The language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese. In addition to being the largest country in South America, Brazil is also the largest Portuguese-speaking country worldwide. Portuguese ranks fifth in the most spoken languages and is the official language in eight countries.
Brazil was claimed by Portugal in 1500 and remained a colony until 1808. The nation's official independence came in 1822, and the country became a presidential republic after a military coup overthrew the constitutional monarchy in 1889. The current constitution, written in 1988, defines it as a federal republic consisting of 26 states and the Federal District. In terms of both population and geographic area, Brazil is the fifth largest nation in the world. As of 2012, the country's economy ranks seventh worldwide, based on its purchasing power parity and nominal GDP.