Mato Grosso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu] (listen) – lit. "Thick Bush") is one of the states of Brazil, the third largest by area, located in the Central-West region.[3] The state has 1.66% of the Brazilian population and is responsible for 1.9% of the Brazilian GDP.

Mato Grosso
Estado de Mato Grosso
State of Mato Grosso
Flag of Mato Grosso
Coat of arms of Mato Grosso
Virtute Plusquam Auro
("By virtue more than by gold")
Anthem: "Hino de Mato Grosso"
Location of Mato Grosso (in red) in Brazil
Location of Mato Grosso (in red) in Brazil
Coordinates: 15°34′S 56°04′W / 15.567°S 56.067°W / -15.567; -56.067Coordinates: 15°34′S 56°04′W / 15.567°S 56.067°W / -15.567; -56.067
Country Brazil
Capital and largest cityCuiabá
 • GovernorMauro Mendes (UNIÃO)
 • Vice GovernorOtaviano Pivetta (Ind.)
 • SenatorsCarlos Fávaro (PSD)
Jayme Campos (UNIÃO)
Wellington Fagundes (PL)
 • Total903,357 km2 (348,788 sq mi)
 • Rank3rd
Highest elevation902 m (2,959 ft)
 • Total3,035,122
 • Estimate 
 • Rank17th
 • Density3.4/km2 (8.7/sq mi)
  • Rank25th
 • Year2014 estimate
 • TotalR$ 101.235 billion (14th)
 • Per capitaR$ 31,396,81 (8th)
 • Year2017
 • Category0.774[2]high (7th)
Time zoneUTC-4 (BRT-1)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (BRT-1)
Postal Code
78000-000 to 78890-000
ISO 3166 codeBR-MT

Neighboring states (from west clockwise) are: Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. The state is roughly 82.2% of the size of its southwest neighbor, the nation of Bolivia. A state with a flat landscape that alternates between vast chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso contains three main ecosystems: the Cerrado, the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest. Open pasture vegetation covers 40% of the state.

The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with caves, grottoes, tracks, and waterfalls, is one of its tourist attractions. In the north is the biodiverse Amazonian forest, which originally covered half of the state. Much of this has been disrupted and cleared for logging, agricultural purposes and pastures. The Xingu Indigenous Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Farther south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for nearly one thousand species of animals and many aquatic birds.


The terrain of Mato Grosso is varied and includes cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls. It is home to the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, a unique environment of sandstone mountains that have eroded into amazingly varied terrain.

The biologically rich Pantanal, one of the world's largest wetland/prairie ecosystems, is also located within this state. Much environmental degradation has occurred to the Pantanal since the late 20th century because of development, and efforts to contain or slow it have had limited success. The Pantanal has a habitat similar to that of the Everglades in Florida in the United States, although the Pantanal is on a much larger scale.

Pantanal scenery in Mato Grosso


The Bororo Indians live in the Mato Grosso area. As late as 1880, soldiers patrolled lands on the outskirts of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso's capital and largest city, to protect settlers from Bororo raids.

By the end of the 19th century, although severely reduced by disease and by warfare with explorers, slave traders, prospectors, settlers, and other indigenous groups, as many as five to 10 thousand Bororo continued to occupy central and eastern Mato Grosso, as well as western Goiás.[4] The southwestern part of this state was ceded by Brazil to Bolivia in exchange for the then-Bolivian territory of Acre, according to the Treaty of Petrópolis in 1903.

This historically remote area attracted expeditions of exploration in the early 20th century that sought to find lost civilizations. A notable example was British Captain Percy Fawcett's expedition to find the Lost City of Z which he believed existed in the jungles of Brazil. Certain proponents of the Hollow Earth hypothesis speculated that the region had sites of access to the interior of the earth and its settlements.

In 1977, the state was split into two halves, and the neighboring state of Mato Grosso do Sul was created from the other part of its territory.


