Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the biggest nation in both South America and Latin America, with a population of more than 200 million people. Brazil is the world's fifth-largest nation by land area and sixth-most populated country, with an area of 8.5 million square kilometres (3,300,000 square miles) and a population of more than 211 million people. Brasilia serves as the country's capital, while So Paulo is the country's most populated metropolis. The federation is made up of the union of the 26 states as well as the Federal District of Washington. It is the largest country in the world to have Portuguese as an official language, and the only one in the Americas to do so; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations in the world, owing to more than a century of mass immigration from all over the world; and it is the country with the highest proportion of Roman Catholics in the world, according to the United Nations.
Brazil has a coastline that stretches for 7,491 kilometres along the eastern coast of the Atlantic Ocean (4,655 mi). Apart from Ecuador and Chile, it has borders with every other country in South America, and it occupies 47.3 percent of the continent's land area. This enormous tropical forest, which is home to a diversity of species and biological systems, as well as significant natural resources spread over a number of protected areas, is found in the Amazon basin in Brazil. Brazil's unique environmental heritage places it among the world's 17 megadiverse countries, and the country is a source of considerable international interest because environmental degradation caused by processes such as deforestation has direct implications for global issues such as climate change and species extinction.