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Brazil, Indiana
West National in downtown Brazil.jpg
Location of Brazil in Clay County, Indiana.
Location of Brazil in Clay County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Clay
 • Total 3.72 sq mi (9.63 km2)
 • Land 3.69 sq mi (9.55 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
656 ft (200 m)
 • Total 8,181
 • Density 2,218.88/sq mi (856.72/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 812
FIPS code 18-07174
GNIS ID 431462

Brazil is a city in Clay County, Indiana, United States. The population was 7,912 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Clay County. It is part of the Terre Haute Metropolitan Statistical Area. The current chief executive of Brazil is Mayor Brian Wyndham (Democrat).


In the 1840s, the owners of the farm which would later originate the city of Brazil decided to name their farm after the country of Brazil, because that country was often the subject of news at the time. The city was founded in 1866 under the name of that farm. As of now, Brazil is a part of the Terre Haute Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clay county, which was formed in 1825, originally had Bowling Green as its county seat; the county seat was relocated to Brazil in 1876, following the city's incredible development.

The Chafariz dos Contos (from "contos de réis", a former Brazilian currency) was given by the country of Brazil as a gift to the city, as a symbol of friendship, and was assembled in Forest Park in 1956. It is a replica of the original fountain located in Ouro Preto, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, built in 1745.

In 2010, Brazil gained national attention for having accepted money from Kentucky Fried Chicken for the rights to display the KFC and Fiery Grilled Wings logos on city fire hydrants.

The Brazil Downtown Historic District, Clay County Courthouse, Clay County Hospital, Meridian-Forest Historic District, and US Post Office-Brazil are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Brazil is located at 39°31′30″N 87°7′39″W / 39.52500°N 87.12750°W / 39.52500; -87.12750 (39.525030, -87.127380).

According to the 2010 census, Brazil has a total area of 3.058 square miles (7.92 km2), of which 3.03 square miles (7.85 km2) (or 99.08%) is land and 0.028 square miles (0.07 km2) (or 0.92%) is water.

Brazil experiences warm, even hot and humid summers and cold winters as part of the humid continental climate.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 84
1870 2,186
1880 3,441 57.4%
1890 5,905 71.6%
1900 7,786 31.9%
1910 9,340 20.0%
1920 9,293 −0.5%
1930 8,744 −5.9%
1940 8,126 −7.1%
1950 8,434 3.8%
1960 8,853 5.0%
1970 8,163 −7.8%
1980 7,852 −3.8%
1990 7,640 −2.7%
2000 8,188 7.2%
2010 7,912 −3.4%
2020 8,181 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 7,912 people, 3,154 households, and 2,018 families living in the city. The population density was 2,611.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,008.2/km2). There were 3,583 housing units at an average density of 1,182.5 per square mile (456.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.1% White, 0.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 3,154 households, of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.0% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 36.2 years. 26% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 23.9% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.


A 2018 study by 24/7 Wall Street found that Brazil is the poorest city in Indiana. At the time of the study 31.6% of Brazil's population lived below the poverty line.


Traffic/street issues

The main street of Brazil is U.S. Route 40, the historic National Road, which is referred to as National Avenue within Brazil. Due to frequent accidents on Interstate 70, five miles (8 km) to the south of the town and often under construction, police often re-route traffic through Brazil, which creates traffic problems on U.S. 40 and the north-south State Road 59 (Forest Avenue, which intersects U.S. 40).

Many of Brazil's streets are in disrepair and very bumpy. The original brick roadbed is visible in many places through the asphalt. Also evident in several sections are stretches of the original brick streets in excellent condition; however, many intersections have no traffic control devices (stop/yield signs). Many of the roads in the city were replaced with new asphalt. The work began in 2015 and, over several years, the majority of the streets will be replaced.

The annual Parke County Covered Bridge Festival often causes traffic problems on Indiana 59.

Brazil's sewer/drainage system dates from the early 20th century. Even though large sections of the sewer system were replaced in the late 20th century, a moderate rainstorm will cause the storm drain system to back up and flood town streets.


The Brazil Clay County Airport is a public-use airport located in Clay County, 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) south of Brazil's central business district.


The Terre Haute, Brazil and Eastern Railroad was a short-line railroad that once ran a tourist excursion called the Beaver Creek Express between Brazil and Limedale. The line was dismantled after TBER entered bankruptcy and ceased operation on December 31, 1993.

Area festivals

  • Brazil Rotary's Annual 4th of July Festival
  • Christmas in the Park Celebration (Day after Thanksgiving until 26 Dec)
  • Parke County Covered Bridge Festival (15 miles north of Brazil) (Starts second Friday in October, lasts two weeks)
  • Cory Apple Festival, Cory, IN. 15 Miles SW of Brazil in Clay County. (Last Full Weekend of September, Friday - Sunday)
  • Popcorn Festival was mentioned on an episode of Indiana Public Broadcasting's "Across Indiana" in 2008


Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).


The Brazil, Staunton, and Van Buren high schools were consolidated into Northview High School, which graduated its first class in 1985. Brazil High School replaced the original high school, built circa 1906. Built in 1916, it was located on the southeast corner of SR59 and Kruzan, now occupied by the YMCA. Like many other Indiana schools, it was designed by the Terre Haute architectural firm of Johnson, Miller, and Miller.

The city has a free lending library, the Brazil Public Library.

Notable people

  • Gerald Eades Bentley, scholar of Elizabethan theatre
  • Gene Cramer, NBL player
  • George N. Craig, governor of Indiana, Past National Commander of American Legion
  • Johnnie Davis, musician, band leader
  • Joe Dean, American basketball player, announcer and college athletic director
  • John Dugan, actor
  • Ivan Fuqua, winner of gold medal in 4 × 400 m relay at the 1932 Summer Olympics
  • David Goggins, Navy SEAL, athlete
  • Charles B. Hall, iconic combat fighter pilot and U.S. Army Air Corps Officer with the Tuskegee Airmen
  • Jimmy Hoffa, Labor Union leader
  • Judy Ledgerwood, Abstract painter and educator
  • Gayle Porter Hoskins, illustrator
  • Stuart Randall, actor who played Sheriff Mort Corey on Laramie
  • Orville Redenbacher, popcorn tycoon
  • Ralph Francis Stearley, 2-star Air Force general in Gen. Eisenhower's Cabinet
  • Henry Lee Summer, 1980s pop singer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Brazil (Indiana) para niños

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