Mato Grosso had a high rate of population growth in the 20th century due to timber, ranching and agricultural development. The state as a whole has one of the lowest population densities of any Brazilian state. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 3,441,998 people resided in the state as of 2018. The population density was 3.8 inhabitants/km2.

Ethnically, the state includes a relatively high proportion of caboclos (persons of mixed European and Indian ancestry), as do other areas of interior Brazil. The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 1,532,000 Brown (Mixed) people (50.92%); 1,179,000 White people (39.16%); 239,000 Black people (7.93%); 41,000 Amerindian people (1.37%); and 14,000 Asian people (0.45%).[6]

Largest citiesEdit

Largest cities or towns in Mato Grosso
Rank Mesoregion Pop. Rank Mesoregion Pop.
Várzea Grande
1 Cuiabá Centro-Sul 556,298 11 Lucas do Rio Verde Norte 47,570  
2 Várzea Grande Centro-Sul 255,448 12 Pontes e Lacerda Sudoeste 41,741
3 Rondonópolis Sudeste 198,949 13 Juína Norte 39,350
4 Sinop Norte 116,013 14 Juara Norte 36,168
5 Cáceres Centro-Sul 88,427 15 Barra do Bugres Norte 33,034
6 Tangará da Serra Sudoeste 84,076 16 Campo Verde Centro-Sul 32,692
7 Sorriso Norte 68,894 17 Guarantã do Norte Norte 32,524
8 Barra do Garças Nordeste 56,903 18 Nova Mutum Centro-Sul 32,134
9 Primavera do Leste Sudeste 53,003 19 Poconé Centro-Sul 31,856
10 Alta Floresta Norte 49,331 20 Peixoto de Azevedo Centro-Sul 31,169


Soy plantation in Mato Grosso
Cattle in Mato Grosso

Agriculture is the largest component of the state's GDP at 40.8%, followed by the service sector at 40.2%. The industrial sector represents 19% of the GDP (2004). Mato Grosso's major exports include soybeans (83%), wood (5.6%), meats (4.8%), and cotton (3.3%) (2002).

The state's share of the Brazilian economy is 1.8% (2014).

In 2020, Mato Grosso was the leader in the national grain production, with 28.0%.[8] It's the largest producer of soy in Brazil, with 26.9% of the total produced in 2020 (33.0 million tons); the largest producer of maize in the country;[9] the largest producer of cotton in Brazil, with around 65% of national production (1.8 out of the 2.8 million tons harvested in the country).;[10][11] the sixth largest producer of sugarcane in the country, 16 million tons harvested in the 2019/20 harvest.;[12][8] and the third largest producer of beans, with 10.5% of Brazilian production.[8] In sunflowers, the state was the largest national producer in 2019, with 60,000 tons.[13] In cassava production, Brazil produced a total of 17.6 million tons in 2018. Mato Grosso produced 287,000 tons at this year.[14]

In 2019, the cattle herd from Mato Grosso reached the mark of 30 million cattle, the largest cattle herd in the country, representing almost 14% of national production alone. In 2018, Mato Grosso was the fifth largest pork producer in the country, with a herd of around 2.5 million animals.[15][16][17][18]

In 2017, Mato Grosso had 1.15% of the national mineral participation (fifth place in the country). Mato Grosso had production of gold (8.3 tons at a value of R$1 billion) and tin (536 tons at a value of R$16 million).[19] In addition, in gemstones, the state is the second largest national producer of diamond, having extracted 49,000 carats in the year 2017. The city of Juína is the main one in this activity in the state. The state also has a small production of sapphire and jasper.[20][21]

Mato Grosso had an industrial GDP of R$17.0 billion in 2017, equivalent to 1.4% of the national industry. It employs 141,121 workers in the industry. The main industrial sectors are: Construction (32.0%), Food (27.9%), Industrial Services of Public Utility, such as Electricity and Water (18.6%), Beverages (4.5%) and Oil Products Oil and Biofuels (3.9%). These five sectors concentrate 86.9% of the state's industry.[22]


  • Vehicles: 1,614,797 (January 2015)
  • Mobile phones: 4,500,000 (January 2015)
  • Telephones: 527,000 (April 2007)
  • Cities: 141 (2007)[23]


Portuguese is the official national language and the primary language taught in schools. English and Spanish are also taught as part of the official high school curriculum.

