Brazil (in Portuguese, Brasil), officially Federative Republic of Brazil, federal republic, the largest country in South America, occupying nearly one half of the entire area of the continent. It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by Uruguay; on the west by Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru; and on the north-west by Colombia. The republic has a common frontier with every country of South America except Chile and Ecuador. Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world (after Russia, China, Canada, and the United States). The total area of Brazil is 8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi); its maximum north-south distance is about 4,345 km (2,700 mi), and its maximum east-west distance is about 4,330 km (2,690 mi).
Most of the people of Brazil live near the Atlantic Ocean, notably in the great cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but the capital is inland, at Brasília, which has a population of 2,455,903 (2007 estimate). The country, which was once a Portuguese dependency, is the world’s leading producer of coffee, and it also contains great mineral resources; exploitation of many of these resources intensified during the 1980s and 1990s. "Brazil" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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