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Brazil Population and Transportation

Southern America

From April 26, 1960, when the capital was transferred to Brasília, the federal district of Rio de Janeiro (created in 1808) became one of the Brazilian states with the name of Guanabara (from the bay of the same name), but was later reunited with the state of Rio de Janeiro; moreover, from June 15, 1962, the Acre Territory became a federal state. Since 1966 the Rio Branco Territory has been called Roraima.

According to clothesbliss, the knowledge on the geological structure of the country has been increasing through prospecting prepared by the state, which in some cases have revealed the presence in the subsoil of useful minerals. A synthesis of current knowledge can be deduced from the work of K. Beurlen, while a clear exposition of the physicomorphological aspects is due to J. Demangeot. For the Amazon River, recent research has been able to determine that the average flow rates are higher than previously thought (157,000 m 3 per second), as well as those of its main tributaries (Rio Negro: 35,000 m 3 per sec). Of note is the creation of two large artificial lakes, that of Três Marias (1100 km 2) on the San Francisco (1961) and of Furnas (1350 km 2): the largest in South America) in the state of Minas Gerais (1965), obtained by blocking the Rio Grande (tributary of the Paraná) near Belo Horizonte.

Population. – The census carried out in September 1970 counted in Brazil 93.215.301 residents (v. Table.1), with an increase of over 23 million compared to that of 1960 (70,992,343). Taking into account that the annual growth is 2.9%, the Brazil has exceeded 100 million residents (1975), ranking seventh, after China, India, the Soviet Union, the United States, Indonesia, Japan. In the absence of official statistics, it is estimated that whites are 61.7%, mestizos (different crosses: pardos) 26.5%, blacks 11%, Asians (especially Japanese) 0.6%, while the number of pure Amerindians is negligible (50,000). National unity is not affected by these racial differences, even if the standard of living and habits of the different groups are different. Unlike in the past, the migratory movement towards Brazil is now small (10-15,000 individuals per year, for a third Portuguese), so the very high increase derives almost exclusively from the high birth rate, above 40 ‰ (among the highest in the world), while mortality gradually decreased to drop to 15%. The result is excessive demographic pressure on resources and a population with low wages, poor standard of living, without education (the illiterate are valued at Brazil 39%), with considerable imbalances between the inland areas and the states of the North and North-East, without industries, and the metropolises of Brazil of South-East. The result is huge displacements of people looking for work, now permanent, now temporary (in the event of cataclysms, droughts, etc.) especially towards the major cities, where the newcomers mostly adapt to live precariously on the periphery; 56% of the population now lives in cities (1940: 36%). Taking into account the high birth rate, the population of Brazil is composed for the most part by young people (53% are less than 20 years old); 28% are between 20 and 40 years old; 14% between 40 and 60 years (the average age is about 44 years) and just 5% is over 60 years of age.

The population density, which is on average 10.9 residents per km 2, it shows a notable contrast between well-populated areas, such as in general the coastal ones facing the Atlantic from the Amazon to the Uruguayan border (with higher values ​​in the Northeast and especially in correspondence with Rio de Janeiro, San Paolo and Porto Alegre), and the inland regions, where it drops to 2-10 residents per km 2 in deforested regions with a pastoral economy (sertão) and just one resident per km 2in the Amazon and in Mato Grosso. Five cities (1970) exceed one million residents: San Paolo, 5,924,615 (but over 8 million in the urban agglomeration); Rio de Janeiro, 4,251,918; Belo Horizonte, 1,235,030; Salvador, 1.007.195 and Recife, 1.060.701. Brasilia counts 272,002 of them (537,492 in the federal district, of 5,814 km 2). The urbanization process is not limited to large metropolises; in fact, numerous cities of over 10,000 residents they arose in inland southern regions, stimulated by better communications, industrial development and a higher standard of living. On the other hand, in the North-East regions, some agricultural areas with a high birth rate have seen their residents decrease.

Routes of communication. – Over the last fifteen years and especially since March 1964, the road network, which the Departamento Nacional de Estradas de Rodagem oversees, has made significant progress and motorways have gone from 36,400 km (of which 11,400 are asphalted) in 1964 to 73,000 (of which 57,000 asphalted) in 1973, while ordinary roads, in the same period, more than doubled (1,217,725 km in 1973). There are 4.6 million vehicles on the road.

Among the most important roads, Brasilia-Belém, opened in 1962 (2,000 km long) should be mentioned. It starts from Anapolis (near Brasilia), follows the watershed between Tocantins and Araguaia (avoiding the tunnel forest), crosses the Tocantins and penetrates the Amazon rainforest to reach Belém; it constitutes an important axis of attraction for farmers (rice, cotton) and cattle breeders; and at the same time it achieved the aim of incorporating the Amazon, which until now had constituted a world apart, with the rest of the country. The Trans-Amazon, under construction, which will link João Pessoa (Paraíba, near Cabo Branco, the easternmost point of the Brazil), to Cruzeiro do Sul (Acre) and the border with Peru (5419 km in total) will also contribute to this purpose.), cutting off the large right tributaries of the Amazon River; the Altamira area is already being colonized by farmers from the Northeast. It is joined by the Parimetral Norte (Puerto Grande-Caracaraí), as well as the connections Manaus-Porto Velho and Manaus-Boa vista. In many cases the state has reserved for itself the availability of a strip on both sides of the roads for internal colonization. The 4000 km long Rodovia Translitorânea, from Natal to the surroundings of Porto Alegre, connects new capitals of Brazilian states.

Also worthy of mention is the construction of some bridges, such as the one (13.9 km long, of which 8.2 over the sea) connecting Rio de Janeiro to Niteròi (1973), the one over the Chuy River near Santa Vitória do Palmar on the border between Brazil and Uruguay (1971) and the Ponte de Amizade between Brazil and Paraguay near Foz de Igaçu (1970), which is reached by a road from Paranaguá (750 km).

Several railway sections were also built; of March 1967 it is the connection of San Paolo with Brasilia. In 1962 the Central do Paraná line was completed, connecting Ponta Grossa to Apucarana. The railway network is now 31,379 km long (of which 2671 are electrified).

In the field of maritime transport, it is worth mentioning the opening (April 1966) of the port of Tubarão (12 km N of Vitória), specially equipped for the export of iron ore. Another iron export terminal has been in operation since 1970 in Sepetiba near Rio. Since 1973 the port of Malhado has been operational in the state of Bahia.

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