More than 58 universities are located in the state of Mato Grosso.[24]

Cuiabá is home to the following universities:

Rondonópolis also has the Federal University of Ronodonópolis (UFR) [pt], formerly a part of UFMT until 2018.


Kuikuro people from Mato Grosso

The local culture is very rich due to the influences of and encounters with various cultures, such as indigenous peoples, colonial Spanish and other European settlers, Africans enslaved and transported there in the Atlantic slave trade, originally by the Portuguese, and other Europeans; and immigrants and settlers since the late 19th century. Two long periods of isolation also contributed to its development along different lines than the coastal areas of Brazil. Recent immigration has brought many urban influences to the state. Cuiabá has a rich cuisine influenced by natives. They have maintained traditional dances, craftwork and music.

Dance and music were traditionally connected to the worship of Catholic saints and their festivals, Saint Benedict (the city's patron saint) being one of the favorites.


The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday, known as Carnival, is well celebrated. As with every state in Brazil, Mato Grosso celebrates this holiday in a typical fashion—including parades, music, and dance—with wide participation.


The state flag has similar colors to the flag of Brazil, with blue symbolizing the sky, green the vegetation, and white standing for peace. The star is yellow to symbolize the gold which attracted the first settlers. The flag was adopted by Decree No. 2 of January 31, 1890, just a few days after the adoption of the national flag. The Mato Grosso state flag was abolished by Law No. 1.046 of October 8, 1929, but reinstated by article 140 of the Constitution of the State of Mato Grosso on July 11, 1947.

Tourism and recreationEdit

Alta FlorestaEdit

Fishing in the Teles Pires, São Benedito and Azul rivers is productive practically all year long.

With more than 570 species of catalogued birds and new species being discovered every year, the region of Alta Floresta, Cristalino and the Azul River Basin receives constant visits from ornithologists and bird watchers.

Chapada dos GuimarãesEdit

The largest sandstone cavern in Brazil, Aroe Jari, extends nearly 1,550 metres (5,090 ft), and several prehistoric inscriptions can be found inside.

North PantanalEdit

The Pantanal's backbone is the Paraguay River, which cuts through the region from north to south. The Miranda, Aquidauna, Taquari, and Cuiabá rivers flow into the Paraguay River. From October to April, the high waters reveal outsized lakes, bays, river branches, and outlets.

The Transpantaneira Highway connects the town of Poconé to Jofre Port, along the Cuiabá River bank. It is a dirt road with 126 wooden bridges, and extends for 149 kilometres (93 mi). On the way, it is possible to observe wild animals, especially alligators, capybaras, and birds, among other wild animals.

SESC's Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN) increases by one-third the total area of this preserved ecosystem in Mato Grosso.

Over 160 different species of birds have been observed in the Pantanal, and still many species in the area have not yet been identified.

Águas Quentes State ParkEdit

The 1,487 hectares (3,670 acres) Águas Quentes State Park, the first protected area in Mato Grosso, is known for the healing powers of its thermal waters.[25]

Lagoa Azul State ParkEdit

The Gruta da Lagoa Azul State Park (Portuguese: Parque Estadual Gruta da Lagoa Azul) is a state park in the municipality of Nobres, Mato Grosso, with an area of 12,513 hectares (30,920 acres).[26] Its primary attraction is a limestone cave with a pool of blue water and unusual cave formations. These have suffered from vandalism, causing the cave to be closed until measures to protect it could be implemented. The blue lagoon cave holds a pool of blue water formed from underground water of the Saloba River.[27] The main entrance is filled in part by the water. The hall contains columns over 5 metres (16 ft) in size and 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. There may be archaeological remains in the cave. The park has several other limestone caves. It is covered with deciduous forests, and is home to howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, and macaws.[28]



BR-174 highway in Mato Grosso

Marechal Rondon International Airport, located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city center of Cuiabá, in the suburb of Várzea Grande, started receiving international flights in 1996. It now serves more than half a million passengers a year.

