Rio Grande do Norte
State of Rio Grande do Norte
|Capital and Largest City||Natal|
|• Governor||Fátima Bezerra, Workers' Party (Brazil)|
|• Total||52,796.791 km2 (20,384.955 sq mi)|
|• Density||61/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Demonym||Potiguar or Norte-rio-grandense|
|• Year||2006 estimate|
|• Total||R$ 20,557,000,000 (18th)|
|• Per capita||R$ 6,754 (20th)|
|• Category||0.738 – medium (21st)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (BRT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (BRST)|
59000-000 to 59990-000
|ISO 3166 code||BR-RN|
The dry climate is not only because by the low amount of rainfall but also because of the fact that it rarely rains at all. Often years go by with no or very little rain. Most of the interior of the state is part of the Polygon of Droughts. This is an area which gets special attention from the federal government.
The first European to come to the region may have been the Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda in 1499. The northeastern tip of South America, cape São Roque, was first seen by European navigators in 1501. This was during a 1501-1502 Portuguese expedition led by Amerigo Vespucci. He named the spot after the saint of the day. The Vespucci expedition also named the Potengi river, "Rio Grande". The name is Portuguese for "Great River". The area and state were named after the river. For decades, no permanent European settlement was made in the area.
In 1633, the area was fought over between the Portuguese and the Dutch. In 1654, the Dutch were finally cast out.
Historically, the economy of Rio Grande do Norte has been based on sugar and cattle. In the 1980s, the state government realised that tourism was a very good industry. Since then, more money has been used to build places for tourists and repair colonial buildings in major cities.
Fruit is also grown in Rio Grande do Norte. The state grows 70% of Brazil's melons. The state is famous for its mango and cashew fields. The world's largest cashew tree is there. It has a circumference of 500 metres (1,600 feet) and an area of 7,300 square metres (79,000 square feet). It is 70 times the size of average cashew trees.
The flag was adopted on December 3, 1957. It is based on a design by Luis de Camara Cascudo. In the middle of the flag is the coat of arms of the state. The coat of arms was adopted on July 1, 1909. It shows a sailboat at the coast in the middle. This is for the fishing and salt industries. Above this is a bar which shows two flowers on the sides and two cotton bolls in the center. To the sides of the shield are a coconut palm to the right and a carnauba palm to the left. The two palms are connected by two branches of sugarcane. The star above represents the state as part of Brazil.
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|States of Brazil|
|Acre | Alagoas | Amapá | Amazonas | Bahia | Ceará | Espírito Santo | Goiás | Maranhão | Mato Grosso | Mato Grosso do Sul | Minas Gerais | Pará | Paraíba | Paraná | Pernambuco | Piauí | Rio de Janeiro | Rio Grande do Norte | Rio Grande do Sul | Rondônia | Roraima | Santa Catarina | São Paulo | Sergipe | Tocantins|
|Federal district: Distrito Federal|