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Evolution of the Brazilian Territorial Division | 2010


The Evolution of the Brazilian Territorial Division is a study that provides key information about the Brazilian Federation geography and history by means of political maps that cover a long period of time, since 1872 (year of the first enumeration) to the latest demographic census conducted by the IBGE. The territorial mapping evolution encompasses analytical texts that contextualize the historical process of rearrangement of the national political map that was connected, in the past, to Brazilian history itself as a Portuguese Empire colony; it also includes the new maps, which have been designed by adjustments occurred in the legal framework of Brazilian Federation in state and municipal level over the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Changes in the state and municipal borders are the evidence of many modifications that happened in the Brazilian Republic federative pact, which impacted on the subdivision of the territory between its political and administrative spheres, continually reconfiguring the political map of the country.

About the publication - 2010

The Evolution of the Territorial Division of Brazil is a study that provides fundamental geographic and historical information on the Brazilian Federation through political maps that cover the period from 1872 - year of the first full census in the country - to 2010. 

The structure of the publication obeys, thus, the very dissemination pattern of those pieces of information, covering, initially, the evolution of the political-administrative division, approached not only through the mapping of the territorial meshes in the states and municipalities based on the first enumeration carried out back in the Empire, in 1872, but also considering the political maps of Brazil redesigned along the 20th century – 1900, 1911, 1920, 1933, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991 –  and the territorial division in the years 2000 and 2010.

Broadly speaking, as a result of the colonial past based on land expansion and spontaneous ownership, the imperial provinces and republican states would inherit a very particular political-administrative division in terms of land sizes. The sequence of maps of the evolution of the territorial mesh of the country is preceded by analytical texts contextualizing the historical process of redivision of the political map, linked in the past with Brazil's own development as a colonial extension of the Portuguese Empire overseas culminating in the current maps rectified based on the legal ordering of the Brazilian Federation in the state and municipal spheres throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

After the time series encompassing the evolution of the Brazilian territorial mesh, a sequence of thematic maps is presented with the evolution of the total population, covering a long historical period – 1872, 1900, 1920, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991, 2000 e 2010 – followed by the evolution of the population by place of dwelling, i. e., related to the spatial distribution of the urban and rural population in the Brazilian territory, within a shorter period – 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991, 2000 e 2010 – in which the Brazilian population is counted by the IBGE, a Federal Institute created back then to gather the country's geographic and statistical data.



Learn more - 2010



What is the Evolution of the Brazilian Territorial Division? 
The Evolution of the Brazilian Territorial Division is the study that makes available fundamental information for on the geography and history of the Brazilian federation narrated by its political maps that cover the long period that goes from 1872 - year of the first Census up to the last Population Census conducted by the IBGE. 

What are the products made available by the IBGE?
Besides the publication in printed and digital media, the study makes available shapefiles of the polygons and points that represent the evolution of the state and Brazilian grid, together with an electronic spreadsheet that provides the genealogy of municipalities, the separations that occurred in the period, changes in the toponym and writing, and also the population values by census year and by municipality. It is worth mentioning that in 1872 the Brazilian population was enumerated as free or slave population and, from 1940 on, by status of the housing unit. 

Do municipal grids have cartographic precision? 
The municipal grid in this work do not have cartographic precision, having been elaborated by the union of municipal polygons, based on the 1991 grid, in compliance with the process of city emancipation. Information on the population of censuses from 1872 to 1960 have been typed for this work based on PDF files available at and for the year 1920 of the paper volume itself. More detailed information about the elaboration of grids and tables can be obtained in the publication's Methodology. It is worth mentioning that grids relative to the years 2000 and 2010 are available at the IBGE website. 

How often is the publication updated?
The publication is updated every year after the Population Census. The IBGE is responsible for the adjustments in the update cycles of the products, due to either necessity or convenience. 

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