Mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Population: 201,009,622 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: 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
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)
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 its macroeconomic stability, building up foreign reserves, and reducing its debt profile by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments.
Brazil is a land of contrasts. Its cities combine modern skyscrapers, suburban houses, and impoverished slums. Known as favelas, Brazil's urban slums have been estimated to be home to as many as twenty-five million people. The inhabitants of favelas live in desperate poverty. Poor sanitation causes serious health problems. There is no garbage collection or sewer access. A life of crime is often the only alternative for unemployed youth with no economic opportunities.
WEALTH, POVERTY & CRIME (2:17)
US Military Presence/Support
The U.S. and Brazil have a long tradition of working together in many areas of mutual interest including global political, agricultural, security and economic development efforts, particularly in Africa and Latin America. The two countries have long engaged in educational exchanges and recently partnered to improve biodiversity conservation in the Amazon. U.S. government grants and businesses also support some social programs.