Uruguay, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina are also neighbors of Brazil. The capital of Brazil is Brasilia and, as of 2014, the population of the country is approximately 158,739,257, making it the fifth-largest country in the world and the third largest on the continent. The dominant language of Brazil is Portuguese and Roman Catholicism is the most common religion. Brazil is composed of many different ecosystems including forested and tropical areas. More than 60 percent of the Amazon Rainforest is located within the country, and it provides a home for millions of different species of plants and animals.
Brazil was first claimed by the Portuguese empire in 1500. In 1934, King Dom Joao III took over and divided the country into separate territories. On September 7, 1822, Brazil gained independence from Portugal, and it became an official country on August 29, 1825. September 7 continues to be known as the the official Independence Day for the country. In 2011, Dilma Rousseff became president. Her election to this position made history as she is the country's first woman president.Learn more about South America