CHARACTERISTICS OF BRAZIL
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Brazil is a large country (the fi fth largest in the world) with a territory of 8,514,876 square kilometers and a population of 190,732,694 (2010); the average population density is 22/square kilometer. Its territory is divided in fi ve macro-regions: northern (8 percent of the population); northeastern (28 percent of the national population); central-western (7 percent); southeastern (43 percent) and southern (14 percent) (Fig. 14.1). There is a great heterogeneity among regions, in regard to the characteristics of the natural environment, economic development and culture. While the northern region is covered mostly by a rainforest (the Amazon area), most of the northeastern is a semi-arid scrubland. The southeastern (84.2 inhabitants/square km) and southern (47.5 inhab./sq km) regions are densely populated and with a higher level of industrialization. Large scale industrial agriculture and animal husbandry has been historically developed in the southern and southeastern regions but, in the past decades, an expansion of the agriculture frontier has occurred towards the central-western part of the country and also to the western part of the Amazon.