Page last modified 19 August 2023

 


Brazil

Community

Area 8,515,770 square kilometres (land area 8,358,140 square kilometres)

Population,


3,300,000 (1800)(1)

7,677,800 (1850)

9,930,478 (1872) (2)

14,333,915 (1890)(3)

17,318,556 (1908)

30,635,605 (1920)

33,500,000 (1930) +9.3%

41,570,341 (1940) +24.1%

51,976,357 (1950) +25.0%

72,200,000 (1960) +38.9%

95,300,000 (1970) +32.0%

121,200,000 (1980) +27.2%

149,300,000 (1990) +23.2%

175,300,000 (2000) +17.4%

196,800,000 (2010) +12.3%

212,560,000 (2020) +8.0%


(1) 1,900,000 of these, 58%, were slaves.

(2) 1,510,836 of these, 15.2%, were slaves

(3) 2,000,000 of these, 14.6%, were Black; most had been slaves until 1888.

Ethnicity Between 1526 and 1870 , a total of 3,647,000 slaves were shipped from Africa to Brazil.

Ethnicity %

Amer-

Indian

Asian

Black

Mixed

Black-White

White

1872

3.9*

 

19.7

38.3

38.1

1890

9.0

 

14.6

32.4

44.0

1920

2.0

 

12.0

25.0

60.0

1940

 

 

14.6

21.1

63.5

1950

 

0.5

11.0

26.0

62.0

1970

 

 

 

 

53.0

2000

 

 

5.0

40.0

54.0

2010

0.4

1.1

7.6

43.1

47.7

*This is the official census figure; it is an underestimate, as many Amerindians in the remoter regions were uncounted.

Religion, %

 

Christian

Protestant

Christian

R C

Jewish

Voodoo

None

1900

0.9

99.0

0.0

 

0.1

1908 (1)

1.1

93.7

 

 

 

1940

 

94.4

0.2

 

 

1975

8.1

93.0

0.2

 

0.8

1990

7.0

87.0

 

6.0

 

2000

15.4

73.6

0.1

0.3

7.4

2010

22.2

64.6

0.0

2.0

8.0

(1) The 1908 figures exclude Rio de Janiero.

Birth and death rates Below replacement rate = 2.1

 

Fertility Rate

Birth

Rate

Infant

Mortality

Death

Rate

% Aged

Under 15

% Aged

Over

65

% Urban

1890

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.0

1920

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.0

1930

 

 

 

 

 

 

23.0

1952

 

45.0 (+30.0)

135.0

15.0

42.0

1.9

36.2

1960

6.3

42.0 (+28.7)

128.8

13.3

43.1

3.2

46.1

1970

5.8

34.0 (+24.0)

95.0

10.0

42.2

3.4

55.9

1980

4.4

32.0 (+23.3)

71.0

8.7

38.3

3.8

65.5

1990

2.8

24.0 (+16.8)

49.0

7.2

35.5

4.0

73.9

2000

2.4

21.0 (+15.0)

30.4

6.0

30.1

5.1

81.2

2010

1.8

15.0 (+9.1)

16.7

5.9

24.9

6.7

84.3

2015

1.8

14.4 (+8.3)

14.0

6.1

22.5

8.0

85.7

2017

1.8

14.1 (+7.9)

13.2

6.2

21.7

 

 

2018

 

 

12.8

 

21.3

8.9

86.6

Life expectancy,


42.4 (1945); 39.3 (M), 45.5 (F)

51.0 (1952); 49.0 (M), 53.0 (F)

54.2 (1960); 52.4 (M), 56.1 (F)

59.2 (1970); 56.4 (M), 62.1 (F)

62.0(1980); 58.9 (M), 65.3 (F)

65.3 (1990); 61.7 (M), 69.2 (F)

70.0 (2000)�; 66.3 (M), 74.0 (F)

73.8 (2010); 70.1 (M), 77.6 (F)

76.0 (2020); 72.3 (M), 79.6 (F)


Population of principal cities, 1,000s MA = Metropolitan Area

 

Belem1

Belo Horizonte2

BRASILIA3

Manaus4

Recife5

1890

50

 

 

 

 

1900

100

 

 

40

180

1936

 

168

 

 

