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Assess the importance of physical factors when explaining Brazil's population distribution

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Assess the importance of physical factors when explaining Brazil's population distribution In Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and every South American country except Chile and Ecuador is the largest country on the continent - Brazil (map 1). It is the fifth biggest country in the world with a total area of 8,511,965 sq km. The coastline of Brazil is 7,491 km. The terrain is mostly flat to rolling lowlands in the north and towards the east there are some plains, hills, mountains and a narrow coastal belt. The climate is mainly tropical but temperate in the south. Brazil is rich in natural resources. The Amazon basin, which traverses the country, is the area with the largest concentration of fresh water in the world. The country has bauxite, gold, iron, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower and timber. The principal crops are coffee, fruit trees, maize, beans and sugar. The total population in Brazil is 182,032,604 with an estimated growth rate of 1.15% for 2003. The birth rate is 17.67 births per 1000 population and the death rate is 6.13 per 1000 population. The migration rate is 0.03 migrants per 1000 population. The biggest ethnic group is white - 55% of the population. They are mainly of Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish origin. 38% are mixed white and black, 6% are black and 1% is of Japanese, Arab, Amerindian and other origins. ...read more.


They are also called the polygon of drought. The inconsistent rainfall with its very high evaporation rate is due to the fact that this place below the equator is the hottest part of Brazil at 38�C. The mountains along the coastal area trigger rainfall from the Trade Winds. In the South of Salvador the lands are drier because the rain falls in the mountains. The predominant vegetation in the semi-arid North-East is a dry bush called the coatinga. This region sees a greater seasonal variation than in the North region. About 44% of Brazil's population lives in the South-East region. It is composed of two highlands: the Atlantic Plateau and the Meridianal Plateau with mountain regions. This area, rich in minerals and natural resources, has the most advanced agriculture in the country. It has the second largest reserve of iron in Brazil. Calcium, zinc, gold and mineral water are also seen. Important production of cotton, soy, orange, coffee, banana, maize, potatoes and tomatoes is seen in S�o Paulo - the commercial centre of the country. The South-East has mild climates averaging 19�C in the Plateau cities of S�o Paulo, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte. On the coast, Rio de Janeiro has warm climate, balanced by the constancy of the Trade Winds, normally 23�C to 27�C. Sao Paulo also sees heavy rainfall. This region has very nutritious soil. Below the tropic of Capricorn is the South Region. ...read more.


It was built for a period of only 4 years, starting 1956 by President Juscelino Kubitschek. It was an inaugurated as Brazil's capital in 1960. Lucio Costa won the national contest for design of the city, with a proposal for an aeroplane design. The master plan was for only 500 000 inhabitants but the population has seen its grow much higher than expected. That is why several satellite towns were created for the extra people. The population of Brazil is now 2 million people. Built to reduce inequalities and develop inlands, Brasilia has all of the federal government buildings. It firmly established itself as a capital city during military dictatorship. The population density of Brazil is mainly a consequence of the physical factors. The history, the economy and especially the farming and industry are all dependent on the geography, climate and soils which allow growing crops. The industry of a country forms in paces rich in minerals and natural resources. People tend to live near the mines and farms, so they can work and then sell and export their products. The first settlers on the Brazilian land used its soils to grow coffee and sugar cane. Later when they discovered gold in the area more immigrants came for the "gold rush". The tropical rain forests along the Amazon basin are hard to penetrate in. industry cannot be raised in these places. These examples show that the physical factors are very important for the population distribution throughout the country. They are not the only important factors, but without them the others could not happen. Raya Racheva, 5IB ...read more.

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