Tocantins (Portuguese pronunciation: [tokɐ̃ˈtʃĩs]A) is one
of the states of Brazil. (From: Tukã´, Toucan + tï, beak. lit.
"Toucan's beak" in Tupi language). It is the newest of the 26
Brazilian states, formed in 1988 and encompassing what had formerly
been the northern two-fifths of the state of Goiás. Tocantins
covers 277,620.91 square kilometres (107,190.03 sq mi) and
has a population of 1,496,880 (2014 est.). Construction of its
capital, Palmas, began in 1989; most of the other cities in the state
date to the Portuguese colonial period. With the exception of
Araguaína there are few other cities with a significant population in
the state. The government has invested in a new capital, a major
hydropower dam, railroads and related infrastructure to develop this
primarily agricultural area.
Tocantins has attracted hundreds of thousands of new residents,
primarily to Palmas. It is building on its hydropower resources. The
Tocantins rivers drain the largest watershed that lies
entirely inside Brazilian territory. The Rio
Tocantins has been dammed
for hydropower, creating a large reservoir that has become a center of
recreation. Because it is in the central zone of the country,
Tocantins has characteristics of the Amazon Basin, and also semi-open
pastures, known as cerrado. The
Bananal Island (Ilha do Bananal), in
the southwest of the State, is the largest fluvial island in the
Tocantins is also home to the Araguaia National Park, the
Carajás Indian reservations, and Jalapão State Park, which is about
250 kilometres (160 mi) from Palmas. There, the rivers create
oases in the dry landscape, attracting many ecotourists to the region.
3.1 Largest cities
5.1 Educational institutions
6.1 Palmas Airport
6.2 Federal highways
7 Protected areas
10 Represented in popular culture
13 External links
Tocantins geography is varied. It straddles both the Amazon Rainforest
and the coastal savanna. Many rivers (including the
traverse the state. Researchers have identified more than 20
archaeologically significant sites related to indigenous cultures.
Tocantins is bordered to the northeast by the states of
Bahia to the east,
Goiás to the south,
Mato Grosso to the
Pará to the northwest.
Tocantins was created from the
northern two-fifths of
Goiás state in 1989 and is divided into 139
Following its detachment from Goiás, the new state was transferred
from Brazil's Central-West Region to the North Region.
Jalapão in Tocantins
Tocantins (except the extreme western and northern regions) is
situated within a vast Brazilian area known as the cerrado. The
cerrado region's typical climate is hot and semi-humid, with
pronounced seasonal variation marked by a dry winter from May through
October. The annual rainfall is around 800 to 1600 mm.
The "cerrado" landscape cover 87% of
Tocantins and is characterized by
extensive savanna formations crossed by gallery forests and stream
Cerrado includes various types of vegetation. Humid fields
and "buriti" palm paths are found where the water table is near the
surface. Alpine pastures occur at higher altitudes and mesophytic
forests on more fertile soils. In the north of
Tocantins the cerrado
gives place to a zone of transition for the Amazon biome, near
The savanna formations are not homogenous. There is great variation
between the amount of woody and herbaceous vegetation, forming a
gradient from completely open "cerrado" — open fields dominated by
grasses — to the closed, forest-like "cerrado" and the "cerradão"
("big cerrado"), a closed canopy forest. Intermediate forms include
the dirty field, the "cerrado" field, and the "cerrado" sensu stricto,
according to a growing density of trees.
The "cerrado" trees have characteristic twisted trunks covered by a
thick bark, and leaves that are usually broad and rigid. Many
herbaceous plants have extensive roots to store water and nutrients.
The plant's thick bark and roots serve as adaptations for the periodic
fires which sweep the cerrado landscape. The adaptations protect the
plants from destruction and make them capable of sprouting again after
As in many savannas in the world, the "cerrado" ecosystems have been
coexisting with fire since ancient times. Initially they developed
adaptations to natural fires caused by lightning or volcanic activity,
and later to those caused by man.
Along the western boundary of the state is the floodplain of the
Araguaia River, which includes extensive wetlands and Amazon tropical
forest ecosystems. Bananal Island, formed by two branches of the
Araguaia, is said to be the largest river island in the world.
It consists mostly of marshlands and seasonally flooded savannas, with
gallery forest. Where the two branches meet again they form an inland
delta called Cantão, a typical Amazonian igapó flooded forest. The
Araguaia is also one of the main links between the Amazonian lowlands
Pantanal wetlands to the south, but the river is not fully
Portuguese Jesuit missionaries explored what is today
about 1625, seeking to convert the
Amerindian peoples of the area to
Christianity. The area is named after the
Tocantins River, whose name
is derived from an indigenous language. (From: Tukô, Toucan + tï,
beak. lit. "Toucan's beak" in Tupi language.)