473

1950

225

339

 

90

693

1960

402

781

142

175

1,115

1970

634

1,228

503

284

1,794

1980

758

1,442

1,100

613

 

1990

1,334

3,462

1,596

990

2,859 MA

2000

1,795

4,882

2,051

1,406

3,336 MA

2010

 

 

2,476

1,793

 

2012

 

 

 

 

3,744 MA

2015

2,249 MA

5,200 MA

2,900 MA

 

 

2017

 

 

 

2,613 MA

 

 

 

Rio de Janeiro6

Salvador7

Sao Paulo8

MA

1872

275

 

31

 

1880

 

 

35

 

1890

523

 

65

 

1900

 

 

240

 

1910

690

 

420

 

1920

1,050

 

 

 

1936

 

364

1,120

 

1940

1,760

 

1,254

 

1950

3,052

389

2,017

 

1960

4,692

417

4,538

 

1970

 

656

6,200

 

1980

7,213

1,497

7,054

 

1990

9,600

2,472

9,646

15,200

2000

10,873 MA

3,018

10,434

17,835

2010

11,900 MA

 

11,125

19,990

2015

12,281 MA

4,000 MA

12,000

21,000

1Belem was founded in 1516 by the Portuguese, to defend the lower Amazon.

2Belo Horizonte was built in 1895 to a plan copied from Washington DC, USA, Belo Horizonte replaced Ouro Preto as capital of Minais Gerais State.

3Brasilia, built 1956-1960, became the capital 1961.Total planned population, 500,000.

4Manaus, once the centre of the Brazilian rubber industry, is now a major tourist destination.

5Recife was settled by the Portuguese in the 1530s, and occupied by the Dutch in 1630. Recife was the main Brazilian port for sugar exports.The city�s name derives from the Portuguese word for �reef�.It was recaptured by the Portuguese in 1654.

6Rio de Janeiro: the Portuguese explorer Goncalo Coelho discovered Guanabara Bay in January 1502, upon which Rio stands, and assumed it was a river estuary; he named the location Rio de Janeiro, or �River of January�.The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded by the Portuguese in 1556; its earliest function was as a port tom export the gold from the Minas Gerais (�general mines�).Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the Viceroyalty of Brazil in 1763, replacing Bahia; it was replaced as capital by Brasilia in 1961.

7Salvador was founded in 1510; it was the capital of Brazil between 1549 and 1763.The Portuguese established sugar plantations here in the 1500s, worked by African slaves.

8Sao Paulo was founded in 1554 by the Jesuits.The city remained small until the 1880s, when the development of the coffee trade caused rapid growth.

Wealth; Gross Domestic Product (nominal values)

 

GDP,

US$ million

Total GDP,

% of USA

GDP per capita,

US$

GDP per capita

% of USA

1948

5,530

2.47

112

7.34

1955

10,000

2.79

 

 

1960

15,166

2.79

210

6.98

1965

21,790

2.93

261

6.82

1970

42,327

4.07

444

8.46

1975

123,700

7.56

1,146

14.65

1980

235,000

8.41

1,939

15.39

1985

231,760

5.50

1,709

9.35

1990

465,000

8.01

3,092

12.91

1995

579,787

7.83

3,640

12.11

2000

588,130

5.90

3,604

9.89

2005

794,100

6.07

4,600

10.38

2010

2,188,000

14.62

11,224

23.20

2015

1,803,650

10.00

8,757

15.58

2016

1,799,000

9.69

8,650

15.05

GDP by primary sector

 

Agriculture

% GDP

Agriculture

% employed

Industry

% GDP

Industry

% employed

Services

% GDP

Services

% employed

1960

 

52.0

 

15.0

 

33.0

1970

 

45.0

 

 

 

 

1980

12.0

33.0

27.0

24.0

51.0

46.0

1990

10.0

24.0

36.0

24.0

55.0

53.0

2000

9.0

22.0

32.0

21.0

 

 

2010

5.8

20.0

28.9

14.0

67.3

66.0

2016

5.8

10.0

20.9

39.8

73.3

50.2

Communications

Language Official; Portuguese

Literacy


16.0% (1900)

25.0% (1930)

43.0% (1947)

49.0% (1950)

61.0%(1960)

