States of Brazil
|Location||Federative Republic of Brazil|
|Populations||496,936 (Roraima) – 44,035,304 (São Paulo)|
|Areas||21,910 km2 (8,459.6 sq mi) (Sergipe) – 1,570,800 km2 (606,470 sq mi) (Amazonas)|
The Federative Republic of Brazil is a union of twenty-seven Federative 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 codes given below are defined in ISO 3166-2:BR.
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The present states of Brazil trace their history directly to the captaincies established by Portugal following the incursion, in 1500, into what would become Brazil.
The first administrative divisions of Brazil were the hereditary captaincies (capitanias hereditárias), stretches of land granted by the Portuguese Crown to noblemen or merchants with a charter to colonize the land. Each of the holders of these captaincies was referred as a captain donatary (capitão donatário). 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 ].
In 1549, the Portuguese Crown appointed Tomé de Sousa as the first governor-general of the vast Portuguese dominion in South America. This dominion became collectively known as the State of Brazil (Estado do Brasil). In several periods of the history, the northern half of the dominion was detached from the State of Brazil, becoming a separate entity known as the State of Maranhão (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 hereditary and royal captaincies, with the last of these being governed directly by the Crown. Unlike Spanish America, the whole territory kept united under a single governor-general (with the permanent title of viceroy after 1720), 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.
In 1759, the hereditarily of the captaincies was totally abolished by the government of the Marquis of Pombal, with all captains becoming appointed by the Crown. The captaincies were officially renamed "provinces" on the 28 February 1821.
With independence, in 1822, the former captaincies became provinces of the Empire of Brazil. 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.
The state government constitutes the executive branch in each of the states of Brazil. It is headed by a state governor and also includes a vice-governor, several secretaries of state - each one in charge of given a portfolio - and the state attorney-general.
The state legislature branch is the legislative assembly, a unicameral body composed of state deputies.
The judiciary in each of the states is made of a Court of Justice and the judges of law. The judges of law constitute courts of first instance. The Court of Justice is the court of second instance of the state and is made of judges called desembargadores.
Evolution of state divisions
Captaincies at the time of Inconfidência Mineira
Proposed division of Pará
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.
List of Brazilian states
|Flag||State||Abbreviation||Capital||Area (km²)||Area (sq mi)||Population (2014)||Density (2014) (km²)||Density (2014) (sq mi)||GDP (% total) (2012)||GDP per capita (R$) (2012)||HDI (2010)||Literacy (2014)||Infant mortality (2014)||Life expectancy (2014)|
|Acre||AC||Rio Branco||152,581.4||58,912||790,101||4.47||13||9.629 ( 0.2%)||12.690||0.663||94%||16‰||75.4|
|Alagoas||AL||Maceió||27,767.7||10,721||3,321,730||112.3||309||29.545 ( 0.7%)||9.333||0.631||90%||17‰||73.5|
|Amapá||AP||Macapá||142,814.6||55,151||750,912||4.69||13||10.420 ( 0.2%)||14.914||0.708||99%||16‰||75.4|
