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Brazil is geographically divided into five regions (also called macroregions) by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), composed by the States within them. Although officially recognized, the division is merely academic, considering geographic, social and economic factors, among others, and has no political effects other than orientating Federal-level government programs.
The five regions 
Largest Metropolitan Area
Number of States
|North||15,8 million||Manaus||Manaus metropolitan area||7|
|Northeast||53,5 million||Salvador||Recife metropolitan area||9|
|Central-West||13,6 million||Brasília||Brasilia Urban Metropolitan Complex||3 + DF|
|Southeast||80,7 million||São Paulo||São Paulo metropolitan area||4|
|South||27,3 million||Curitiba||Porto Alegre metropolitan area||3|
North Region 
- Area: 3,869,637.,9 km² (45.27%)
- Population: 15,801,472 (3.31 people/km²; 6.2%; 2009)
- GDP: R$ 154 billion / US$96,2 billion (2008; 4.7%) (5th)
- Climate: Equatorial
- States: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins
- Largest Cities: Manaus (1,403,796); Belém (1,279,861); Ananindeua (392,947); Porto Velho (314,525); Macapá (282,745); Santarém (262,721); Rio Branco (252,885); Boa Vista (220,383); Palmas (208,000).
- Economy: Iron, Energy production, electronic manufacturing, tourism.
- Transport: Mainly rivers (which are abundant in the region). Highways are scarce and present mainly in the east. Airplanes are commonly used in small remote communities and sometimes in the larger cities.
- Vegetation: Almost the entire region is covered by Amazon Rainforest, except the state of Tocantins, which has savanna-like vegetation (cerrado). Although most of the native vegetation still remains, the region suffers from critical problems due to the growing deforestation of the area.
- Notable characteristics: Presence of the Amazon Rainforest, which is the vegetation dominant in every state but Tocantins. Cities are spread far apart in the region, and it has the lowest population density of the country. There are very few paved highways in the region, as it is almost isolated from the rest of the country. It is also the biggest region of Brazil, being responsible for almost half of the Brazilian territorial extension. Economic growth above national average(especially in Amazonas and in Tocantins).
Northeast Region 
- Area: 1,561,177 km² (18.3%)
- Population: 53,340,945 (30.55 people/km²; 29%; 2009)
- GDP: R$437 billion / US$273,1 billion (2009; ~12%) (3rd)
- Climate: Hot all the year long. Tropical near the coast and semi-arid in the interior; semi-equatorial in the far west of the region.
- States: Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe
- Largest Cities: Salvador (2,676,606); Fortaleza (2,447,409); Recife (1,536,934); São Luís (1,011,943); Maceió (932,608); Natal (789,836); Teresina (714,583); João Pessoa (595,429); Jaboatão dos Guararapes; (580,795); Feira de Santana (481,137); Aracaju (461,083); Olinda (368,666); Campina Grande (354,546).
- Economy: Tourism, cocoa, machinery manufacturing, textiles.
- Transport: Mainly highways, which are more abundant along the coast, although transport by sea is also important.
- Vegetation: Mainly desert-like vegetation, with tropical forests along the coast and in the west and savanna-like vegetation in the southwest.
- Notable characteristics: This region was the first part of Brazil discovered by the Portuguese, and the first Brazilian capital, Salvador, was founded here. It has the lowest levels in the country in almost all of the social indicators, being considered the most impoverished region in Brazil. However, has been growing above national average since the start of 21st century, gradually reducing the socio-economic distance to the other regions.
Central-West Region 
- Area: 1,612,077.2 km² (18.86%)
- Population: 13,357,154 (7.2 people/km²; 6.4%)
- GDP: R$279 billion / US$174,3 billion (2008; 8.3%) (4th)
- Climate: Savanna climate (hot, with little precipitation during winter in the northeast and the east; Tropical in the east and in the west; Equatorial in the north; Some temperate climate places in the south).
- States: Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Distrito Federal (Federal District).
- Largest Cities: Brasília (national capital) (2,562,963); Goiânia (1,318,148); Campo Grande (796,252); Cuiabá (556,298); Aparecida de Goiânia (442,978); Anápolis (334,613).
- Economy: Livestock, Soybeans, tourism.
- Transport: Highways where they are present (mostly in the center and east regions); transport by rivers is common in the north and in the east; airplanes are used in remote and smaller communities.
