BRAZIL





Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
President

Brazil

(pronounced "loo-ESE ee-NAY-thee-oh LOO-la dah SEEL-vah")

"More than ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there are other walls that divide those who eat from those who are hungry, those who have jobs from the unemployed, those who live with dignity from those living in the streets."

The Federative Republic of Brazil dominates the South American continent, encompassing 8.5 million sq km (3.29 million sq mi), which represents 40% of the continental land mass. Brazil is bounded to the east and northeast by the Atlantic Ocean; to the north by French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela; to the west by Colombia and Peru; to the southwest by Bolivia and Paraguay; and to the south by Argentina and Uruguay.

Home to more than 176 million people (2002 estimate), Brazil is the sixth most populous country in the world. The population comprises four major groups: those of Portuguese descent, whose ancestors colonized Brazil beginning in the 16th century; descendants of Africans who were brought as slaves to Brazil; Europeans and Asians who began emigrating in the mid-nineteenth century; and indigenous peoples, primarily of Tupi and Guarani language groups. The national language is Portuguese. More than 80% of Brazilians profess the Roman Catholic faith; others belong to Protestant sects or practice spiritualism.

The unit of currency is the real . The Brazilian economy is diverse and export oriented. Economic expansion occurred at an annual rate of 1.5% in 2001, down from 4.5% in 2000. Inflation was 7.4% in 2001 and 10.9% in 2002. Unemployment stood at 6.2% in 2001 and 7.3% in 2002, with a large segment of the population being employed in the informal sector.

ADDRESS

Gabinete do Presidente
Palacio do Planalto
Praca dos Tres Poderes
70150 Brasilia, D.F.
Brazil

Read about the Culture of Brazil. More about Brazil's Culture.

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