11 Facts that Will Surprise You!

  1. Brazil is much bigger than you may think; it’s the world’s seventh largest economy, with the sixth biggest population and the fifth greatest size by landmass.
  2. Portuguese, the native tongue of most Brazilians, is the 6th most spoken language in the world, almost solely because of Brazil (take that French and German).
  3. Brazil is not a majority white country: 47.7% of Brazilians identify as white, 7.6% as Black and 47.7% as Mulatto (mixed race). Brazil is also home to the second largest Japanese population outside of Japan! The US by comparison is nearly 80% white and comes in second for Japanese population.
  4. Brazil is a beast when it comes to renewable energy. In 2014, just under 40% of Brazil’s energy came from renewables: wind, hydro, biomass, solar and geothermal. Even more staggering is that over 37% of the renewable energy comes from one source; the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam. The Itaipu dam provides 15% of Brazil’s total electricity and 90% of Paraguay’s. For comparison, renewables accounted for a whopping 15% of total energy production in the USA with Itaipu alone producing nearly 36% of the electricity of the entire hydroelectric industry in the USA (the USA consumes nearly 8 times as much electricity as Brazil and hydroelectricity accounts for about 2.6% of that) .
  5. Until 1985, Brazil was under a military dictatorship; so the modern Brazilian democracy we see today is truly only a bit over 30 years old! And we thought 240 years was young.
  6. Brazil is not just made of beaches and rain forest; around 85% of Brazil’s 204 million citizens live in urban areas. That’s more urbanized than the USA at 81%!
  7. Brazil is a very Christian country; nearly 90% of it’s 200+ million inhabitants identify as some form of Christian with nearly 10% of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics residing within it’s borders. The USA is around 79% Christian, with the majority of them practicing some form of Protestantism.
  8. Brazil’s average GDP per capita hovers around $11,000 a year while in the USA, that number rests above $54,000 a year. This staggering statistic is one of the many reasons why many countries and organizations still consider Brazil a developing nation; because many parts of the country, especially those in the north, are on-par with that of undeveloped nations while much of the south represents your everyday metropolises.
  9. Brazil is an agricultural giant. It is the the number one producer of coffee, beans and sugarcane in the entire world: producing nearly 1/3 of the entire global supply of coffee, and coming in second for production of soy and tobacco. On the other hand, the USA is the number one coffee consumer in the world. With over 17% of coffee worldwide being sold on American soil (The Netherlands takes the cake for per capita consumption with over two cups per person, per day!). But in production, the USA surpasses Brazil in both corn and soy production as well as a variety of other products.
  10. Just over 50% of Brazilian’s use the internet while in the USA, that number is over 85%. But that hasn’t stopped social media and other internet companies from growing like wild fungi in the tropical climate; the Wall Street Journal has gone so far to even call Brazil The Social Media Capital of the UniverseBrazil has the third highest level of average time spent online per internet user while the USA is in 10th and it is fourth highest for average time spent on social media, with the USA coming in 12th. Brazilian social media users spend an average of 3.8 hours on social media per day while Americans only spend a meager 2.7. And to cap it all off, nearly 89% of Brazilian internet users are constantly connected to social media. Brazil is truly a social society.
  11. Brazil is home to the worlds 28th largest company, Petrobras which is also the 10th largest oil refiner worldwide. Not only that, but some of the biggest aircraft manufacturers and mining companies are Brazilian: Embraer and Vale.

Many Americans know Brazil solely for it’s beaches, it’s futbol, it’s parties and it’s seemingly endless natural beauty. I hope this helps you begin to understand that when it comes to Brazil, there’s much more than meets the eye.