States of Brazil

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The Federal Republic of Brazil is a union of twenty-seven Federal Units (Portuguese: Unidades Federativas (UF)): twenty-six states (estados) and one federal district (distrito federal), where the federal capital, Brasília, is located. The states are generally based on historical, conventional borders which have developed over time. The Federal District is not a state in its own right, but shares some characteristics of a state as well as some of a municipality. The Federal District is bordered by the states of Goiás and Minas Gerais. The codes given below are defined in ISO 3166-2:BR.

Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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History[edit]

The first administrative divisions of Brazil were the hereditary captaincies (capitanias hereditárias), stretches of land granted to Portuguese noblemen or merchants with a charter to colonize the land. These captaincies were to be passed from father to son, but the crown retained the power of revoking it, which the king indeed did in the 16th century[disputed ]. Then the vast Portuguese dominion in South America was divided between the State of Brazil, in the southern half, and the State of Maranhão, in the northern half (note that Maranhão by then referred not only to current Maranhão, but rather to the whole of the Amazon region; the name marã-nã in old Tupi language means "wide river", i.e. the Amazon River).

After the Iberian Union (1580–1640), the territory of Portuguese colonial domains in South America was more than doubled, and the land was divided into captaincies, royal captaincies and provinces. Unlike Spanish America, the whole territory was united under a single viceroy, with a seat in Salvador (and after 1763, Rio de Janeiro). This situation contributed later to keeping Brazil as a unified nation-state and avoiding the fragmentation of the Spanish domains.

With independence, in 1822, the colony became an empire and all captaincies were turned into provinces. Most internal borders were kept unchanged from the colonial period, generally following natural features such as rivers and mountain ridges. Minor changes were made to suit domestic politics (such as the Triângulo Mineiro from Goiás to Minas Gerais, the splitting of Paraná and ceding the south bank of the São Francisco River from Pernambuco to Bahia), as well as additions resulting from diplomatic settlement of territorial disputes by the end of the 19th century (Amapá, Roraima, Palmas). When Brazil became a republic in 1889, all provinces were immediately turned into states.

In 1943, with the entrance of Brazil into the Second World War, the Vargas regime detached seven strategic territories from the border of the country in order to administer them directly: Amapá, Rio Branco, Acre, Guaporé, Ponta Porã, Iguaçu and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. After the war, the first three territories became states, with Rio Branco and Guaporé being renamed Roraima and Rondônia, respectively, whilst Ponta Porã and Iguaçu remained as territories. In 1988, Fernando de Noronha became part of Pernambuco.

In 1960, the square-shaped Distrito Federal was carved out of Goiás in preparation for the new capital, Brasília. The previous federal district became Guanabara State until in 1975 it was merged with Rio de Janeiro State, retaining its name and with the municipality of Rio de Janeiro as its capital.

In 1977, Mato Grosso was split into two states. The northern area retained the name Mato Grosso while the southern area became the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, with Campo Grande as its capital. The new Mato Grosso do Sul incorporated the territory of Ponta Porã and the northern part of Iguaçu. Central Iguaçu went to Paraná, and southern Iguaçu went to Santa Catarina.

In 1988, the northern portion of Goiás became Tocantins State, with Palmas as its capital.

Evolution of state divisions[edit]

1621
Two states 
1709
Greatest extent of São Paulo state 
1823
Imperial provinces 
1889
At the start of Republic 
1943
Border territories 
1990
Current 

Proposed division of Pará[edit]

On 11 December 2011, a plebiscite was held in the state of Pará to consult the population about the possibility of splitting the state of Pará into three different states (Pará, Tapajós and Carajás). Both Tapajós and Carajás were rejected by the population by approximate margins of 2:1.[1]

List of Brazilian states[edit]

