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Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil [bɾaˈziw]), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil, listen (help·info)), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. The capital is Brasília, and the most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas, besides being one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to the strong immigration from various places in the world.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
This is a list of the largest cities in Brazil. Brazil has a relatively high reported level of urbanization, with 8 out of every 10 Brazilians living in cities. The criteria used by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) in determining whether households are urban or rural, however, is based on political divisions, not on the built environment. A town is any seat of a district (the lowest political division); a city is the seat of a municipality. By such criteria, Brazil has over 5,000 cities and 12,000 towns. It is estimated that, if a more traditional criteria (size of human agglomeration, cultural and economic institutions, regional centrality, paving and street lighting) were used, perhaps 65% of Brazil's population would be urban, rather than 80%.
Cities in Brazil, except for the state of São Paulo, are usually not arranged in a network, but rather on various "export paths" to seaside ports. Some geographers have called this an "archipelago", and the most important cities are on the coast or close to it. State capitals are also each the largest city in its state, the exceptions being Vitória in Espírito Santo, and Florianópolis, the capital of Santa Catarina; there are also non-capital metropolitan areas in São Paulo (Campinas, Santos, Paraíba Valley), Minas Gerais (Vale do Aço), Rio Grande do Sul (Sinos Valley), and Santa Catarina (Itajaí Valley). Most of the non-capital large cities in Brazil are in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Paraná.
In the news
- August 6: Brazilian footballer Gabriel Jesus signs contract extension with Manchester City
- July 9: FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: France, Belgium beat Uruguay, Brazil
- July 5: FIFA World Cup 2018 Last 16: Brazil, Belgium advance at expense of Mexico, Japan
- July 1: FIFA World Cup 2018 day 12, 13, 14, 15: Iran, Nigeria, Germany, Senegal out of the tournament
- June 27: FIFA World Cup 2018 day eight, nine, ten, eleven: Belgium, England confirm knockout phase qualification; Poland, Costa Rica miss out Last 16
- June 19: FIFA World Cup 2018 day four: Mexico beats Germany; Serbia leads Group E, Brazil shares the spoils with Swiss
- November 25: Italian court sentences Brazilian footballer Robinho to nine years for 2013 sexual assault
- September 15: Football: Marcelo signs contract extension with Real Madrid
Did you know?
Ponta Negra is the name of one of the best known beaches in the city of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The large, crescent-shaped beach is located at the southern end of the Via Costeira, a major thoroughfare which follows the Atlantic coastline northward, linking the Ponta Negra area with the urban beaches of Praia dos Artistas, Praia do Meio, and Praia do Forte.