The state of Minas Gerais is one of the largest states in Brazil, is in second place by population after that of São Paulo, while it is the fourth largest in the country. The Minas Gerais by extension of its territory exceeds France. From an economic point of view, Minas Gerais ranks third among the richest and most industrialized Brazilian states after those of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The Minas Gerais has no access to the sea. It borders to the north with the state of Bahia, to the west with the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and with the Distrito Federal (where the capital of Brazil, Brasilia is located). While in the south it borders with the state of São Paulo, in the south-east with that of Rio de Janeiro, and in the east with that of Espírito Santo. Its capital is the city of Belo Horizonte.
A TERRITORY MADE OF MOUNTAINS, HIGHLANDS AND HILLS
The territory of Minas Gerais is made up of highlands that have an average altitude of around 700 meters. These highlands are part of the Atlantic Planalto and the Central Planalto. The territory is undulating and does not present vast plains. The most important rivers are Rio São Francisco, Rio Paranaíba, Rio Grande and Rio Doce.
There are many mountain ranges in the state. To the south, along the border with the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, there is the Serra da da Mantiqueira, where the Pedra da Mina (2,798 meters) and the Pico das Agulhas Negras stand out (2,792 meters).
To the northeast the mountains continue with the Serra do Caparaó, along the border with the state of Espírito Santo. Here is the highest mountain in Minas Gerais, the Pico da Bandeira (2,891 meters). In the central area of the state is the Serra do Espinhaço, which extends for about 1,000 km in length, and slightly exceeds two thousand meters in height.
Minas Gerais is rich in raw materials and industries. Mining, mechanical, telecommunications and electronics industries have developed among the latter. Tourism is also highly developed thanks to the numerous towns of colonial origin in the area.
- Area: 586.528 km²
- Population: 19,595,309 (2010) (whites 45.4%, mulattos 44.3%, blacks 9.2%, Asians or indigenous 1.1%)
- Capital: Belo Horizonte
- Time zone: UTC-3 (Summer UTC -2)