A country in motion
The land area of Brazil extends over 8.5 million square kilometers, occupying just under half (47%) of the area of Latin America. The country possesses 20% of all the world’s biodiversity; an example of this natural wealth is the Amazon Rainforest, with 3.6 million square kilometers. The political and administrative organization comprises three main Branches of Power: the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislative, and the principle of autonomy among the Union, the Federal District, 26 states and 5,563 towns and cities (IBGE/2003). Ranking fifth among the world’s most populated countries, the population of Brazil amounts to 50 million families or approximately 180 million inhabitants (2004), the majority - 81% - in urban areas. The national birth rate, which reached as high as 6.3 in 1960, currently stands at 2.1 children per female. The result of this decline, which can be associated to an improvement in social indicators and consequently in quality of life, will be a population whose majority of citizens will be aged between 15 and 44 years within the next four decades. This will represent one of the largest job and consumer markets among the countries on the American continent.