- Vegetation: Mainly savanna-like vegetation, including the Pantanal (Chaco, in Paraguay), flooded areas in the west, equatorial rainforests in the north.
- Notable characteristics: With a low population density, most of the land in the region is used for grazing instead of agriculture. The region is also the least industrialized in the country, based mainly in food & meat processing.
Southeast Region 
- Area: 927,286 km² (10.85%)
- Population: 80,303,750 (77.96 people/km², 38%)
- GDP: R$1,629 billion / US$803 billion (2008; ~49%) (1st)
- Climate: Tropical in the northwest (warm, relatively dry in the winter and wet in the summer); Semi-arid in the north; Temperate in the south
- States: Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
- Largest Cities: São Paulo (11.037.593); Rio de Janeiro (6.186.710); Belo Horizonte (2.452.617); Guarulhos (1.299.283); Campinas (1.064.669); São Gonçalo (991.382); Duque de Caxias (872.762); Nova Iguaçu (865.089); São Bernardo do Campo (810.979); Osasco (718.646); Santo André (673.396); Uberlândia (634.345); Contagem (625.393); São José dos Campos (615.871); Sorocaba (584.313); Ribeirão Preto (563.107); Juiz de Fora (526.706); Belford Roxo (501.544); Niterói (479.384); São João de Meriti (469.827); Betim (441.748); Campos dos Goytacazes (434.008);
- Economy: Manufacturing (machinery, electronics, automobile and aviation), coffee, sugar cane, tourism, petroleum, textiles, energy production (not sufficient, however, to fulfill its demand). It is the business-economic center of Brazil, and most large companies present in Brazil have constructed their headquarters in this region
- Transport: The region is heavily covered by highways, and, to some extent, railways. Railways and rivers are used mainly for freight, and used where they are present. The region also contains several airport hubs which provide many domestic and international air routes.
- Vegetation: Mainly tropical-like semideciduous forests (Mata Atlântica); semi-arid in the north, with almost no vegetation; savannah-like vegetation in the west and in the northwest (Cerrado). Very little of the native vegetation still remains (~2%, mostly in parks)
- Notable characteristics: The southeast region is the major powerhouse of the Brazilian economy, being responsible for 49% of the Brazilian GDP (approximately US$1024 billion in 2010). It is also the most populous region in the country, with more of 80 million of people, and has the two most important national metropolitan regions (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), as well as many other large cities (such as Belo Horizonte, Vitória, both State capitals, Campinas and several others).
South Region 
- Area: 577,214 km² (6.75%)
- Population: 25,800,000 (43,46 people/km², 12.5%)
- GDP: R$503 billion / US$313,8 billion (2008; ~15%) (2nd)
- Climate: Subtropical in all region, hot to moderately hot in the summer, mild and very humid winters. Snow is common, mainly in the highlands (for example in Santa Catarina state's São Joaquim).
- States: Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina
- Largest Cities: Curitiba (1,764,540); Porto Alegre (1,413,094); Joinville (520,905); Londrina (511,278); Caxias do Sul (441,332); Florianópolis (427,298); Maringá (362,329); Pelotas (328,864); Canoas (325,188); Ponta Grossa (314,527); Blumenau (312,634); Cascavel (289,339); Foz do Iguaçu (255,900); and Santa Maria (262,368).
- Economy: Machinery and automobile industries, textiles, tourism, energy production, information technology, orange, apple, grapefruit.
- Transport: There are many developed highways and railways throughout the region, although the latter is mainly used for freight. Rivers are used when possible.
- Vegetation: Rainforests along the coast (Mata Atlântica), tropical semiciduous in the north and west (Araucárias) and prairie-like vegetation in the south (Pampas). Little native vegetation still remains due to deforestation.
- Notable characteristics: The South region is historically characterized by its high standard of living, with considerably better social indicators. The region have by far the highest quality of life in the country. The three states combined have most of the cities with the highest HDI levels in the country, including their capitals. The region, along with the state of São Paulo, is also characterized by its strong immigrant presence, with many inhabitants descended from mainly Italian, German, Portuguese, Azorean, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish immigrants, and have added to the local culture, especially in architecture, cuisine and forms of agriculture. Some Madeiran, Dutch, French, British and Southern Slavic (mainly Croatian and Macedonian) ancestries are also common.
- The number given in parenthesis are percentages relative to Brazil as a whole.
- The populations for the cities given do not include their metropolitan areas.
See also