Flag State Abbreviation Capital Area (km²) Population (2014) Density (2014) GDP (% total) (2014) GDP per capita (R$) (2014) HDI (2010) Literacy (2014) Infant mortality (2014) Life expectancy (2014)
Bandeira do Acre.svg Acre AC Rio Branco 152,581.4 790,500 5.2 7,520,000 (0.2%) 12,898 0.663 94% 16‰ 75.4
Bandeira de Alagoas.svg Alagoas AL Maceió 27,767.7 3,322,000 119.6 2,160,000 (0.6%) 7,874 0.631 90% 17‰ 73.5
Bandeira do Amapá.svg Amapá AP Macapá 142,814.6 751,000 5.3 6,765,000 (0.2%) 14,020 0.708 99% 16‰ 75.4
Bandeira do Amazonas.svg Amazonas AM Manaus 1,570,745.7 3,859,700 2.5 59,450,254 (1.6%) 14,787 0.674 96% 19‰ 73.7
Bandeira da Bahia.svg Bahia BA Salvador 564,692.7 15,127,000 26.8 181,798,000 (3.7%) 13,881 0.660 91% 20‰ 74.3
Bandeira do Ceará.svg Ceará CE Fortaleza 148,825.6 8,448,055 56.8 79,800,000 (1.9%) 13,735 0.682 93% 16.5‰ 74.9
Bandeira do Distrito Federal (Brasil).svg Distrito Federal DF Brasília 5,822.1 2,886,520 490.7 215,572,000 (3.9%) 49,045 0.824 98.8% 6.5‰ 79.8
Bandeira do Espírito Santo.svg Espírito Santo ES Vitória 46,077.5 3,511,672 76.2 69,870,000 (2.3%) 20,231 0.740 99% 4.8‰ 80.1
Bandeira de Goiás.svg Goiás GO Goiânia 340,086.7 6,524,000 19.2 118,275,000 (2.5%) 20,931 0.735 97% 9‰ 75.9
Bandeira do Maranhão.svg Maranhão MA São Luís 331,983.3 6,851,000 20.6 68,487,000 (1.2%) 8,710 0.639 90% 19‰ 72.5
Bandeira de Mato Grosso.svg Mato Grosso MT Cuiabá 903,357.9 3,225,000 3.6 78,023,000 (1.6%) 17,702 0.725 94% 13‰ 74.6
Bandeira de Mato Grosso do Sul.svg Mato Grosso do Sul MS Campo Grande 357,125.0 2,620,300 7.3 46,145,000 (1.1%) 21,038 0.729 97% 7‰ 76.1
Bandeira de Minas Gerais.svg Minas Gerais MG Belo Horizonte 586,528.3 20,736,000 35.4 368,522,000 (9.1%) 24,053 0.731 98.6% 6.1‰ 78.7
Bandeira do Pará.svg Pará PA Belém 1,247,689.5 8,075,000 6.5 71,519,000 (1.9%) 14,567 0.646 94% 16‰ 74.2
Bandeira da Paraíba.svg Paraíba PB João Pessoa 56,439.8 3,945,000 69.9 32,500,000 (0.9%) 9,365 0.658 92% 17‰ 74.1
Bandeira do Paraná.svg Paraná PR Curitiba 199,314.9 11,084,000 55.6 365,270,000 (6.1%) 23,824 0.749 98% 7‰ 77.8
Bandeira de Pernambuco.svg Pernambuco PE Recife 98,311.6 9,279,000 94.4 70,441,000 (2.3%) 13,332 0.673 92% 19‰ 74.8
Bandeira do Piauí.svg Piauí PI Teresina 251,529.2 3,119,015 12.4 16,761,000 (0.5%) 5,373 0.646 90% 18‰ 72.7
Bandeira do estado do Rio de Janeiro.svg Rio de Janeiro RJ Rio de Janeiro 43,696.1 16,385,000 375.0 465,182,000 (11.2%) 26,777 0.761 99% 13‰ 77.1
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Norte.svg Rio Grande do Norte RN Natal 52,796.8 3,421,000 64.8 41,481,000 (0.8%) 16,098 0.684 95.1% 13.8‰ 76.7
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Sul.svg Rio Grande do Sul RS Porto Alegre 281,748.5 11,352,000 40.3 255,499,000 (5.6%) 25,728 0.746 99% 4‰ 79.3
Bandeira de Rondônia.svg Rondônia RO Porto Velho 237,576.2 1,752,000 7.4 25,900,000 (0.6%) 13,075 0.690 94.6% 18.5‰ 73.7
Bandeira de Roraima.svg Roraima RR Boa Vista 224,299.0 497,000 2.2 9,253,000 (0.2%) 13,665 0.707 94.5% 15.1‰ 73.5
Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg Santa Catarina SC Florianópolis 95,346.2 6,668,250 69.9 240,500,000 (4.9%) 26,011 0.774 99% 3.0‰ 81
Bandeira do estado de São Paulo.svg São Paulo SP São Paulo 248,209.4 44,065,000 177.5 1,395,600,000 (33.9%) 29,473 0.783 99% 4.5‰ 79.8
Bandeira de Sergipe.svg Sergipe SE Aracaju 21,910.3 2,225,000 101.6 19,522,000 (0.7%) 13,265 0.665 93% 18‰ 73.0
Bandeira do Tocantins.svg Tocantins TO Palmas 277,620.9 1,500,000 5.4 21,091,000 (0.4%) 15,506 0.699 94% 17‰ 74.5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]