Before 1988 the area made up the northern two-fifths or one-third of
Goiás state. Since the 17th century, this area was relatively
isolated by rivers navigable only in short portions and mountains, and
difficult to access. As a result, the southern area of the state
became more developed, particularly after this area was selected in
1956 as the site for the development of the new capital of Brasília
and the Federal District. A strong separatist movement developed in
the north for independence of its people.
After the government levied heavy taxes on mining in 1809, local
residents began to organize a separatists movement. They made a minor
revolt which was quickly crushed by the army. In the 19th century, a
string of failed uprisings occurred in the north. Historically the
area was inhabited chiefly by
Amerindians in some intact indigenous
tribes and pardos of
Amerindian and Portuguese descent.
In the 1970s, the population of northern
Goiás lobbied the government
to establish a separate state. In the 1988 Constitution, the State of
Tocantins was officially created and admitted as a new Brazilian
Since its establishment and investment by the government, as in the
new capital of
Palmas, Tocantins has been the fastest-growing
Brazilian state. Its thriving economy is based on agriculture and
agro-industry, attracting thousands of migrants from all over the
country. The construction of the long-planned North-South Railway
(Brazil) will probably boost economic growth even more.
According to the IBGE, as of 2014, there were 1,496,880 people
residing in the state. The population density was 4.98 inh./km².
Urbanization: 71.5% (2004); Population growth: 2.6% (1991–2000);
Houses: 355,502 (2005).
The last PNAD (National Survey of Households) census revealed the
following numbers: 948,000 Pardos (brown, Multiracial) people (68.9%),
330,000 White people (24.0%), 95,000 Black people (6.9%), 2,000 Asian
Amerindian people (0.2%).
Largest cities or towns in Tocantins
(2011 census of Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística)
Formoso do Araguaia
Paraíso do Tocantins
Colinas do Tocantins
Miracema do Tocantins
The service sector is the largest component of
GDP at 59.9%, followed
by the industrial sector at 27.2%.
Agriculture represents 12.9% of GDP
Tocantins exports: soybean 89.2%, beef 10.5% (2002).
Share of the Brazilian economy: 0.4% (2005).
As with much of Brazil, Tocantins' economy is dependent on cattle
ranching. The state's pineapple plantations supply much of
the fruit, as well as many other
Mercosul nations. In the state's
north, charcoal and oils are extracted from the babaçu palm tree.
Seeking to broaden Tocantins' economic base by funding the
construction of a hydroelectric dam in the state, the government
allowed a private company to construct a sizable five-turbine
hydroelectric dam, blocking the
Tocantins River to create a reservoir.
This construction displaced some indigenous inhabitants. The dam's
economic contribution to the state is large: one turbine provides
enough power for the entire state of Tocantins, and the remaining four
provide electricity that is sold to other parts of Brazil.
Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary
language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the
official high school curriculum.
Universidade Federal do
Tocantins (UFT) (Federal University of
Fundação Universidade do
Tocantins (Unitins) (Foundation University
Instituto Federal do
Tocantins (IFTO) ( Federal Institute of
Escola Técnica Federal de Palmas (ETF-TO);
Faculdade de Tecnologia de Palmas (FTP);
Fundação Unirg (Unirg) (Foundation Unirg);
and many others.
BR-153 (also known as Belém-
Brasília Highway) is the main
highway of the
The facility occupies one of Brazil’s largest airport sites and has
privileged location near the Lajeado Hydroelectric Station. Designed
with a modern concept of visual communication, the new Palmas Airport
Complex contains an Aeroshopping area. This is part of a program
developed by Infraero, to develop Brazil’s main airports as
commercial centers with their own brand and identity.
The passenger terminal has 12.300 square meters of constructed area
and capacity to serve up to 370 thousand people a year. It has a food
court, cultural space, shops, panoramic deck, elevators, and air
conditioning. The runway can receive aircraft the size of a Boeing
767. Three taxiways and aprons are reserved for general aviation,
making operations more flexible. The airport's full infrastructure
includes a control tower and installations for the Air Navigation
Group, fire brigade, a covered equipment parking area, canteen and
training rooms, two aircraft fueling stations, a gate with electronic
entry control, guard booths, parking and flight protection buildings,
besides a 4 km (2.48 mi) access road linking the airport to
Tocantins capital city’s main thoroughfare.