66.0% (1970)

76.0% (1980)

78.4% (1990); 78.4% (M), 78.3% (F)

87.3% (2000); 87.4% (M), 87.2% (F)

90.5% (2010); 90.1% (M), 90.9% (F)

92.6% (2015); 92.2% (M), 92.9% (F)


Physical communications � roads

 

Roads (km)

Surfaced (km)

Motor vehicles

Cars

Commercial Vehicles

1938

205,578

 

 

 

 

1948

 

 

290,000

 

 

1951

210,700

 

 

262,529

226,388

1958

450,000

 

800,000

420,000

250,183

1961

499,550

 

 

674,885

633,838

1962

 

10,826

 

 

 

1968

800,000

 

3,100,000

1,600,000

 

1976

1,489,064

 

 

 

 

1978

1,550,000

 

8,961,315

4,800,000

3,780,000

1988

1,600,000

100,000

12,682,199

10,300,000

 

1998

1,700,000

 

28,000,000

17,000,000

 

2004

1,751,868

 

 

24,937,000

 

2010

 

212,800

 

 

 

2013

 

 

81,600,000

 

 

2016

 

 

90,000,000

 

 

Railways; First railway in Brazil opened in 1854 (14 kilometres)

 

Length km

% electrified

1860

209

 

1870

744

 

1880

3,397

 

1890

9,977

 

1900

15,322

 

1910

21,333

 

1920

28,545

 

1930

32,490

 

1940

34,266

 

1950

36,695

 

1958

37,967

 

1963

35,349

 

1966

31,961

 

1976

30,300

 

1988

29,901

 

2000

29,283

 

2010

28,538

 

2014

29,850

1.7

 

Urban metro systems, kilometres (year opened)

 

Belo

Horizonte

(1986)

Brasilia

(2001)

Porto

Alegre

(1985)

Recife

(1985)

Rio de

Janeiro

(1979)

Sao

Paulo

(1974)

Teresina

(1989)

2000

14.0

29.0

28.0

25.0

23.0

44.0

 

2005

 

40.0

31.0

39.5

46.0

57.0

 

2010

 

 

 

 

 

69.0

13.5

2015

28.1

42.4

33.8

39.5

58.0

81.2

13.5


 

Electronic communications, TV broadcasts began 1950 (colour from 1972)

 

Telephones (landlines)

Mobile Telephones

Radios

Televisions

PCs

Internet Users

1938

241,565

 

 

 

 

 

1940

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

1950

 

 

2,500,000

 

 

 

1951

 

 

 

3,500

 

 

1955

 

 

 

141,000

 

 

1957

 

 

4,000,000

350,000

 

 

1959

 

 

 

434,000

 

 

1960

960,000

 

4,570,000

1,200,000

 

 

1961

 

 

4,700,000

1,621,000

 

 

1962

1,046,621

 

 

 

 

 

1965

 

 

 

2,200,000

 

 

1970

1,700,000

 

 

4,300,000

 

 

1975

 

 

16,980,000

 

 

 

1971

 

 

 

6,500,000

 

 

1977

4,708,000

 

 

 

 

 

1980

4,950,000

 

 

 

 

 

1982

 

 

45,000,000

15,500,000

 

 

1988

 

 

 

 

250,000

 

1990

9,409,000

667

57,000,000

30,800,000

450,000

 

1995

 

1,286,000

63,500,000

35,000,000

2,700,000

 

1998

 

 

 

 

 

1,300,000

1999

 

 

 

 

 

3,100.000

2000

30,926,000

23,190,000

74,000,000

55,000,000

8,500,000

 

2002

 

 

 

 

 

13,980,000

2005

 

86,200,000

 

 

30,000,000

22,500,000

2010

42,141,000

202,944,000

 

 

 

77,500,000

2012

44,300,000

 

 

58,000,000

99,000,000

85,000,000

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016

41,846,846

244,067,000

 

 

 

122,800,000

Tourism: Visitors to Brazil,


480,267 (1974)

764,152 (1978)

1,271,500 (1984)

1,717,659 (1986)

1,929,000 (1987)

1,991,000 (1995)

5,313,000 (2000)

5,358,000 (2005)

5.161,000 (2010)

6,306,000 (2015)