Ceará sēərä´ [key], state (1996 pop. 6,803,567), 57,149 sq mi (148,015 sq km), c.377,460 sq mi (145,700 sq km), NE Brazil, on the Atlantic Ocean. Fortaleza (sometimes called Ceará) is the capital. Formerly one of Brazil's poorest states, Ceará underwent massive reform in the late 1980s and 1990s, trimming government, attacking social problems, increasing investment, and promoting tourism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography