The Federative Republic of Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world (approximately 10 per cent larger than Australia) and the largest country in Latin America. Brazil has around 16,000 kilometres of land borders with nine countries and French Guiana. Brazil, has a huge diversity in geography and temperatures, with the tropical Amazon in the north, semi-arid Brazilian outback (Sertão) in the Northeast, the massive Pantanal wetlands and hot central tablelands in the central west; sub-tropical to temperate in the south and south east, and even snow in the south during winter. Brazil’s name comes from the Brazilwood tree which was the first natural resource to be exploited by the Portuguese following their arrival in 1500.
The capital of Brazil is Brasília, a planned city like Canberra.
Brazil is the fifth most populous country in the world, with over 201 million people (2013 est), most of whom are descendants of Europeans and Africans. Indigenous communities represent 0.4% of the population. Roman Catholicism is the main religion, while other significant populations of other Christian denominations are present. Other religions and non-religious make up a small minority.
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil.
Border countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela