Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Nordeste (Northeastern Brazil) is composed of the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe. The biggest cities are Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador, which are the regional metropolitan areas of Nordeste, all with population above a million habitants. People who lives, are from or have antecendants in the Brazilian Northeast, are called nordestinos.
- Area: 1.561.177 km² (27.50%)
- Population: 47.700.000 hab (30.55 hab/km²; 16%)
- GDP: ~48.1bi US$ (~12%)
- HDI: ~0.725
- Largest Cities: Salvador (2.440.828); Fortaleza (2.138.234); Recife (1.421.993); São Luís (868.047); Maceió (796.842); Teresina (714.583); Natal (709.536); João Pessoa (595.429); Jabotão dos Guararapes ; (580.795); Feira de Santana (481.137); Aracajú (461.083); Olinda (368.666); Campina Grande (354.546)
States & Capitals
- Alagoas - Maceió
- Bahia - Salvador
- Ceará - Fortaleza
- Maranhão - São Luís
- Paraíba - João Pessoa
- Pernambuco - Recife
- Piauí - Teresina
- Rio Grande do Norte - Natal
- Sergipe - Aracaju
Urban Areas x Rural Areas
Nordeste's major cities are almost all in the Atlantic coast. Some exceptions can be seen, however, like Petrolina , Pernambuco, which lies immediately south of the São Francisco River (one of the few rivers that crosses the sertão and don't dry in the arid periods of time (which can be pretty long).
Good rural areas are scarce and generally they are all near the coast, or in the west of Maranhão, and are mainly used for exportation products. In the semi-arid areas of the Northeast Region, rural areas do exist, but rain is scarce in the region; rural areas in the interior are generally based upon subsistence agriculture.
Economic is based on tourism (in coastal or historical cities) or agriculture. Major indusries (clothing, food, small machinery) are in the three metropolitan areas of Nordeste.
The Brazil's Northeast region is caracterized to be arid for relatively long period of times in the interior of the continent, with the coast and in the southern region of having a more humid climate.
Nordeste's culture is very rich, with its unique constructions in the old centers of Salvador, Recife and Olinda, dance (frevo and samba), music (axé, forró) and culinary. Salvador was the first Brazilian capital.
People who lives in these arid areas generally don't have enough water for their subsistence and need to walk long distances to obtain it. Many times, these people, who are generally poor, give up and go to live in the city, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro the main destinations. A well known case is of the former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was in Pernambuco, and moved early in childhood with the family to Santos, where he worked in his teens in the streets.
In São Paulo, as well as many other parts of the metropolitans areas, nordestinos are many times not well looked by people of the middle and elite classes, which claim that they, the nordestinos, are responsible for most of the social problems of the city.
Generally, nordestinos in hope of a better life come without much money, and are rejected by most employers by its low or inexistent education. Quickly realizing that the big city is as bad or worse than the sertão, they finish up in favelas (slums). Many of they return to their homeland when they collect sufficient money to do so.
Nordeste is the poorest region of Brazil, with the worst HDI rates of the country, mainly in the rural areas, which suffer from long periods without rain. Education and health care are very bad when they exist, malnutrition is common in people living in these areas, illiteracy is about 75% and child labor is a concern, as is child prostitution in major cities. In contrast to the situation occurring in the other Brazilian regions where social problems are worse in bigger cities, social problems in the Northeast regions are worse in the rural and small comunnities of the interior, lessening in bigger cities near the coast.
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