South America :: Brazil
page last updated on August 3, 2010
Flag of Brazil
Map of Brazil
Introduction ::Brazil
Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than half a century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. 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. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems. In January 2010, Brazil assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term.
Geography ::Brazil
Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Geographic coordinates:
10 00 S, 55 00 W
Map references:
South America
total: 8,514,877 sq km
country comparison to the world: 5
land: 8,459,417 sq km
water: 55,460 sq km
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries:
total: 16,885 km
border countries: Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia 1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km, Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km
7,491 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Current Weather
mostly tropical, but temperate in south
mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m
Natural resources:
bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Land use:
arable land: 6.93%
permanent crops: 0.89%
other: 92.18% (2005)
Irrigated land:
29,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
8,233 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 59.3 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)
per capita: 318 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
Environment - current issues:
deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador
People ::Brazil
country comparison to the world: 5
note: Brazil conducted a census in August 2000, which reported a population of 169,872,855; that figure was about 3.8% lower than projections by the US Census Bureau, and is close to the implied underenumeration of 4.6% for the 1991 census (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.5% (male 27,170,378/female 26,134,844)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 66,667,099/female 67,932,910)
65 years and over: 6.6% (male 5,578,397/female 7,619,702) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.9 years
male: 28.1 years
female: 29.7 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.166% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
Birth rate:
18.11 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
Death rate:
6.35 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
Net migration rate:
-0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
urban population: 86% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 21.86 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 94
male: 25.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.26 years
country comparison to the world: 124
male: 68.7 years
female: 76 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.19 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
730,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
15,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
noun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian
Ethnic groups:
white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census)
Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census)
Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.6%
male: 88.4%
female: 88.8% (2004 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
4% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 104
Government ::Brazil
Country name:
conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form: Brazil
local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form: Brasil
Government type:
federal republic
name: Brasilia
geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February
note: Brazil is divided into three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands
Administrative divisions:
26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins
7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 7 September (1822)
5 October 1988
Legal system:
based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory over 18 and under 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not vote
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
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elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held on 1 October 2006 with runoff on 29 October 2006 (next to be held on 3 October 2010 and, if necessary, 31 October 2010)
election results: Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (PT) reelected president - 60.83%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 39.17%
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds of members elected every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Federal Senate - last held on 1 October 2006 for one-third of the Senate (next to be held in October 2010 for two-thirds of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 1 October 2006 (next to be held in October 2010)
election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PFL 6, PSDB 5, PMDB 4, PTB 3, PT 2, PDT 1, PSB 1, PL 1, PPS 1, PRTB 1, PP 1, PCdoB 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 89, PT 83, PFL 65, PSDB 65, PP 42, PSB 27, PDT 24, PL 23, PTB 22, PPS 21, PCdoB 13, PV 13, PSC 9, other 17; note - as of 1 February 2010, the composition of the entire legislature is as follows: Federal Senate - seats by party - PMDB 17, DEM (formerly PFL) 16, PSDB 14, PT 11, PTB 7, PDT 6, PR 3, PRB 2, PSB 2, PCdoB 1, PP 1, PSC 1, PV 1, PSOL 1; Chamber of Deputies - seats by party - PMDB 88, PT 77, PSDB 57, DEM (formerly PFL) 56, PR 43, PP 38, PSB 27, PDT 23, PTB 25, PPS 15, PV 15, PSC 16, PCdoB 12, PRB 8, PHS 3, PMN 3, PSOL 3, PTC 3, PTdoB 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Higher Tribunal of Justice; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life); note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70
Political parties and leaders:
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Federal Deputy Michel TEMER]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON]; Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]; Brazilian Republican Party or PRB [Vitor Paulo Araujo DOS SANTOS]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Senator Sergio GUERRA]; Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Governor Eduardo Henrique Accioly CAMPOS]; Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]; Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos Roberto LUPI]; the Democrats or DEM [Federal Deputy Rodrigo MAIA] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL); Freedom and Socialism Party or PSOL [Heloisa HELENA]; Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz de Franca PENNA]; Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto MATOS]; Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE]; Liberal Front Party or PFL (now known as the Democrats or DEM); National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO]; Party of the Republic or PR [Sergio TAMER]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Federal Deputy Fernando CORUJA]; Progressive Party or PP [Francisco DORNELLES]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS]; Workers' Party or PT [Ricardo Jose Ribeiro BERZOINI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Landless Workers' Movement or MST
other: labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations; religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the Catholic Church
International organization participation:
AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, CAN (associate), CPLP, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, RG, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mauro Luiz Iecker VIEIRA
chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
note: temporary address - 1025 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Suite 300 W, Washington, DC
telephone: [1] (202) 238-2805
FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Clifford M. SOBEL
embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia
mailing address: Unit 7500, DPO, AA 34030
telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000
FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136
consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
consulate(s): Recife
Flag description:
green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress); the current flag was inspired by the banner of the former Empire of Brazil (1822-1889); on the imperial flag, the green represented the House of Braganza of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil, while the yellow stood for the Habsburg Family of his wife; on the modern flag the green represents the forests of the country and the yellow rhombus its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of 15 November 1889 - the day the Republic of Brazil was declared; the number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from an original 21 to the current 27 (one for each state and the Federal District)
Economy ::Brazil
Economy - overview:
Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets. Since 2003, Brazil has steadily improved macroeconomic stability, building up foreign reserves, reducing its debt profile by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments, adhering to an inflation target, and committing to fiscal responsibility. In 2008, Brazil became a net external creditor and two ratings agencies awarded investment grade status to its debt. After record growth in 2007 and 2008, the onset of the global financial crisis hit Braxil in September 2008. Brazil's currency and its stock market - Bovespa - saw large swings as foreign investors pulled resources out of Brazil. Brazil experienced two quarters of recession, as global demand for Brazil's commodity-based exports dwindled and external credit dried up. However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin a recovery. Consumer and investor confidence revived and GDP growth returned to positive in the second quarter, 2009. The Central Bank expects growth of 5% for 2010.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.025 trillion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
$2.029 trillion (2008 est.)
