Capital:Porto Alegre
Area:282,062 km²
Inhabitants:10,167,800 (2000)
Pop. density:36.0 inh./km²
Governor:Germano Antonio Rigotto
ISO 3166-2:BR-RS

Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil. It is bordered on the north by the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Uruguay, and on the west by Argentina.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Economy
3 Flag


Although mainly rural for much of its early history, Rio Grande do Sul served as the launching pad for several major wars Brazil waged against its southern and western neighbors. It also was a focal point for internal rebellion in the 19th century. Getulio Vargas, who led Brazil as dictator from 1930 and later was elected president in 1950 (before committing suicide), was a native of Rio Grande do Sul.

Rio Grande do Sul's population consists primarily of the descendants of European immigrants, especially Portuguese, Italians, Spaniards, and Germans.

In the far western area of the state are the remnants of Brazil's 17th century Jesuit missions or reductions (aldéias) to the Guaraní Indians.


One of the most prosperous Brazilian states, Rio Grande do Sul is known especially for grain production, viticulture, ranching, and for its considerable industrial output. Natives of the state are known as gaúchos, named after the cattle herders and ranchers who settled the state's pampa regions.


The flag was established by law no. 5213 of January 5 1966, however its design dates back much more. The independent Rio Grande Republic adopted the flag in 1836, in 1891 the shield in the center was added. According to the common interpretion of the flag colors the green stands for the countryside, the gold for the soil and the red for pride.