cerifera) – from which wax and textiles are made.

  • SteppeAround 25% of the country are steppe landCerrado

    The Cerrado high steppe is the second largest ecoregion after Amazonia with 2 million km². It comprises 100,000 species, 44% of which are unique.

    The Cerrado is the “Wild West of Brazil” with a lot of cattle breeding and the last remnants of largely undisturbed Indian tribes. It is also the largest soy growing area in Brazil, with 12% of the national export. The Cerrado is characterized as difficult to travel to, with few roads and sparse infrastructure.

    Worth seeing: Parque National da Chapada dos Veadeiros and National Park Emeas.

    Another steppe area

    Campos Gerais (Amazon region) are the vegetation forms of the southern savannah and steppe areas – especially in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where this vegetation is called “Campanha Gaúcha”. It is made up of immense lawns and gallery forests that accompany a river on its banks. The grassy areas are good pastures for cattle breeding – a livelihood of this part of Brazil.

  • Pantanal swampsWith 230,000 km² (100,000 km² of which in Boliviaand Paraguay), the Pantanal is the largest inland swamp area in the world. It extends over the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.

National borders

Brazil has a common border with a total of 10 countries.

The longest border shares Brazil with Bolívia, with a length of 3,126 km, the shortest with Surinam with a length of around 593 km.

Further limits exist

  • in the south to Argentina with a length of 1,224 km
  • and to Uruguay with a length of 985km
  • in the west to Paraguay with a length of 1,290 km
  • to Peru with a length of 1,560 km
  • and to Colombia with a length of 1,643 km
  • in the north to Venezuela with a length of 2,200 km
  • to Guyana with a length of 1,119 km
  • and to French Guyana with a length of 673 km.


Brazil has a coast to the Atlantic Ocean with a length of around 7,367 km.

Longitude and latitude

Brazil extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 5º to 35º south latitude. Δλ = from around 035º to 075º west longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Brazil, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without daylight saving time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a plus sign that it is later than after CET:

Δt (CET) = – 3 h to – 6 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest level of the sun in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is located at a southern latitude of around φ = 23 °. If the declination of the sun has the value of 23 ° S, and thus the image point of the sun is exactly above the city, the sun is vertically above the city. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 2 days before December 21st and then again 2 days after December 21st (for details see position of the sun).


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, and this is the case almost all year round (with the exception of around 4 days), the sun is not in the south at noon, so like in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


Pico da Neblina

The highest mountain in the country is the P ico da Neblin a with a height of 3,014 m.

Brazil’s highest mountain is in the Serra do Imeri in the “National Park Pico da Neblina” in the state of Amazonas.

Other high mountains are:

  • Pico 31 De Marco with a height of 2,992 m.The second highest mountain is also in the Serra do Imeri in the “Parque Nacional do Pico da Neblina” in the state of Amazonas.
  • Pico da Bandeira with a height of 2,889 mIt is located in the Serra do Caparaó in the “Parque Nacional do Caparaó” half in the state of Espirito Santo and half in Minas Gerais.
  • Pico Das Agulhas Negras with a height of 2,787 mIt is located in the Serra de Itatiaia in the “Parque Nacional de Itatiaia” in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.
  • Pico do Cristal with a height of 2,780 mIt is located in the Serra do Caparaó in the “Parque Nacional do Caparaó” in the state of Minas Gerais.
  • Pedra da Mina with a height of 2,770 mIt is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
  • Monte Roraima with a height of 2,739.3 mIt is located in the Serra da Pacaraima in the “Parque Nacional do Monte Roraima” in the state of Roraima.
  • Morro do Couto with a height of 2,680 m islocated in the Serra das Prateleiras in the “Parque Nacional de Itatiaia” in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Pedra do Sino de Itatiaia with a height of 2,670 mIt is located in the Serra de Itatiaia in the “Parque Nacional de Itatiaia” in the state of Minas Gerais.

Rivers, Amazon


The longest river in the country is the Amazon with a length of around 6,500 to 7,000 km (depending on the source river) of which 6,290 km (depending on the source river) within Brazil. There is some debate about whether the Nile or the Amazon is the longest river in the world. The crucial question is, from where do you start calculating the length of the Amazon.

Other rivers in the country are:

  • Sao Francisco with a length of around 3,160 km.
  • Paraná/Paraiba river system with a length of around 3,998 km.
  • Tapajós with a length of around 1,920 km.
  • Madeira Madeira with a length of around 1,450 km.
  • Iguacu with a length of around 1,320 km.


The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes and lagoons.

Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks)

The largest lagoon is the Lagoa dos Patos. It is located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and covers an area of around 10,145 km².

Islands, Queimada-Grande

Numerous islands are in front of the country or belong elsewhere to the state, a selection:

Ilhabela (state Sao Paulo) with an area of 352 km²

Ilha Grande (state Rio de Janeiro) with an area of 193 km²

Ilha de Santa Catarina (state Santa Catarina) with an area of 523 km²

Rocas Atoll in the state of Rio Grande do Norte with a total area of 7.86 km²

Fernando de Noranha

This island group of 26 km² with approx. 3,000 residents is located around 350 km off the coast of Brazil in the Atlantic. The archipelago became known worldwide when an Airbus A 330-200 of the Air France airline crashed into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009 with 228 people.

Queimada-Grande (Snake

Island ) The small island Queimada-Grande is also worth mentioning, on which there are many thousands of the extremely poisonous island lanceolers on an area of approx. 0.5 km². Since there are no longer any living beings on the island, the snakes feed on birds that have flown in. A visit to the island, for example by water sports enthusiasts, is definitely fatal. The island is a little more than 32 km from the coast at a latitude of 24 ° 30`South and a longitude of 046 ° 41`West.

Brazil Population