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Tocantins, a Brazilian state created on March 1, 1989, from the portion of the state of Goiás that lay to the north of the thirteenth parallel. It consists of 79 municipalities covering an area of 110,698 square miles and with a population of 1,155,913 (2004 est.). The separation of Tocantins from the rest of the state of Goiás was a vindication for its inhabitants. For a very long time, they had complained that due to the great distances involved, the north received no benefits from the state governments for the development of their area. In 1822, after Brazil had won its independence, the north seceded from the south but was incapable of maintaining its autonomy. In 1956 the Movement for the Creation of the State of Tocantins was formed. The Constitution of 1988 finally made the creation of the state a reality.

Since its establishment, Tocantins has been the fastest-growing Brazilian state, with a thriving economy based on agriculture and agro-industry that attracts immigrants from all over the country. The construction of the long-planned North-South Railway in Brazil will probably boost the state's economic growth even more. Tocantins is also considered one of the best-managed Brazilian states.

See alsoGoiás .


Celio Costa, Fundamentos para Criação do Estado de Tocantins (1982) and O Estado do Tocantins: Uma geopolítica de desenvolvimento (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Bognola, I. A., and E. E. de Miranda. "Zoneamento Agroecológico do Estado de Tocantins." In Resumos, Workshop sobre Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentáve. Campinas, Brazil: UNICAMP-IB, 1999.

Collicchio, Erich. Organização estadual de pesquisa agropecuária: Um instrumento de apoio ao desenvolvimento rural sustentável do Tocantis. Palma Provisão, Brazil, 2006.

                                                   Luis Palacin