BR-153 (One of the two main highways of the state, also known as
BR-226 (One of the two main highways of the state, also known as
BR-230 (also known as Trans-Amazonian Highway)
Araguaia National Park, established in 1959, is located on Bananal
Island. It borders
Cantão State Park, and together, these strictly
protected areas form the core of the Araguaia Mosaic of Protected
Areas, which consists of over four million hectares of state and
federal protected areas and Indian lands along the Araguaia wetlands.
The mosaic also extends into the neighboring states of
Pará and Mato
Nascentes do Rio Parnaiba National Park
Nascentes do Rio Parnaiba National Park is located on the opposite
corner of the state, in the transition zone between the
the semi-arid Caatinga. It also extends into the neighboring states of
Maranhão and Piauí.
In addition, the State of
Tocantins has established state parks at
Jalapão and Serra do Lajeado, protecting two unique samples of the
Cerrado. The state parks and protected areas of
Tocantins are managed
by Naturatins, the state environmental agency.
The message of the flag is the phrase "where the sun rises for all".
In the middle of the flag is the golden yellow sun, with its rays
symbolically targeting to the future of the state. The sun is placed
on a white band, where the white color represents peace. The blue in
the upper left and the yellow in the bottom right represent the waters
and the soil of the state. The colors date back to a flag used by the
Autonomous Government of Palmas in the 19th century.
The flag was adopted with the state flag law (law no 094/89) of
November 17, 1989.
Colinas do Tocantins
Palmas, capital of the state
Represented in popular culture
Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands was the setting for
the eighteenth season of the United States reality show Survivor,
filmed in the microregion of Jalapão in Tocantins. The premiere aired
February 12, 2009.
A.^ The presented pronunciation is in the
Brazilian Portuguese variant
Tocantins (and most of Brazil). The European Portuguese
pronunciation is [tukɐ̃ˈtĩʃ].
^ a b c d "Tocantins" (in Portuguese). Brasília, Brazil: Instituto
Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica. 2015. Retrieved
^ a b c "Tocantins" (in Portuguese). Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil:
Governo do Tocantins. 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
^ a b c "Bananal Island". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia
Britannica Inc. 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
^ a b c "Tocantins". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia
Britannica Inc. 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
^ a b "Goias/ State Brazil", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015
^ "História" (in Portuguese). Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil: Governo do
Tocantins. 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
^ Source: PNAD.
^ Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2007 (PDF) (in Portuguese).
Tocantins, Brazil: IBGE. 2007. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved
^ "ESTIMATIVAS DA POPULAÇÃO RESIDENTE NOS MUNICÍPIOS BRASILEIROS
COM DATA DE REFERÊNCIA EM 1º DE JULHO DE 2011" (in Portuguese).
Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 30 August 2011.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Tocantins.
(in Portuguese) Page of the Government of Tocantins
(in Portuguese) Page of the Legislative Assembly of Tocantins
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Municipalities of Tocantins
Bandeirantes do Tocantins
Colinas do Tocantins
Santa Fé do Araguaia
Bico do Papagaio
Axixá do Tocantins
Buriti do Tocantins
Maurilândia do Tocantins
Palmeiras do Tocantins
Santa Terezinha do Tocantins
São Bento do Tocantins
São Miguel do Tocantins
São Sebastião do Tocantins
Sítio Novo do Tocantins
Aliança do Tocantins
Brejinho de Nazaré
Cariri do Tocantins
Crixás do Tocantins
Jaú do Tocantins
Santa Rita do Tocantins
São Salvador do Tocantins
Brasilândia do Tocantins
Couto de Magalhães
Divinópolis do Tocantins
Dois Irmãos do Tocantins
Fortaleza do Tabocão
Itaporã do Tocantins
Marianópolis do Tocantins
Miracema do Tocantins
Monte Santo do Tocantins
Rio dos Bois
Chapada de Areia
Formoso do Araguaia
Lagoa da Confusão
Oliveira de Fátima
Paraíso do Tocantins
Aurora do Tocantins
Chapada da Natividade
Conceição do Tocantins
Pindorama do Tocantins
Ponte Alta do Bom Jesus
Porto Alegre do Tocantins
Rio da Conceição
Santa Rosa do Tocantins
São Valério da Natividade
Taipas do Tocantins
Barra do Ouro
Lagoa do Tocantins
Ponte Alta do Tocantins
Santa Tereza do Tocantins
São Félix do Tocantins
Aparecida do Rio Negro
Bom Jesus do Tocantins
Monte do Carmo
Santa Maria do Tocantins
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