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)
  Total 903,357 km2 (348,788 sq mi)
Area rank 3rd
Population (2016)[1]
  Total 3,305,531
  Rank 18th
  Density 3.7/km2 (9.5/sq mi)
  Density rank 25th
Demonym(s) Mato-grossense
  Year 2006 estimate
  Total R$ 35,284,000,000 (15th)
  Per capita R$ 12,350 (8th)
  Year 2010
  Category 0.725 high (11th)
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. It also borders Bolivia to the southwest. A state with a flat landscape, alternating great chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso presents three different ecosystems: Cerrado, Pantanal and the Amazon Rainforest. The vegetation of the open pasture covers 40% of the state, and the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with its caves, grottos, tracks and waterfalls, is one of its great tourist attractions. In the north is the Amazonian forest, with a biodiversity originally covering half of the state, currently largely devastated 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 almost a thousand species of animals, with many aquatic birds.


Located in the Mato Grosso is the Chapada dos Guimarães, a unique environment made from sandstone mountains and their subsequent erosion. 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 within the past few decades, and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. The Pantanal can be compared to the Everglades in Florida, as both share much in common, habitat wise, although the Pantanal is of much larger scale.

Guaporé River in Mato Grosso


In 1977, the state was split into two halves, with Mato Grosso do Sul becoming 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 it was ceded to Bolivia in exchange for Acre, according to Treaty of Petrópolis in 1903.

The historic remoteness of this area led it to be the subject of exploration, most notably by Captain Percy Fawcett, in the quest for lost cities. It was also the rumored location of access to the interior of the earth in various Hollow Earth theories.


Mato Grosso had a high rate of population growth in the 20th century. Despite this, the state as a whole has one of the lowest population densities of any Brazilian state. According to the IBGE of 2008, 3,010,000 people resided in the state. The population density was 3.2 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 the interior. 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%), 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 1.7% (2005).


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.

There are more than 58 universities 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 Native Americans, the original settlers, the Africans enslaved originally by the Portuguese, and Europeans, beginning with the Portuguese settlers and other European immigrants who arrived later. Two long periods of isolation also contributed to its differentiation, which has been somewhat diluted by recent immigration. Cuiabá has an interesting cuisine influenced by natives, with their typical 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 1550 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]


International Airport

BR-163-364-070 in Mato Grosso.

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.



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


Flag of Mato Grosso

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. 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)
  2. Myths of pacification: Brazilian frontier settlement and the subjugation of the Bororo Indians.
  3. Source: PNAD.
  4. (PDF) (in Portuguese). Mato Grosso, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 85-240-3919-1 Retrieved 2010-01-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "ESTIMATIVAS DA POPULAÇÃO RESIDENTE NOS MUNICÍPIOS BRASILEIROS COM DATA DE REFERÊNCIA EM 1º DE JULHO DE 2011" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 30 August 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  6. Source: IBGE.
  7. Universidades no Mato Grosso
  8. PES Águas Quentes (in Portuguese), ISA: Instituto Socioambiental, retrieved 2016-08-01
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