Brazil is situated in South America, and is home to the Amazon River. It is bordered by several countries including Uraguay, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia. It has a population of approximately 198,739,269 and is home to 13 cities containing a million people in all of them together. The main capital is Brasilia; however it used to be Rio De Janeiro which is situated on the coast (the most populated area). It is currently the fifth largest economy in the world and is the largest in South America. Their main language is Portuguese. THE SOUTH EAST OF BRAZIL
The South East of Brazil is home to most of the bustling cities, which hold most of the population who seek for work and fortune. Sao Paulo (a city located on the East coast of south Brazil) is responsible for a third of the country’s GDP. The state GDP consists of 550 million dollars. Brazil has huge offshore reserves of petroleum and natural gas, notably in the Southeast. These are extremely useful resources which along with many other resources/minerals (such as iron ore and tin) can be used to produce products to export. The South of Brazil is very urbanized and many people move here to seek opportunity. The employment rate is much higher in the South as it includes many factories supplying plenty of jobs to help make products with their vast amounts of resources.
However not everywhere in the South is rich. In fact many who come seeking opportunity from the countryside end up in favelas which border the big cities. This is because even though they may be supplied with a job they cannot afford the hefty city lifestyle and therefore are forced to stay in temporary housing. Many families will work in the city for hard earned cash and return to thefavelas at night. People struggle to ever leave and many children will grow up and live their whole life there as adults too. There is little space and crime rates are high due to the lack of police officers that are willing to work there and for the fact there is no security between houses. Education is run within the favelas eaning that education can sometimes be poor. People lack oppurtunities here and often find themselves stuck there for the rest of their lives.
NORTH EAST OF BRAZIL
Geographically, the Northeast consists chiefly of an eroded continental craton with many low hills and small ranges. The highest peaks are around 1,850 meters in Bahia, while further north there are no peaks above 1,123 meters. These help make up Brazil’s wonderful highlands and physical features. Due to most of the North East being covered by the Amazon and highlands the population is extremely low, the Northeast Region has a population of 53.6 million people. There is little exportation and families rely mostly on agricultural farming. There are very few big cities and few to no factories. Its economy is mainly based on the production of sugar, cocoa and cotton; as well as the extensive cattle breeding. Some time ago, at São Francisco River Valley (between States of Bahia and Pernambuco), fruits for export started being produced. The population is more heavily African and mestizo, the cuisine is spicier, the weather hot and dry on the South. People also believe the culture is richer in the South due to traditions being kept in rural areas. COMPARE THE SOUTH OF BRAZIL TO THE NORTH
Overall many people consider the South East of Brazil a better place to be; there are more job opportunities, better housing, higher education standards and essentially better transport. Despite the culture claiming to be richer in the North many people prefer to live in the South. This explains why roughly over two thirds of Brazil’s population lives in the South. The South is not always the best place to be, many people find themselves trapped when they arrive from the North as they are unable to afford housing and utilities. Most are then forced into the favelas which are considered to be considerably worse than the rural North. Sometimes the North is a more secure environment and is less riskier than venturing into the South which could either be a good idea (supplying many opportunities such as jobs, better housing) or a bad idea (leaving you with nothing but a temporary house packed in the favelas on the outskirts of a major city like Rio De janeiro which has the largest favelas in Brazil. Medical care is also better in the North as with built up cities come better facilities due to increased population and demand, this means that life expectancy is longer a well as other reasons such as better food quality and living standards.
BRAZILS DEVELOPMENT AGAINST OTHER COUNTRIES
Brazil’s literacy rate is 86.4% which is the lowest of all South American countries. It falls just behind Bolivia and Peru at 87.2% and 87.7%, respectively. Considering this is one of the key pointers as too how developed a country is it doesn’t look too good. If you take a look at the poverty headcount (on the right) you will notice it is increasing, meaning that more and more people are living in poor living standards which can only mean bad things for Brazil’s development. You will also notice that compared to Latin America and the Caribbean the life expectancy is slightly lower however it is improving steadily as the country develops. (Sourced by Brazil’s official data site in 2011). Brazil’s GDP () is also substantially lower than many other countries however is improving at a vast rate. It is higher than countries including Bolivia, Peru, China and many other countries. Its GDP is fast increasing and since this one of the most important indicators it can only mean good news for Brazil. (Sourced from The World Bank, see chart below)
IS BRAZIL DEVELOPING OR DEVELOPED?
People’s opinions differentiate dramatically on this question. Many sources will tell you Brazil is a developing country due to its gross national income per capita. The problem with Brazil is that there are people who are extremely rich are enjoying a high standard of living. But on the other side, the poverty is extreme in Brazil and you can see in places like Rio, where an avenue divides Sao Corrado (extremely wealthy neighborhood) from favelas (shanty town). If you consider the country’s GDP then then country should be considered developed. However the GDP does not show the extreme differences in the poor and rich, it only takes an average. It also does not explain why the literacy rate is so low compared to other countries or why the life expectancy is only now improving. Lives are so diverse in Brazil; that’s why the whole standard of living should be improved; in order to improve and balance out the life diversities. Only then when this happens can Brazil be considered as a developed country. This means Brazil is only developing and is still missing some key factors of a developed country. CONCLUSION
Overall during my studies of Brazil I have learn about the huge diversities in standards of living and how poor the poverty the can be. I have also learnt why so many people live and move near the coast (they move in search of opportunities and a better lifestyle). My favourite part of this topic was learning about the favelas and how poor these places are. It’s also interesting to see the huge built up places which are meters away from the poor, temporary housing which lines the city. If I could learn more about Brazil I would like to learn more about the people who live in the North and what their lives are like every day.