The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of land use due to forestation, through social indicators that influence regional development. Specifically, it seeks to identify key social indicators that are influenced by the change of land use and to check the relation of land use with social indicators. Methodologically, the research was classified as exploratory and descriptive, with quantitative analysis. The researched groups were municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul State, but to simplify the analysis for possible comparisons between them, there had been formed five groups of municipalities. Also there have been selected 18 variables for study, grouped into six dimensions. The results highlight the group 3 as the one that presented a better performance in the averages. This is an intermediate group in the proportion of the municipal area in forestry. Thus, the observation of the different variables that showed a better performance demonstrates that forestry provides additional development of municipalities, but, as from the moment that the area of forestry increases, municipalities tend to have lower performance. Therefore, it is concluded that forestation results in better indicators to some extent, but as its proportion in the municipalities grows, the indicators worsen again.
Key words: Forestation, land use, regional development, social indicators.
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