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South Region
Região Sul
Region of Brazil
Country  Brazil
States Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul
Largest cities Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Joinville
Highest point Pico Paraná
 - location Southern Brazilian Highlands, Paraná
 - elevation 1,877 m (6,158 ft)
 - coordinates 25°15′S 48°48′W / 25.250°S 48.800°W / -25.250; -48.800
Lowest point Sea level
 - elevation m (0 ft)
Area 576,774.31 km² (222,694 sq mi)
Population 29,439,773 (1 January 2016)
Density 51 /km² (132 /sq mi)

The South Region of Brazil (Portuguese: Região Sul do Brasil) is one of the five geographical regions of Brazil defined by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in 1969. It includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.


The South Region has an area of 576,774.31 km2 (222,693.81 sq mi), the smallest region of the country.

It is the only region of Brazil located outside the tropical zone, with clear variations about the seasons. In winter there are frosts and rarely snow. The relief is just a bit hilly, with a predominance of a large plateau, in general low.

It borders to the north with the Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo states; to the east with the Atlantic Ocean; to the south with Uruguay states; and to west with Argentina and Paraguay.


View of the Iguaçu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná), one of New 7 Wonders of Nature, the second most visited place by foreign tourists in Brazil and first in the south.

The hydrography of Southern Brazil can be classified in three great regions of Watersheds: the Paraná River, the Uruguay River and the Southeast Brazil Rivers.

The rivers of the southern region are availed for navigation, irrigation agriculture, urban water supply and power generation. The most important rivers are voluminous and have great hydroelectric potential. The Itaipu Dam, on the Parana River, is exploring the potential for power generation in the region. This operation allows the South and the Southeast an increasing use of electricity for domestic and industrial use.


Pico Paraná, the highest mountain in the Southern Brazil, Paraná.

The relief of the region is characterized by many plateaus that rises at altitudes up to more than 1,000 meters above sea level, decreasing to the west. Covering about 3/4 parts of the regional relief, this set is called Southern Plateau of Brazil and breaks down into plateaus that go from east to west.

The highest point of the different states of the South Region are:

Department Mountain Elevation
Paraná Pico Paraná 1,877 m (6,158 ft)
Santa Catarina Morro da Boa Vista 1,827 m (5,994 ft)
Rio Grande do Sul Monte Negro 1,398 m (4,587 ft)


Only Brazilian region located almost entirely in a subtropical climate, the South is the coldest area of Brazil, with frost and even, in some places, the snowfall. The seasons are well defined and the rains are evenly distributed over the year.

Southern Brazil has subtropical or temperate climate. The annual average temperatures vary between 12 °C (53.6 °F) and 22 °C (71.6 °F). Frost is very common and can snow in some mountain ranges.


This region is formed by three states: Paraná, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul.

States in the South Region of Brazil
Code State Capital Municipalities Population
BR-PR Bandeira do Paraná.svg Paraná Curitiba 399 11,242,720 199,307.94 56.4
BR-RS Bandeira do Rio Grande do Sul.svg Rio Grande do Sul Porto Alegre 497 11,286,500 281.737.89 40.1
BR-SC Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg Santa Catarina Florianópolis 295 6,910,553 95,737.95 72.2
Total 1,191 29,439,773 576,783.78 51.0


Universidade Federal do Parana 3 Curitiba Parana
The Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR ("Federal University of Paraná") is the oldest Brazilian university.

What most characterizes the South is the way it was colonized and kind of colonizers received. Received short black slaves, but many Caucasian immigrants. The Europeans gave the population the predominance of white skin color, gave to the landscape marks of their original countries and introduced the system of medium and small farms.

The southern region has good social indicators : it has the highest HDI in Brazil (0.831), and the third highest GDP per capita of the country. The region is also, 94.8% of the population.

The region is highly urbanized (82%) and many cities are famous for their urban planning, like Curitiba and Maringá. It has a relatively high standard of living in many aspects, with the highest Human Development Index of Brazil, 0.859 (2007), and the second highest per capita income of the country, $13.396. The region is also the most literate, 94% literacy rate.

Some places in the region must be emphasized, such as the Iguaçu Falls, (Natural Heritage and one of the New7Wonders of Nature) and the Ruins of St. Michael of the Missions (Cultural Heritage); the Itaipu Dam, elected the as one of the seven modern Wonders of the World); the winter cities on mountains of the SC and RS; and the Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Southern Brazil greatest icon.


The first inhabitants of southern Brazil are the indigenous people. Then came the Spanish Jesuit priests to evangelize the Indians and dominate the land. The pioneers of São Paulo attacked the missions to arrest the Indians. So, the Jesuits and the Indians abandoned the place and the cattle got loose in the fields. The São Paulo pioneers became interested in the trade of cattle. On the way through which the troops passed villages have emerged. For many years, the Portuguese and Spaniards fought over land in the region.

The population of the South has grown with the arrival of the first European immigrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Germans, Italians, Poles, Ukrainians immigrated to the region, which also received Japanese, Arabs and Jews.


The Botanical Garden of Curitiba is the unofficial symbol of the region.

As of 1 July  2016 (2016 -07-01), the South Region had a population of 29,439,773, for a population density of 51.0 inhabitants/km2.

The capital of Paraná state, Curitiba, has the largest population and also the largest economy, and the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, has the largest metropolitan area.

The 10 municipalities of the South Region with more inhabitants are:

Main municipalities in the South Region of Brazil
Rank Municipality State Population
Curitiba Paraná 1,893,997
Porto Alegre Rio Grande do Sul 1,481,019
Joinville Santa Catarina 569,645
Londrina Paraná 553,393
Caxias do Sul Rio Grande do Sul 479,236
Florianópolis Santa Catarina 477,798
Maringá Paraná 403,063
Blumenau Santa Catarina 343,715
Pelotas Rio Grande do Sul 343,651
10  Canoas Rio Grande do Sul 342,634

Racial groups

Blumenau Moellmann
The city of Blumenau, in Santa Catarina, have the largest Oktoberfest outside Germany.

The region received large numbers of European immigrants during the 19th century, who have had a large influence on its demography and culture. The main ethnic origins of Southern Brazil are Portuguese, Italian, and German.

Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, is spoken by the entire population. But in some places dialects of German or Italian origins are also spoken; some villages even use the language of immigrants. In Porto Alegre and Curitiba there are some Yiddish speakers.

Skin Color/Race (2006)
White 79.6%
Black 3.6%
Brown 16.0%
Asian or Amerindian 0.7%


State Park of Vila Velha, with great rocky formations sculptured by the erosion of rain and wind, in Paraná.

The region has as main tourist attractions their natural beauty, beaches, historical cities and their European colonies, and the well-defined seasons, characterized by the severe winter.

In Paraná, the Iguassu Falls receive thousands of tourists every year, being the main destination for foreigners in the region. The state also has a geological site of approximately 340 million years, with huge rock formations. The capital, Curitiba, was considered the best southern city for tourism .

In Santa Catarina the beaches receive many visitors, and the winter colonies in the state.

The Rio Grande do Sul state - like Santa Catarina - attracts tourists in winter to the cities in mountain, where the cold is intense.


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