Published on Data Blog

Ten things you may not know about Brazil

Millions of soccer fans around the world have their eyes glued to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup games. In light of this, let's take a look at the World Bank's Open Data sets to get a closer look at Brazil, the world's fifth most populous country, and its neighbors.

Image Brazil: At-a-Glance
  • Population: 199 million
  • Surface area: 8.5 million sq. km
  • Terrestrial protected areas: 26.3% of total land
  • World's fourth largest cereal/dry grain producer
Source: World Development Indicators 2014
(dates of the data may vary)
  1. Brazil is the largest country in the Latin America and Caribbean region in both population (199 million in 2012) and surface area (8.5 million sq. km in 2012). Its surface area is three times larger than the next largest country, Argentina.
  2. In the area of trade, Brazil recorded $243 billion in merchandise exports (2012), which had more than quadrupled since 2000 at $55 billion. While these figures may seem high, Mexico is actually the largest exporter in the region, with $371 billion in merchandise exports in the same year.
  3. If you ate toast or cereal for breakfast this morning, the grain might have come from Brazil, the region's largest cereal producer. Brazil, however, comes in fourth place in global cereal production, after China, the United States, and India.
  4. The Central American nation of Costa Rica was the wettest country in the region with 3,000 mm (3 meters) of precipitation in 2011, while Argentina was the driest: 591 mm (0.6 meters). Although Brazil features vast areas of rainforests and terrestrial protected areas, Brazil recorded an average of 1,782 mm (1.7 meters) of precipitation in the same year.
    Figure 1
  5. Nicaragua had the highest rate of adolescent fertility (101 births per 1,000 women), while Aruba had the lowest (27 births per 1,000 women) in 2012. Brazil had 70 births per 1,000 women.
  6. Many Latin American and Caribbean countries have made significant strides in reducing their under-five child mortality rate: Brazil: 14 deaths per 1,000 births in 2012 (compared to 62 deaths in 1990), Haiti: 76 deaths per 1,000 births (compared to 144 deaths), and Bolivia: 41 deaths per 1,000 births (compared to 123 deaths).
  7. Panama's economy grew by almost 11% in both 2011 and 2012, the highest in the region. Brazil's growth rate was less than 3% during both years.
    Figure 2
  8. Cuba spent about 13% of its Gross National Income (GNI) on education in 2012, compared to Haiti's 1.5% and Brazil's 6%.
  9. Almost 90% of Peruvians had access to electricity in 2011, compared to 85% in 2010. 5% may not seem like much, but in this case, 5% represents 1.5 million people. Meanwhile, 99% of Brazilians had access to electricity in the same year.
  10. Trinidad and Tobago had the highest CO2 emissions rate in the Latin America and Caribbean region at 38 metric tons per capita in 2010. In that same year, Brazil emitted 2.2 metric tons per capita.
Figure 3

Indicators and codes used in this post:

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