Minas Gerais

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Minas Gerais
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coat of arms
Basic data
Country Brazil
Capital Belo Horizonte
surface 586,519.7 km²
Residents 21,168,791 (estimate as of July 1, 2019)
density 36 inhabitants per km²
ISO 3166-2 BR-MG
governor Romeu Zema
Political party NOVO
GDP 576,199  million  R $
27,283  R $ per capita
Capital Belo Horizonte
Capital Belo Horizonte

Coordinates: 18 °  S , 45 °  W

The federal state of Minas Gerais ( Brazilian-Portuguese [ ˈminɐz ʒeˈɾajs ], European-Portuguese [ ˈminɐʒ ʒɨˈɾajʃ ], abbreviation : MG ; German "general mines") is located in southeastern Brazil . Its capital is Belo Horizonte . In short, it is often just called Minas ; the residents are called "Mineiros".


With around 586,520 km², Minas Gerais is roughly the size of metropolitan France and with 19,597,330 inhabitants according to the 2010 census of the IBGE (population density 33 inhabitants / km²), after São Paulo, it is the second most populous state in Brazil. As of July 1, 2019, the IBGE estimated the population to be 21,168,791.

Minas Gerais borders (clockwise from the southeast) with Rio de Janeiro , São Paulo , Mato Grosso do Sul , Goiás , Bahia and Espírito Santo ; a small part also borders the federal district .

The capital is Belo Horizonte . It was created at the end of the 19th century in place of the old capital Ouro Preto, which, however, symbolically receives this function back on high holidays. Other cities in Minas Gerais include Contagem , Uberlândia and Juiz de Fora .

The highest point is the Pico da Bandeira in the Serra do Caparaó with 2889 m. It is the third highest mountain in Brazil and lies on the border with the neighboring state of Espírito Santo . The most important rivers are São Francisco , Jequitinhonha, Doce, Grande, Paranaíba , Mucuri and Pardo.

Economy and Agriculture

The name of the state of Minas Gerais means something like "general mines". In fact, there are numerous mines and mining areas for various ores and phosphates . In particular, the " Iron Square " is rich in Precambrian iron ore deposits . There are aluminum and zinc produced. In Minas Gerais there are also large deposits of various minerals and rocks . The historical gold reserves that once established the state's wealth and power are now largely exhausted. Today, however, extensive diamond deposits are being exploited in the old gold mines .

In addition to gold and diamonds, numerous other minerals are mined. A total of around 670 minerals and their varieties have been found in the Minas Gerais area so far (as of 2011) . These include the beryl varieties emerald and aquamarine, known as gemstones, as well as jadeite , muscovite , rose quartz and spodumene , of which the gemstone variety Kunzite is known.

The area is also registered as a type locality for 35 minerals, including Brazilianite from the Córrego Frio Mine near Linópolis , Goyazite from Diamantina , Lindbergite from Sapucaia do Norte (Galiléia), Minasgeraisite- (Y) from the José Miranda Mine near Jaguaraçu , Palladium from Bom Sucesso Creek (Serro) and Tavorite from Sapucaia Mine (Sapucaia do Norte).

Among other things, dolomite and itacolumite are found on rocks .

The earth of Minas Gerais ( Terra Roxa ) is so ferrous that fine red laterite soil covers the highways and rivers turn reddish brown.

The diverse agriculture of Minas Gerais produces corn , soy , rice , beans and coffee , among other things . The cultivation of cotton is an important requirement for the local textile industry .


Romeu Zema des Partido Novo (NOVO) has been the governor with executive power since January 1, 2019 .

The legislature rests with 77 elected members of the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais .

The state sends 53 elected federal representatives to the Chamber of Deputies and three federal senators to the federal senate of the national congress .

History and culture

Around 1695 gold was found in Minas Gerais. When diamonds were also discovered, the region boomed. Slaves from Africa were brought here to work in the mines and numerous settlers and traders from Europe settled here.

In the state, the sauropod Maxakalisaurus topai was discovered, the largest of the 15 species of dinosaurs discovered in Brazil so far (as of 2006).

The state of Minas Gerais is responsible for the Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, which is spread over six locations .

On November 5, 2015, an environmental disaster occurred in Minas Gerais when a retention basin of an iron ore mine broke near the town of Mariana . Toxic sludge got into the Rio Doce and into the Atlantic Ocean .

On January 25, 2019, a dam broke in Minas Gerais in the municipality of Brumadinho, causing a mudslide and widespread destruction. See: Brumadinho dam breach .


