Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil or República Federativa do Brasil, listen ), is the largest and most populous country in South America, and fifth largest in the world in both area and population. Spanning a vast area between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the easternmost country of the Americas and it borders Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French department of French Guiana. In fact, it borders every South American nation except for Ecuador and Chile.
The country's name is generally believed to be derived from pau-brasil (brazilwood), a tree highly valued by early colonists, though some credit the name to a mythical land mentioned in Europe during Middle Ages. Brazil is home to both extensive agricultural lands and rain forests.
Exploring vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is South America's leading economic power and a regional leader. Because it was a colony of Portugal, Portuguese is Brazil's official language. Brazil has the world's second largest Christian population (151 million, behind that of the United States), and also is the world's largest Roman Catholic-majority nation in terms of both number of adherents and land mass --- a strong cultural legacy left behind by the Roman Catholic Portuguese colonists.