States of Brazil

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State
Estado (Portuguese)
Category Federated state
Location Federative Republic of Brazil
Number 27
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)
Government State government
Subdivisions Munincipality

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.

Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Brazil
Foreign relations

History[edit]

The present states of Brazil trace their history directly to the captaincies established by Portugal following the discovery of Brazil in 1500.

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.

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

Government[edit]

The government of each state of Brazil is divided in the executive, the legislative and the judiciary branches.

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[edit]

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) 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)
Bandeira do Acre.svg 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
Bandeira de Alagoas.svg 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
Bandeira do Amapá.svg 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
Bandeira do Amazonas.svg 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
Bandeira da Bahia.svg 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
Bandeira do Ceará.svg 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
Bandeira do Distrito Federal (Brasil).svg 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
Bandeira do Espírito Santo.svg 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
Bandeira de Goiás.svg 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
Bandeira do Maranhão.svg 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
Bandeira de Mato Grosso.svg 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
Bandeira de Mato Grosso do Sul.svg 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
Bandeira de Minas Gerais.svg 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
Bandeira do Pará.svg 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
Bandeira da Paraíba.svg 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
Bandeira do Paraná.svg 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
Bandeira de Pernambuco.svg 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
Bandeira do Piauí.svg 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
Bandeira do estado do Rio de Janeiro.svg 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
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Norte.svg 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
Bandeira do Rio Grande do Sul.svg 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
Bandeira de Rondônia.svg 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
Bandeira de Roraima.svg 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
Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg 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
Bandeira do estado de São Paulo.svg 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
Bandeira de Sergipe.svg 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
Bandeira do Tocantins.svg 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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]