Capital : Brasilia. Area : 8 514 877 km². Official language : Portuguese. Population : 183 888 841 inhabitants. Currency : Real. President : Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Brazil has been unable to reflect its recent economic achievements into social development. Poverty, urban violence, growing social security debts, inefficient public services, and the low value of the minimum wage are some of the main social issues that currently challenge the Brazilian government. The rate of poverty is in part attributed to the country's economic inequality. Brazil ranks among the world's highest nations in the Gini coefficient index of inequality assessment. According to Fundação Getúlio Vargas, in 2006 the rate of people living below the poverty line based on labour income was of 19.31% of the population — a 33% reduction considering the previous three years.
Poverty in Brazil is most visually represented by the various favelas, slums in the country's metropolitan areas and remote upcountry regions that suffer with economic underdevelopment and below-par standards of living. There are also great differences in wealth and welfare between regions. While the Northeast region has the worst economic indicators nationwide, many cities in the South and Southeast enjoy First World socioeconomic standards, with roughly 23.8 homicides per 100 000 residents. The level of violence in some large urban centers is comparable to that of a war zone. Analysts generally suggest the alarming social inequality as the major reason behind this problem. Muggings, robberies, kidnappings and gang violence are common in the largest cities. Police brutality and corruption are widespread. Innefficient public services, especially those related to security, education and health, severely affect quality of life. Minimum wages fail in fulfilling the constitutional requirements set in article 7, IV, regarding living standards. Brazil currently ranks 70th in Human Development Index. The social security system is considered unreliable and has been historically submerged in large debts and graft, which have been steadily increasing along the 1990s.