large inland estado (state) of southeastern Brazil. It is the country's storehouse of mineral riches, as indicated by its name, which in Portuguese means "General Mines." The state is bounded to the north by the states of Goias and Bahia; to the east by Bahia, Espirito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro; to the south by Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; and to the west by Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias. It is Brazil's fourth largest state and has the second largest population, exceeded only by that of Sao Paulo. Minas Gerais's capital and largest city is Belo Horizonte, located in the south-central part of the state. Area 226,460 square miles (586,528 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 19,479,356.
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