The runway at Marechal Rondon was opened to traffic in 1956. In February 1975, Infraero took over the airport's administration and began various upgrades to meet the needs of the airport complex.


The 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Northern Brazil Railway [pt] connects Mato Grosso with the state of São Paulo and sea ports. Rumo Logística only operates freight trains on the line, which runs as far inland as Rondonópolis.[29] An extension northward to Cuiabá and Lucas do Rio Verde is planned as of 2021.[30]

It crosses the large Rollemberg–Vuolo Bridge over the Paraná River when passing into Mato Grosso do Sul.


  • BR-070
  • BR-173
  • BR-174
  • BR-158
  • BR-163
  • BR-197
  • BR-242
  • BR-252
  • BR-364
  • MT-100
  • MT-358


Cuiabá was one of 12 cities chosen to host the games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Brazil.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Projeção da população do Brasil e das Unidades da Federação" [Projected population of Brazil and the Federal States] (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 1 March 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Radar IDHM: evolução do IDHM e de seus índices componentes no período de 2012 a 2017" (PDF) (in Portuguese). PNUD Brasil. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  3. ^ Note: also once spelled "Matto Grosso". The town of Matto Grosso was formerly called Villa Bella." Source: Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, vol.2, by Lieut. USN. Lardner Gibbon 1853; chapter 11. p. 275
  4. ^ "Myths of pacification: Brazilian frontier settlement and the subjugation of the Bororo Indians", Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Source: PNAD.
  6. ^ Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: Tabela 262 - População residente, por cor ou raça, situação e sexo [National Household Sample Survey: Table 262 - Resident population, by color or race, situation and sex] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Mato Grosso, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 978-85-240-3919-5. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  7. ^ "Estimativas da população residente nos municípios brasileiros com data de referência em 1º de julho de 2011" [Estimates of the Resident Population of Brazilian Municipalities as of July 1, 2011] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. 30 August 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  8. ^ a b c IBGE prevê safra recorde de grãos em 2020
  9. ^ Quatro estados concentram quase 70% da produção de grãos do país
  10. ^ Qualidade do algodão de MT é destaque em congresso nacional
  11. ^ MT segue como líder isolado na produção de algodão e safra sobe para 65% em 2017/18
  12. ^ Goiás é o segundo maior produtor de cana-de-açúcar do País
  13. ^ MT é o maior produtor de girassol do país
  14. ^ Produção brasileira de mandioca em 2018
  15. ^ Rebanho bovino de Mato Grosso chega a 30.3 milhões de cabeças
  16. ^ Mato Grosso tem o maior rebanho bovino do país e representa 13,8% da produção nacional
  17. ^ Para suinocultores de MT, entrada da carne suína dos EUA no Brasil agravaria a crise do setor
  18. ^ Mato Grosso prevê crescimento de 67% de sua produção de suínos nos próximos dez anos
  19. ^ Anuário Mineral Brasileiro 2018
  20. ^ Com produção de 49 mil quilates de diamante por ano, MT ocupa a 2ª colocação no ranking nacional
  21. ^ Algumas Gemas Clássicas
  22. ^ Industry Profile of Mato Grosso
  23. ^ Source: IBGE.
  24. ^ "Ser Universitário - Tudo sobre o mundo universitário e estudantil!".
  25. ^ PES Águas Quentes (in Portuguese), ISA: Instituto Socioambiental, retrieved 2016-08-01
  26. ^ PES Gruta da Lagoa Azul – ISA, Informações gerais.
  27. ^ PES Gruta da Lagoa Azul – ISA, Características.
  28. ^ Parque Estadual Gruta da Lagoa Azul – Via Rural.
  29. ^ "Railways Map of Brazil". Rumo. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  30. ^ "MT: Ferronorte irá até Cuiabá e Lucas do Rio Verde". Portal Agrolink (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2021-04-12.

External linksEdit