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Summary Article: Goiás
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

State in central Brazil; area 642,090 sq km/247,911 sq mi; population (2007 est) 5,644,500. The state capital was formerly Goiás Velho, but has been supplanted by Goiânia. Aside from this city and the federal capital of Brasília, there are few urban centres. The main economic activities are cattle-ranching and subsistence farming. Large mineral deposits exist, but exploitation of them was hampered for a long time by the lack of roads. However, the region is now part of the rapidly developing frontier zone; the state is Brazil's main source of tin and titanium. Nickel, gold, and quartzite are also mined in the state.

Together with the state of Mato Grosso to the west, Goiás forms one of the five geographical regions of Brazil; as a measure of the concentration of the Brazilian population around the coast, although this combined region represents one-fifth of Brazil's total area, it contains only 4% of the country's population. The state is part of the great Brazilian plateau, which varies in height between 600 and 900 m (c.2,000–3,000 ft). Goiás is crossed by many rivers, principally the Tocantins, Xingu, and Japajoz; all rivers here flow northwards, with the exception of those in the extreme south. The climate is sub-tropical, with pronounced wet and dry seasons, and the vegetation is mainly woodland savannah (known locally as campo cerrado).

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