Updated: 2017-06-22.
Traveling to Brazil? Keep these little tidbits of information handy to gain a unique perspective on this large South American country. Armchair traveler? These may help you win the next trivia night at your local bar!

1Brazil Facts: It’s Quite Large

At over 8.5 million square kilometers and over 207 million people, Brazil is both the 5th largest (area) and 5th most populous country in the world. It is so large that it covers 47% of the South American continent while bordering every country in South America except for Chile and Ecuador. And spanning 4772 km (2965 mi) from north to south, Brazil earns the honor of being the longest country in the world (north to south).

Source: Brazil on Wikipedia

2Brazil Facts: The People

48% (91+ million) of the population are predominantly of European origin, descendants of immigrants from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany and eastern Europe. It is the country with the most uncontacted peoples in the world – isolated peoples who live, whether by choice or circumstance, without significant contact with globalized civilization; the National Indian Foundation estimated that Brazil has 67 different uncontacted tribes back in 2007.

Source: Washington Post

3Brazil Facts: The Language

Brazil is the largest Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country in the world, and the only one in the western hemisphere. The Brazilian population speaks or signs approximately 210 languages, of which 180 are indigenous. The official language, however, is Portuguese.

SourceBrazil on Wikipedia

4Brazil Facts: The Geography

Praia do Cassino (lit. Casino Beach), at 245 km (152 miles) in length, is considered the world’s longest beach. Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, created in 2002, is the world’s largest tropical forest park, located in the northern portion of the country. And we’re all familiar with the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, which is shared by Brazil and its neighbors, but mostly is in Brazil. In fact, because of the Amazon, 25% of the world’s rainforests are located within the country.

SourceTumucumaque Mountains National Park

5Brazil Facts: Football Fanatics

Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup (futbol/soccer) 5 times, more than any other country. Brazil is also the only country to have played in every single tournament since the World Cup started. The Estádio do Maracanã (Maracanã Stadium) in Rio de Janeiro had the world’s largest attendance in an enclosed stadium, at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup – 199,854, though the stadium is only supposed to accommodate 78,838 spectators.

Source: FIFA World Cup on Wikipedia

6Brazil Facts: Biodiversity

It is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries – a country that harbors the majority of Earth’s species and is considered to be the most biodiverse country on the planet. It is home to the most plant species, the most mammals, and the most freshwater fish in the world. For land animals, it is believed to be host to both the most vertebrates and invertebrates in the world. Brazil also has almost one-third of the world’s 300+ monkey species.

Source 1Brazil on Wikipedia
Source 2Wildlife of Brazil

7Brazil Facts: Transportation

Brazil has the 8th largest railroad network in the world, with over 37,000 km of track; they recently added 10,000 km to overtake Argentina and France. Brazil has the second highest number of airports in the world, with over 4000, behind the United States, which has over 14,000. The longest traffic jam in the world occurred in São Paulo on November 15, 2013, according to Companhia de Engenharia de Tráfego, the city’s traffic management agency; it calculated a 309 km (192 mile) jam around the city that evening. Traffic jams cost the city of São Paulo over $2.3 billion each year.

Source 1: Rail Transport Length
Source 2: World Atlas
Source 3: Gizmodo

8Brazil Facts: Key Cities

São Paulo, with over 12 million people, is Brazil’s largest city and the world’s 12th largest city. Liberdade, a district of São Paulo, is the largest Japantown in the world, home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of the Portuguese monarchy, making it the only European capital outside of Europe; for 6 years, from 1815 to 1821, Rio was the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Brasília is the capital, located just southeast of the center of the country.

SourceBrazil on Wikipedia

9Brazil Facts: Water Systems

The Amazon River flows through Brazil, the world’s second-longest river and the largest by volume of water. Iguazu Falls (Iguaçu) are the largest waterfalls system in the world.

SourceIguazu Falls

10Brazil Facts: Etymology

Lining the coasts of South America are trees with the scientific name Caesalpinia echinata; when the Portuguese first landed in what would later be known as Brazil, they named these trees pau-brasil (pau for “stick,” brasil for “emberlike”). The country’s name later came from this tree, not the other way around.

