Alagoas

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Statistics
Flag of Alagoas
Capital:Maceió
Area:27 819 km²
Ranked 25th
Inhabitants:2 822 621 (2000)
Ranked 16th
Pop. density:101.5 inh./km²
Ranked 4th
Timezone:GMT-3
ISO 3166-2:BR-AL
Governor:Ronaldo Lessa
Map
Map of Brazil highlighting the state
Crest of Alagoas

Alagoas (AL) is a small state in northeastern Brazil lying between the states of Pernambuco and Sergipe; touching the state of Bahia along a part of its southwestern border. The southern border of Alagoas is defined by the Rio São Francisco (São Francisco River). Alagoas has an area of 27,933 square km. and a population of approximately 2,818,000. The capital city is Maceió.

The state's name originates with the lakes along its coast near the city of Maceió. The coast is bordered by fringing reefs and many fine beaches. Behind the beaches, sometimes only hundreds of meters and defined by steep scarps, lies a stretch of green coastal hills having enough rainfall for considerable agriculture and scarce remnants of the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rain Forest) that now is largely limited to steep hill tops. This is the area long dominated by sugar cane.

Still further inland lies the Sertão of the Northeast region of the nation. The Sertão is a high dry region dominated by scrub that is often thorn filled and sometimes toxic, the caatinga. This area and its people is famed in legend and song. It is the land of the cowboy who is clad from head to toe (if he is lucky) with very thick leather to avoid the tearing vegetation.

The economy has been agricultural, dependent largely on large sugar cane plantations with some tobacco. Sugar cane formed the basis for an alcohol industry that is in decline. Small to medium sized tanker ships took alcohol onboard in Macei&oacute's port with considerable frequency during the peak period. Such loads still take place with less frequency. Another local industry is based on chemical products from brine pumped from deep wells on the outskirts of Maceió.

In the last twenty years the tourist industry has found the beaches and Maceió itself has changed from a rather sleepy little port with coconut palm plantations along its beaches to high rise hotels. The northern coast, particularly around the towns Maragogi and Japaratinga is beginning to see some of this development in the form of resorts attracting people from the south and some from Europe.

Cities and Historic Towns (H)

External links


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