$1.931 trillion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.499 trillion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
5.1% (2008 est.)
6.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
$10,300 (2008 est.)
$10,000 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.1%
industry: 25.4%
services: 68.5% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
101.7 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 14%
services: 66% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
8.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
7.9% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line:
26% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 43% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
56.7 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 10
60.7 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed):
16.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
revenues: $354.8 billion
expenditures: $434.9 billion
Public debt:
60% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
58.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
5.9% (2008)
Central bank discount rate:
8.75% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 7
20.48% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
47.25% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 4
43.72% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$125 billion (30 November 2009)
country comparison to the world: 14
$95.03 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of quasi money:
$645 billion (30 November 2009)
country comparison to the world: 8
$724.5 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of domestic credit:
$1.249 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 10
$1.377 trillion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$1.338 trillion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 15
$589.4 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.37 trillion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
Industrial production growth rate:
-5.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
Electricity - production:
438.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
Electricity - consumption:
404.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
Electricity - exports:
2.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
42.06 billion kWh; note - supplied by Paraguay (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
2.572 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
Oil - consumption:
2.46 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
Oil - exports:
570,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
Oil - imports:
632,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
Oil - proved reserves:
12.62 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
Natural gas - production:
10.28 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
Natural gas - consumption:
18.72 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
Natural gas - exports:
NA (2009 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
8.44 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
Natural gas - proved reserves:
365 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
Current account balance:
-$24.3 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
-$28.19 billion (2008 est.)
$153 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$197.9 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
Exports - partners:
China 12.49%, US 10.5%, Argentina 8.4%, Netherlands 5.39%, Germany 4.05% (2009)
$127.7 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$173.1 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
Imports - partners:
US 16.12%, China 12.61%, Argentina 8.77%, Germany 7.65%, Japan 4.3% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$238.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$193.8 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$216.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$262.9 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$319.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
$294 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$117.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$127.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
reals (BRL) per US dollar - 2.0322 (2009), 1.8644 (2008), 1.85 (2007), 2.1761 (2006), 2.4344 (2005)
Communications ::Brazil
Telephones - main lines in use:
41.141 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 6
Telephones - mobile cellular:
150.641 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 5
Telephone system:
general assessment: good working system including an extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations; mobile-cellular usage has more than tripled in the past 5 years
domestic: fixed-line connections have remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per 100 persons; less expensive mobile-cellular technology has been a major driver in expanding telephone service to the lower-income segments of the population with mobile-cellular teledensity reaching 80 per 100 persons in 2008
international: country code - 55; landing point for a number of submarine cables, including Americas-1, Americas-2, Atlantis-2, GlobeNet, South Amrica-1, South American Crossing/Latin American Nautilius, and UNISUR that provide direct connectivity to South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2009)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM stations) (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
138 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
15.929 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 5
Internet users:
64.948 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 5
Transportation ::Brazil
4,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 2
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 721
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 171
914 to 1,523 m: 460
under 914 m: 56 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3,279
1,524 to 2,437 m: 87
914 to 1,523 m: 1,547
under 914 m: 1,645 (2009)
13 (2009)
condensate/gas 62 km; gas 9,989 km; liquid petroleum gas 353 km; oil 4,517 km; refined products 4,465 km (2009)
total: 28,857 km
country comparison to the world: 10
broad gauge: 5,709 km 1.600-m gauge (459 km electrified)
standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 22,954 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
total: 1,751,868 km
country comparison to the world: 4
paved: 96,353 km
unpaved: 1,655,515 km (2004)
50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 3
Merchant marine:
total: 136
country comparison to the world: 45
by type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 22, carrier 1, chemical tanker 7, container 11, liquefied gas 12, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker 45, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 25 (Chile 1, Denmark 2, Germany 6, Greece 1, Mexico 1, Norway 5, Spain 9)
registered in other countries: 8 (Argentina 1, Bahamas 2, Ghana 1, Liberia 3, Marshall Islands 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Guaiba, Ilha Grande, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Santos, Sao Sebastiao, Tubarao
Transportation - note:
the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a significant risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
Military ::Brazil
Military branches:
Brazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil (MB), includes Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
21-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 52,942,805
females age 16-49: 53,038,688 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 38,518,822
females age 16-49: 44,560,717 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 1,712,427
female: 1,652,491 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.7% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 88
Transnational Issues ::Brazil
Disputes - international:
unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations; two uncontested boundary disputes with Uruguay over Isla Brasilera at the tripoint with Argentina at the confluence of the Quarai/Cuareim and Uruguay rivers, and in the 235 square kilometer Invernada River region over which tributary represents the legitimate source of the Quarai/Cuareim River; the Itaipu Dam reservoir covers over a once contested section of Brazil-Paraguay boundary west of Guaira Falls on the Rio Parana; an accord placed the long-disputed Isla Suarez/Ilha de Guajara-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Rio Mamore, under Bolivian administration in 1958, but sovereignty remains in dispute
Illicit drugs:
second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; illicit producer of cannabis; trace amounts of coca cultivation in the Amazon region, used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian, Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; illicit narcotics proceeds are often laundered through the financial system; significant illicit financial activity in the Tri-Border Area (2008)

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)