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Brazil - Overview

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Area: 8,511,965 sq km

Population: 188,078,227 (U.S. Census Bureau estimate)

Capital: Brasilia

Government: Federative Republic

Ethnic groups: White 53.7%, Mulatto 38.5%, Black 6.2%, other or unspecified 1.6%

Main languages: Portuguese (official language); Spanish, English, French

Religion: Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Other, Unspecified or No Religion (11%)

Time: GMT-2 to GMT-5. Daylight saving from Oct to Feb in Southern Brazil

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and the largest in South America, occupying around half of this continent. It has an eastern coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and shares borders with all other South American countries apart from Chile and Ecuador. Geographically, Brazil can be divided into four regions: a narrow coastal belt in the east within which many of Brazil's main cities and two-thirds of its population are concentrated; the vast, dense rainforest of the Amazon Basin covering much of northern Brazil; a central plateau crossed by several low mountain ranges and a number of large rivers; and another river basin with forest, valleys and scrubland in the south.

A Portuguese colony for three centuries, Brazil's population consists largely of European descendents and people of mixed race, as well as native Indians and a significant number of people of African-descent. The size and ethnic diversity of Brazil provide it with a very rich and varied culture, although it is rapidly becoming 'Americanized'.

Although Brazil is a leading regional exporter and economic power, it also has a long history of economic and social problems. Having been under military rule for around 50 years until 1985, its civilian government is slowly building up the economy and carrying out various reform programmes to tackle social issues. However, the country still has vast inequalities of income, high levels of poverty, a high percentage of the population living in urban slums, environmental problems including illegal deforestation, air and water pollution, and high levels of crime and corruption.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

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