The ten largest parishes of the 853 municipal towns in Minas Gerais are according to the 2010 census:

f1Georeferencing Map with all coordinates of the cities section : OSM

rank local community 2010 census
July 1, 2018 estimate
001 Belo Horizonte World icon 000000002375151.00000000002,375,151 000000002501576.00000000002,501,576
002 Uberlândia World icon 000000000604013.0000000000604.013 000000000683247.0000000000683.247
003 Contagem World icon 000000000603442.0000000000603,442 000000000659070.0000000000659.070
004th Juiz de Fora World icon 000000000516247.0000000000516.247 000000000564310.0000000000564.310
005 Betim World icon 000000000378089.0000000000378.089 000000000432575.0000000000432,575
006th Montes Claros World icon 000000000361915.0000000000361.915 000000000404804.0000000000404.804
007th Ribeirão das Neves World icon 000000000296317.0000000000296.317 000000000331045.0000000000331.045
008th Uberaba World icon 000000000295988.0000000000295,988 000000000330361.0000000000330,361
009 Governador Valadares World icon 000000000263689.0000000000263,689 000000000278685.0000000000278,685
010 Ipatinga World icon 000000000239468.0000000000239,468 000000000261344.0000000000261,344

Population development

Population density of Minas Gerais.
  • 0-25 Ew. / km²
  • 25-50 inhabitants / km²
  • 50-100 inhabitants / km²
  • 100-150 inhabitants / km²
  • 150-200 inhabitants / km²
  • 200-300 inhabitants / km²
  • 300-400 inhabitants / km²
  • 400-500 inhabitants / km²
  • > 500 inhabitants / km²
  • year Residents
    1872 000000002039735.00000000002,039,735
    1890 000000003184099.00000000003,184,099
    1900 000000003594471.00000000003,594,471
    1920 000000005888174.00000000005,888,174
    1940 000000006763368.00000000006,763,368
    1950 000000007782188.00000000007,782,188
    1960 000000009960040.00000000009,960,040
    1970 000000011645095.000000000011,645,095
    1980 000000013651852.000000000013,651,852
    1991 000000015731961.000000000015,731,961
    2000 000000017866402.000000000017,866,402
    2010 000000019597330.000000000019,597,330
    2019 000000021168791.000000000021,168,791

    Ethnic groups

    Ethnic groups according to the statistical classification of the IBGE statistical office (2000 status with 17,866,402 inhabitants, status 2010 with 19,597,330 inhabitants): Of these, 14,658,502 inhabitants lived in urban areas (81.87%) and 3,246,631 in rural areas in 2010 Area (18.13)%, in 2010 there were 16,714,976 inhabitants in urban areas (85.29%) and 2,882,354 in rural areas (14.71%).

    For the first time in the 2010 census, the Afro-Brazilian population of Pardos and Pretos exceeded that of the whites. The indigenous population is made up of members of the Xacriabá , Maxakali , Krenak , Pataxó , Kaxixó , Aranã , Mukurim , Pankararu and Xukuru-Kariri ethnic groups .

    group Share
    % Share
    % annotation
    Brancos 000000009594370.00000000009,594,370 53.58   000000008830978.0000000000 8,830,978 45.06 Whites, descendants of Europeans
    Pardos 000000006737420.00000000006,737,420 37.63   000000008736860.0000000000 8,736,860 44.58 Mixed races, mulattos , mestizos
    Pretus 000000001397199.00000000001,397,199 7.80   000000001807526.0000000000 1,807,526 9.22 black
    Amarelos 000000000028563.000000000028,563 0.16   000000000187869.0000000000 187,869 0.96 Asians
    Indigenous people 000000000048720.000000000048,720 0.27   000000000031601.0000000000 31.601 0.16 indigenous population
    without specification 000000000098862.000000000098,862 0.55 000000000002496.00000000002,496 0.01


    Web links

    Commons : Minas Gerais  - collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. a b c Minas Gerais - Panorama. In: cidades.ibge.gov.br. IBGE , accessed September 4, 2019 (Brazilian Portuguese).
    2. Jolyon Ralph, Ida Ralph: English-language mineral list for the Minas Gerais site on mindat.org. The type localities appear in bold.
    3. ^ Humberto Trajano, Raquel Freitas: Romeu Zema, do Novo, é eleito governador de Minas Gerais. In: globo.com. G1, October 28, 2018, accessed January 27, 2019 (Brazilian Portuguese).
    4. ^ Carla Rahn Philipps: Trade in the Iberian empires, 1450-1750. In: Douglas A. Irwin (Ed.) Trade in the pre-modern era, 1400–1700 , pp. 330–331.
    5. Anne Herrberg: A lifeline that has become muddy brown . Environmental disaster in Brazil. In: tagesschau. ARD, November 27, 2015, accessed on December 2, 2015 .
    6. IBGE : Sistema IBGE de Recuperação Automática - SIDRA: Tabela 2093. Retrieved April 8, 2020 (Portuguese, database query, search terms Minas Gerais and Cor ou raça).