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Regional Divisions of Brazil

About the publication - 2017 Geographic Areas

The Regional Division of Brazil into Immediate and Intermediate Geographic Regions 2017 presents a new regional scenario linked to social, political and economic processes observed in the national territory since the edition of the Regional Division of Brazil released in the 1990’s. The revision of mesoregional and microregional units, which are called, in this study, Intermediate Geographic Regions and Immediate Geographic Regions, followed a common methodology for all the national territory and became part of analyses and expectations of state planning bodies by means of a partnership intermediated by the National Association of Planning, Research and Statistics Institutions – ANIPES. The Regional Division of Brazil into Geographic Regions 2017 aims at providing material for the planning and management of public policies at federal and state levels and to make available different segments for the dissemination of statistical and geoscientific data from the IBGE for the coming ten years.

The subdivision by Immediate and Intermediate Geographic Regions 2017 encompasses the changes occurred in Brazil over the last three decades. The recent sociospatial process of fragmentation /articulation of the Brazilian territory, in its several formats, can be seen in many of the studies developed by the IBGE. The methodological resource used in the elaboration of the current Regional Division of Brazil made use of the several territory models originated from previous studies, connecting them and interpreting the resulting diversity. The region becomes, by means of that option, a construction of geographic knowledge, defined by the dynamics of transformation processes occurred recently and put into operation according to concrete elements (urban networks, hierarchical classification of urban centers, detection of management flows, among others) which are capable of telling regional spaces apart at adequate scales. 

The Immediate Geographic Regions have the urban network as their main element of reference. These regions are structures departing from surrounding urban centers for the supply of immediate needs of the population, such as: purchase of durable and non-durable consumer goods; job search; search for health and educational services; and rendering of public services, such as customer service for the National Social Security Institute – INSS – the Ministry of Labor and of legal services, among others.

The Intermediate Geographic Regions correspond to an intermediate scale among the Federation Units ad The Immediate Geographic Regions. Preferably, there was an attempt at delimitating the Intermediate Geographic Regions with the inclusion of Metropolises or Regional Capitals of the study of networks and urban hierarchy Areas of Influence of Cities (REGIC 2007). In some cases, mainly where there are no Metropolises or Regional Capitals, smaller urban centers were used as representative of the Group of Immediate Regions which form the respective Intermediate Geographic Regions.

The Intermediate Geographic Regions correspond to an intermediate scale among the Federation Units ad The Immediate Geographic Regions. Preferably, there was an attempt at delimitating the Intermediate Geographic Regions with the inclusion of Metropolises or Regional Capitals of the study of networks and urban hierarchy Areas of Influence of Cities (REGIC 2007). In some cases, mainly where there are no Metropolises or Regional Capitals, smaller urban centers were representative of the Group of Immediate Regions which form the respective Intermediate Geographic Regions.

The Intermediate Geographic Regions organize the territory, promoting the articulation of Immediate Geographic Regions by means of a higher hierarchic pole based on private and public management flows and on the existence of highly-complex urban functions.

The work developed by the IBGE geographers was conducted with the help of its Network of Local and State Branches in the task of separating Brazil into territory units, following clear criteria that can be applicable to the whole country. According to previously established definitions, a preliminary proposal of regional division was sent to the Network of IBGE’s Local and State Branches, as well as to Secretariats and/or Planning Institutes of the Federation Units. That step was intended to bring new agents into the process of Geographic Region delimitation, including the local knowledge of different forms of organization of the Brazilian space.