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Brazilian Semi-arid Region


The Brazilian Semi-Arid Region is delimited by the Superintendence of Northeastern Development - SUDENE, considering the weather conditions that prevail in the semi-arid contexts, as the pluviometry. As a reflex of the weather conditions, the hydrography is frail, in various ways, being unable to support the larger rivers so that they can be perennial in the long drought periods, the exception being the São Francisco River. Due to its hydrologic characteristics, which allow for its subsistence throughout the year, the São Francisco River gains a special meaning to the populations living by the river and those of the Sertão area.

Learn more - 2021

News and Releases

IBGE releases updating of legal territorial divisions of Brazil

The IBGE releases today (14) an updating of the legal territorial divisions of Brazil. Altogether, they...


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Legislação relacionada


Is the IBGE responsible for Brazilian Semi-arid Region delimitation?

No. The Superintendence of Northeastern Development (SUDENE) is responsible for the Brazilian Semi-arid Region delimitation.

Why does the IBGE classifies the Brazilian Semi-arid Region as a geographic subdivision?
The IBGE aims to release geographic subdivisions that are relevant for statistical dissemination, planning and for public and private investment.

Which is the frequency of the Brazilian Semi-arid Region updating?

Brazilian Semi-arid Region, as a legal subdivision, will only have its delimitation updated when there is a legislative or normative update of these subdivisions. Existing updates related to the Territorial Division of Brazil might have an impact on the states and municipalities borders and nomenclature.

Where can I obtain more information about the Brazilian Semi-arid Region?
For more information on SUDENE, please visit the institution’s website (

Is the  Brazilian Semi-arid Region the only operation area of SUDENE?

No. The operation area of SUDENE encompasses the states of Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia; the region and municipalities of the state of Minas Gerais, which the Laws no. 1,348 of 02.10.1951, no. 6,218 of 07.07.1975, and no. 9,690 of 07.15.1998 are addressed to; the municipalities of Águas Formosas, Angelândia, Aricanduva, Arinos, Ataléia, Bertópolis, Campanário, Carlos Chagas, Catuji, Crisólita, Formoso, Franciscópolis, Frei Gaspar, Fronteira dos Vales, Itaipé, Itambacuri, Jenipapo de Minas, José Gonçalves de Minas, Ladainha, Leme do Prado, Machacalis, Monte Formoso, Nanuque, Novo Oriente de Minas, Ouro Verde de Minas, Pavão, Pescador, Ponto dos Volantes, Poté, Riachinho, Santa Fé de Minas, Santa Helena de Minas, São Romão, Serra dos Aimorés, Setubinha, Teófilo Otoni, Umburatiba and Veredinha, all in the state of Minas Gerais; and, also, the municipalities of Espírito Santo related to Law no. 9,690 of 07.15.1998, as well as the municipality of Governador Lindenberg.

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