Mato Grosso

State of Mato Grosso


Coat of arms

Location of State of Mato Grosso in Brazil
Coordinates: 15°34′S 56°04′W / 15.567°S 56.067°W / -15.567; -56.067Coordinates: 15°34′S 56°04′W / 15.567°S 56.067°W / -15.567; -56.067
Country  Brazil
Capital and largest city Cuiabá
  Governor Pedro Taques (PSDB)
  Vice Governor Carlos Fávaro (PSD)
  Senators Cidinho Santos (PR)
José Medeiros (PODE)
Wellington Fagundes (PR)
  Total 903,357 km2 (348,788 sq mi)
Area rank 3rd
Population (July 1, 2018)[1]
  Total 3,441,998
  Rank 17th
  Density 3.8/km2 (9.9/sq mi)
  Density rank 25th
Demonym(s) Mato-grossense
  Year 2014 estimate
  Total R$ 101.235 billion (14th)
  Per capita R$ 31,396,81 (8th)
  Year 2014
  Category 0.767 high (9th)
Time zone BRT-1 (UTC-4)
  Summer (DST) BRST-1 (UTC-3)
Postal Code 78000-000 to 78890-000
ISO 3166 code BR-MT

Mato Grosso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu] – lit. "Thick Bushes") is one of the states of Brazil, the third-largest by area, located in the western part of the country.[2]

Neighboring states are (from west clockwise) Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. The nation of Bolivia is located to the southwest. A state with a flat landscape, alternating great chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso has three different ecosystems: Cerrado, Pantanal and the Amazon Rainforest. The vegetation of the open pasture covers 40% of the state.

The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with caves, grottoes, tracks, and waterfalls, is one of its tourist attractions. In the north is the Amazonian forest, with a biodiversity originally covering half of the state. Much of this has been disrupted and cleared for logging, agricultural purposes, and pastures. The Xingu National Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Further south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for nearly one thousand species of animals, and many aquatic birds.


Located in the Mato Grosso is the Chapada dos Guimarães, a unique environment of sandstone mountains that have eroded into amazingly varied terrain. The terrain of the Mato Grosso is varied and includes cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls.

The biologically rich Pantanal, one of the world's largest wetland/prairie ecosystems, is also located within this state. Much environmental degradation has occurred to the Pantanal since the late 20th century because of development, and efforts to contain or slow it have had limited success. The Pantanal has a habitat similar to that of the Everglades in Florida in the United States, although the Pantanal is on a much larger scale.


In 1977, the state was split into two halves, with Mato Grosso do Sul being organized as a new state. The Bororo Indians live in the Mato Grosso area. As late as 1880, soldiers patrolled lands on the outskirts of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso's capital and largest city, to protect settlers from Bororo raids.

By the end of the 19th century, although severely reduced by disease and by warfare with explorers, slave traders, prospectors, settlers, and other indigenous groups, as many as five to ten thousand Bororo continued to occupy central and eastern Mato Grosso, as well as western Goiás.[3] The southwestern part of this state was ceded by Brazil to Bolivia in exchange for Acre, according to the Treaty of Petrópolis in 1903.

This historically remote area attracted expeditions of exploration in the early 20th century that sought to find lost civilizations. A notable example were efforts by British Captain Percy Fawcett. In addition, theorists of Hollow Earth speculated that this region had sites of access to the interior of the earth and its settlements.


Mato Grosso had a high rate of population growth in the 20th century due to timber, ranching and agricultural development. The state as a whole still has one of the lowest population densities of any Brazilian state. According to the IBGE of 2018, 3,441,998 people resided in the state. The population density was 3.8 inh./km².

Urbanization: 76.6% (2006); Population growth: 2.4% (1991–2000); Houses: 836,000 (2006).[4]

Ethnically, the state includes a relatively high proportion of caboclos (persons of mixed European and Indian ancestry), as do other areas of interior Brazil. The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 1,532,000 Brown (Mixed) people (50.92%); 1,179,000 White people (39.16%); 239,000 Black people (7.93%); 41,000 Amerindian people (1.37%); and 14,000 Asian people (0.45%).[5]

Largest cities


Agriculture is the largest component of GDP at 40.8%, followed by the service sector at 40.2%. The industrial sector represents 19% of GDP (2004). Mato Grosso exports: soybeans 83%, wood 5.6%, meats 4.8%, and cotton 3.3% (2002).

The state's share of the Brazilian economy is 1.8% (2014).


Vehicles: 1,614,797 (Janeiro/2015); Mobile phones: 4,500,000 (Janeiro/2015); Telephones: 527,000 (April/2007); Cities: 141 (2007).[7]


Portuguese is the official national language, as well as the primary language taught in schools. However, English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

More than 58 universities are located in state of Mato Grosso.[8]

Cuiabá is home to the following universities:


The local culture is very rich, due to the influences of and encounters with various cultures, such as indigenous peoples, colonial Spanish and other European settlers, Africans enslaved and transported there in the Atlantic slave trade, originally by the Portuguese, and other Europeans; and immigrants and settlers since the late 19th century. Two long periods of isolation also contributed to its developing along different lines than coastal areas of Brazil. Recent immigration has brought many urban influences to the state. Cuiabá has a rich cuisine influenced by natives. They have maintained traditional dances, craftwork, and music.