SourceBrazil on Wikipedia

11Brazil Facts: Novel Ideas

Brazil’s homicide rate is 25 per 100,000 people, equivalent to being 5 times higher than the US crime rate. Thus, Brazil has a crowded prison system, but it’s now offering its inmates a unique way to reduce their sentence: each prisoner who reads a book and writes a report on it can reduce their time by 4 days per book, up to 48 days reduced per year.

SourceTelegraph UK

12Brazil Facts: High Inflation

Over the 20th century, Brazil had a cumulative inflation rate of more than a quadrillion percent.

SourceWashington Post

13Brazil Facts: Topography

Brazil is the only country in the world that has both the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn running through it. Brazil is also the only country to have contiguous territory both inside and outside the tropics.

SourceBrazil on Wikipedia

14Brazil Facts: Agriculture

Brazil produces a quarter of the world’s coffee, and is the world’s leading producer of coffee. It also grows about one-third of the world’s oranges, and is the leading producer of soybeans and cassava.

Source: Britannica

15Brazil Facts: Independence & History

The national day of Brazil is celebrated on September 7th each year as Independence Day. Brazil gained independence from Portugal on the 7th of September in 1822. Brazil was given to Portugal from Spain as part of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first person to officially claim Brazil for Portugal.

SourceBrazil on Wikipedia

16Brazil Facts: Religion

Though there is no official religion in Brazil, more than two-thirds of Brazilians are Roman Catholics.

SourceBritannica

17Brazil Facts: The National Cocktail

Caipirinha is the national drink, made with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Officially, the legal drinking age in Brazil is 18, but it’s not enforced strongly.

Source: Caipirinha on Wikipedia

18Brazil Facts: Jardim Gramacho

Jardim Gramacho, once the world’s largest landfill, was about the size of about 247 football fields and collected garbage from 7 neighboring countries. It has been closed since June of 2012.

SourceJardim Gramacho on Wikipedia

19Brazil Facts: Carnival

Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil, the largest carnival in the world, and takes place about 40 days before Easter. A sizeable percentage of the annual consumption of beer and annual foreign visitors come during this time.

Source: Guinness Book of World Records

20Brazil Facts: Energy Independence

As of 2006, Brazil is 100% energy independent.

Source: Washington Post

21Brazil Facts: Voting

Voting in the elections is compulsory in Brazil; everyone between the ages of 18 and 70 has to vote by law. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 are allowed to vote voluntarily.

Source: Country Studies

What do you think of these facts? Got any more to add to this list? If you do, leave a comment below, and if it checks out, we’ll gladly add it to the list! If you’re interested in further learning about Brazil, check out its destination page on our site for stories, photos, information, and more facts.

Brazil Destination Guide | More Trivia & Lists Articles

2 COMMENTS

  1. Brazil is the longest country in the world, spanning 4,395 kilometers (2,731 mi) from north to south.

    The highest temperature ever recorded in Brazil was 44.7 °C (112.4 °F) and the lowest was -14 °C (7 °F).

    Brazil was the only colony in the world which have become the kingdom.

    The largest free concert attendance in the world was held in Brazil, when Rod Stwart played in
    front on 4.2 million people on Copacabana beach in Rio. The largest paying audience for a single artist
    was also in Brazil, when Paul McCartney played for 184.000 people in the Maracanã Stadium.

    The word ‘brazil’ means red like ember.

    Brazil has the second highest number of airports in the world and the third largest roadways.

    Brazil was the 4th country in the world to abolish death penalty (1876) and the 3rd to decriminalized
    homossexuality (1830).

    Brazil has the world’s largest urban forest, located in Rio.

    There are more Italians in São Paulo then in Rome, and Brazil has the largest Italian community in the world.

    The highest point in Brazil is around 3000 metres (9842 ft) high.

    Italian and German is also spoken in some areas of Brazil.

    Brazil has the most number of species of mammals, plants and fresh water fish in the world.
    Brazil also has the highest number of monkey species on the planet.

    Brazil has the largest river in the world in water volume and the largest river island on the planet.

    Brazil has 4 time zones.

    Brazil has the oldest operating electric tramway in the world, located in Rio.

    Brazil is the 4th country with most vegetarians.

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