Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and it is similar in size to the continental United States. It is also the largest country in South America and the largest Portuguese-speaking country globally, with around 211 million people and 43% living in its Southeast region. As to ethnic background, like the United States, Brazil has a very diverse population. According to the Brazilian Statistics Bureau, Brazilians self-identify as White (42.7%), two or more races (46.8%), Black (9.4%), and of Indigenous or Asian descent (1.1%). The most important economic sectors are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services. Despite the poverty reduction achievements over the last decades, inequality remains at high levels in one of the world's largest democracies and economies.
After achieving universal coverage in primary education, Brazil is now struggling to improve the educational system's quality and outcomes, especially at the lower and upper secondary levels.
Brazil has a wide range of higher education institutions with over 200 universities, 3,472 master’s programs, and doctoral programs with 122,000 graduate students. There are currently over 37,000 research groups around the country, with more than 200,000 researchers. Its leading research centers in Agriculture, Energy, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, and Epidemiology attract scholars and students worldwide. Among the top 20 universities listed in the Times Higher Education 2020 ranking, 13 are from Brazil. Also, Brazil is responsible for 52% of Latin American publications in indexed journals, which places the country as fourteenth worldwide by the Scimago Journal and Country Rank.
The extended coverage of Fulbright U.S. Programs in the country has been possible thanks to the significant contributions from Brazilian strategic partners such as the Brazilian Government through the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES).