Regions of Brazil

Currently, according to the IBGE, Brazil is divided into five regions , composed of states that have similarities in their physical, human, economic and cultural aspects.

As you can see from the map below, the limits of each region coincide with those of the states that compose them. Of the regions established by IBGE, the largest one is in the North.

This form of division of the territory is important to carry out surveys of official data released by the government and to favor the dissemination of statistical censuses that make it possible to plan governmental actions that meet the needs of each administrative region.

However, it must be clarified that the statistics, based on numerical data, often do not reveal the complex socioeconomic realities experienced in the country.

These limits are insufficient to explain the socioeconomic organization of Brazil today. We can mention some examples: the Sertão , which characterizes a large part of the Northeast, goes beyond the official limits of this region, advancing through the north of Minas Gerais (Southeast region). The Amazon exceeds the limits of the North region, extending to the north of Mato Grosso and to the western portion of Maranhão.

According to relationshipsplus, each of the five regions of Brazil has particular characteristics, which help to identify them.

North region

Formed by the states of Amazonas, Pará, Acre, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá and Tocantins

The North region is located, almost entirely, in the area of the Amazon basin , being widely covered by the lush tropical forest. The Amazon River cuts the region in half, in a west-east direction, and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. There are also several other rivers in this region. The two main cities are Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, and Belém, capital of the state of Pará.

Between the 60s and 70s there was a renewed interest in the mineral wealth and agricultural potential of the Amazon.

Government efforts to encourage agricultural development in the Amazon have resulted in growing threats of environmental problems to the region. During the 1970s and 1980s, development projects and migratory movements led to the deforestation of 328,700 km2 in the region. As a result, the Brazilian government has adopted a series of policies to control development. Tax incentives and official credits for agricultural projects and livestock development in the region were suspended.

The protection of the Amazon is currently monitored via satellite and internal efforts in this regard have been reinforced by the support of the international community, through the Pilot Program for the Protection of the Brazilian Tropical Forest, sponsored by the European Community, the United States and several other countries.

Northeast Region

Formed by the states of Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Bahia, Alagoas and Sergipe.

Much of this region, which is home to almost 30% of the Brazilian population, is subject to chronic droughts. The Northeast region, however, has considerable economic possibilities, which include large oil deposits, the export of tropical products and the promotion of tourism.

Pernambuco and Bahia were the first most important centers in colonial Brazil and still have a strong influence on Brazilian culture today. Many of the typically Brazilian products in the field of music, folklore and cuisine, as well as a large part of Brazilian social customs and practices, originated in this region. The two largest cities in the Northeast are Recife and Salvador.

Southeast region

Formed by the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo

The economic center of Brazil is formed by the highly industrialized cities located in the vicinity of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. Most of the country’s population is concentrated in the Southeast region. The area is rich in minerals and its agriculture, the most advanced in the country, produces coffee and cereals for export, in addition to a variety of fresh and industrialized foods, milk and meat for domestic consumption.

South region

Formed by the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul

The South region also has a high level of development, maintaining a good balance between the rural and industrial sectors.

Towards the south the plateau is transformed into extensive plains called pampas , where traditional herding activities gave rise to the gaucho, the Brazilian equivalent to the cowboy of that region.

To the west, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, are the Iguaçu Falls, one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. The largest city in the region is Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, the state on the southern border of Brazil.

Midwest region

Formed by the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás , in addition to the Federal District .

This region, covered by extensive tropical savannas and plateaus, is still sparsely populated. Although in the past it was one of the most isolated regions in the country, it has been experiencing rapid growth in its agricultural and industrial production.

The city of Brasilia, capital of the country, founded in 1960, is located in the Center-West region. Extensive areas of the Center-West region have been transformed by the federal government into reserves for the exclusive use of the native Indians of that region. The Pantanal Mato-Grossense is also located in the Center-West region, a precious ecological reserve of Brazilian flora and fauna.

Regions of Brazil