Dance and music were traditionally connected to the worship of Catholic saints and their festivals, Saint Benedict (the city's patron), being one of the favorite.


The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday, known as Carnival is well celebrated. As with every state in Brazil, Mato Grosso celebrates this holiday in a typical fashion - including parades, music, and dance - with wide participation.

Tourism and recreation

Alta Floresta

Fishing in the Teles Pires, São Benedito and Azul rivers is productive practically all year long.

Bird watching: with the more than 570 species of catalogued birds and new species being discovered every year, the region of Alta Floresta, Cristalino and Azul River Basin receives constant visits from famous ornithologists and bird watchers.

Chapada dos Guimarães

The largest sandstone cavern in Brazil, Aroe Jari, extends nearly 1,550 meters and several prehistoric inscriptions can be found inside.

North Pantanal

The Pantanal's backbone is the Paraguay River, which cuts through the region from north to south. The Miranda, Aquidauna, Taquari and Cuiaba rivers flow into the Paraguay River. From October to April, the high waters reveal outsized lakes, bays, river branches and outlets.

The Transpantaneira Highway connects the town of Pocone to Jofre Port, along the Cuiabá River bank. It is a dirt road with 126 wooden bridges, and extends for 149 km. On the way, it is possible to observe wild animals, especially alligators, capybaras and birds, among other wild animals.

SESC's Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN) increases by one-third the total area of this preserved ecosystem in the State of Mato Grosso.

Over 160 different species of birds have been observed in the Pantanal, and still many species in the area have not yet been identified.

Águas Quentes State Park

The 1,487 hectares (3,670 acres) Águas Quentes State Park, the first protected area in Mato Grosso, is known for the healing powers of its thermal waters.[9]

Lagoa Azul State Park

The Gruta da Lagoa Azul State Park (Portuguese: Parque Estadual Gruta da Lagoa Azul) is a state park in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Its primary attraction is a limestone cave with a pool of blue water and unusual cave formations. These have suffered from vandalism, causing the cave to be closed until measures to protect it could be implemented. The Gruta da Lagoa Azul State Park is in the municipality of Nobres, Mato Grosso. It has an area of 12,513 hectares (30,920 acres).[10] The blue lagoon cave holds a pool of blue water formed from underground water of the Saloba River.[11] The main entrance is filled in part by the water. The hall contains columns over 5 metres (16 ft) in size and 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. There may be archaeological remains in the cave. The park has several other limestone caves. It is covered with deciduous forests, and is home to howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars and macaws.[12]


International Airport

The runway at Marechal Rondon International Airport was opened to traffic in 1956. In February 1975, Infraero took over the airport's administration and began various upgrades to meet the needs of the airport complex.

As of 1996, Marechal Rondon International Airport, located 10 km (6.21 mi) from the city center, started receiving international flights. Currently, it serves more than half a million passengers a year.


  • BR-070;
  • BR-173;
  • BR-174;
  • BR-158;
  • BR-163;
  • BR-197;
  • BR-242;
  • BR-252;
  • BR-364;
  • MT-100;
  • MT-358.


Cuiabá is one of 12 cities chosen to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Brazil.


The flag has similar colors to the flag of Brazil, with blue symbolizing the sky, green the vegetation, and white standing for peace. The star is yellow to symbolize the gold, which attracted the first settlers. The flag was adopted by Decree No. 2 of January 31, 1890, just few days after the adoption of the national flag. The Mato Grosso state flag was abolished by Law No. 1.046 of October 8, 1929, but reinstated by article 140 of the Constitution of the State of Mato Grosso on July 11, 1947.

See also


  1. "Projeção da população do Brasil e das Unidades da Federação" (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 1 March 2018. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. Note: also once spelled "Matto Grosso". The town of Matto Grosso was formerly called Villa Bella." Source: Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, vol.2, by Lieut. USN. Lardner Gibbon 1853; chapter 11. p. 275)
  3. "Myths of pacification: Brazilian frontier settlement and the subjugation of the Bororo Indians", Encyclopedia
  4. Source: PNAD.
  5. (PDF) (in Portuguese). Mato Grosso, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 85-240-3919-1 Retrieved 2010-01-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. "ESTIMATIVAS DA POPULAÇÃO RESIDENTE NOS MUNICÍPIOS BRASILEIROS COM DATA DE REFERÊNCIA EM 1º DE JULHO DE 2011" (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 30 August 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  7. Source: IBGE.
  8. "Ser Universitário - Tudo sobre o mundo universitário e estudantil!".
  9. PES Águas Quentes (in Portuguese), ISA: Instituto Socioambiental, retrieved 2016-08-01
  10. PES Gruta da Lagoa Azul – ISA, Informações gerais.
  11. PES Gruta da Lagoa Azul – ISA, Características.
  12. Parque Estadual Gruta da Lagoa Azul – Via Rural.
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