|Amazonas||AM||Manaus||1,570,745.7||606,470||3,873,743||2.23||6||64.120 ( 1.7%)||17.855||0.674||96%||19‰||73.7|
|Bahia||BA||Salvador||564,692.7||218,030||15,126,371||24.82||69||167.727 ( 3.8%)||11.832||0.660||91%||20‰||74.3|
|Ceará||CE||Fortaleza||148,825.6||57,462||8,842,791||56.8||153||90.132 ( 2.0%)||10.473||0.682||93%||16.5‰||74.9|
|Distrito Federal||DF||Brasília||5,822.1||2,249.9||2,852,372||444.66||1,268||171.236 ( 3.9%)||64.653||0.824||98.8%||6.5‰||79.8|
|Espírito Santo||ES||Vitória||46,077.5||17,791||3,885,049||76.25||218||107.329 ( 2.2%)||29.996||0.740||99%||4.8‰||80.1|
|Goiás||GO||Goiânia||340,086.7||131,310||6,523,222||17.65||49||123.926 ( 2.4%)||20.134||0.735||97%||9‰||75.9|
|Maranhão||MA||São Luís||331,983.3||128,180||6,850,884||19.81||53||58.920 ( 1.2%)||8.760||0.639||90%||19‰||72.5|
|Mato Grosso||MT||Cuiabá||903,357.9||348,790||3,224,357||3.36||9||80.830 ( 1.5%)||25.945||0.725||94%||13‰||74.6|
|Mato Grosso do Sul||MS||Campo Grande||357,125.0||137,890||2,619,657||6.86||19||54.471 ( 1.0%)||21.744||0.729||97%||7‰||76.1|
|Minas Gerais||MG||Belo Horizonte||586,528.3||226,460||20,734,097||33.41||91||403.551 ( 9.2%)||20.324||0.731||98.6%||6.1‰||78.7|
|Pará||PA||Belém||1,247,689.5||481,740||8,073,924||6.07||16||91.009 ( 1.9%)||11.678||0.646||94%||16‰||74.2|
|Paraíba||PB||João Pessoa||56,439.8||21,792||3,943,885||66.70||180||38.731 ( 0.8%)||10.151||0.658||92%||17‰||74.1|
|Paraná||PR||Curitiba||199,314.9||76,956||11,081,692||52.40||143||255.927 ( 5.8%)||24.194||0.749||98%||7‰||77.8|
|Pernambuco||PE||Recife||98,311.6||37,958||9,277,727||89.62||244||117.340 ( 2.3%)||13.138||0.673||92%||19‰||74.8|
|Piauí||PI||Teresina||251,529.2||97,726||3,194,178||12.4||32||25.721 ( 0.5%)||8.137||0.646||90%||18‰||72.7|
|Rio de Janeiro||RJ||Rio de Janeiro||43,696.1||16,871||16,461,173||365.23||975||504.221 ( 11.5%)||31.064||0.761||99%||13‰||77.1|
|Rio Grande do Norte||RN||Natal||52,796.8||20,385||3,408,510||59.99||167||39.544 ( 0.9%)||12.249||0.684||95.1%||13.8‰||76.7|
|Rio Grande do Sul||RS||Porto Alegre||281,748.5||108,780||11,207,274||37.96||103||277.658 ( 6.3%)||25.779||0.746||99%||4‰||79.3|
|Rondônia||RO||Porto Velho||237,576.2||91,729||1,748,531||6.58||19||29.362 ( 0.6%)||13.075||0.690||94.6%||18.5‰||73.7|
|Roraima||RR||Boa Vista||224,299.0||86,602||496,936||2.01||5||7.314 ( 0.2%)||15.557||0.707||94.5%||15.1‰||73.5|
|Santa Catarina||SC||Florianópolis||95,346.2||36,813||6,727,148||65.27||182||177.276 ( 4.0%)||27.771||0.774||99%||3.0‰||81|
|São Paulo||SP||São Paulo||248,209.4||95,834||44,035,304||166.23||459||1,408.904 ( 32.1%)||33.624||0.783||99%||4.5‰||79.8|
|Sergipe||SE||Aracaju||21,910.3||8,459.6||2,219,514||94.36||262||27.823 ( 0.6%)||13.180||0.665||93%||18‰||73.0|
|Tocantins||TO||Palmas||277,620.9||107,190||1,496,880||4.98||13||19.530 ( 0.4%)||13.775||0.699||94%||17‰||74.5|
- Brazil socio-geographic division
- List of Brazil state name etymologies
- List of Brazilian states by area
- List of Brazilian states by murder rate
- List of Brazilian states by population
- Brazilian states by Human Development Index
- Provinces of Brazil
- "Brazil's Para state rejects three-way split: official". Retrieved 22 Dec 2012.
- Economic statistical data for Brazil's 26 states and federal district (in English, Portuguese, and Spanish)
- States of Brazil at DMOZ
- Wikimedia Atlas of Brazil
- Map of Brazil, showing states and their regular timezones