Population: 160,960,881, according to IBGE's February
14, 1998, count. Largest part of population lives in Southeast (63
million). Northeast has 45 million people; South, 23.1 million;
North, 11.1 million; and Center-West, 10.2 million. Average annual
population growth rate: 1.4 percent (1992-98), as compared with
3.15 percent in 1950-55. Urbanization rate: 80 percent (1997). Projected
169 million population in 2000 and 200.3 million in 2020. Population
density, 18.38 people per square kilometer (1996), although majority
crowd around coastal cities.
Age Structure and Aging: Although nearly half
of Brazilians are in their mid-twenties, fraction under fourteen
years of age has fallen from 43 percent to 34 percent, while fraction
over sixty years of age has risen from 4 percent to 8 percent. Median
age: 24.3 (1995, Pan American Health Organization--PAHO/World Health
Organization--WHO). Pension fund assets as percentage of gross domestic
product (GDP--see Glossary): 10.
Birthrate: 21.16 births per 1,000 population (1995
estimate). Average for 1990-95: 24.6.
Death Rate: Eight deaths per 1,000 population
(1995 estimate). Average for 1990-95: 7.5.
Net Migration Rate: Zero migrant(s) per 1,000
population (1995 estimate).
Infant Mortality Rate: According to 1991 census,
49.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, as compared with 69.1 per 1,000
in 1980. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) figures: 57
per 1,000 in 1993; 59.5 per 1,000 in 1994. Rate in Northeast in
1995: 122 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Life Expectancy at Birth: In 1995, 67.1 years
(men, 62.1; women, 68.9). Seniors over sixty years numbered 10.9
million in 1995, or 7.4 percent of the population.
Total Fertility Rate: About 2.3 children born
per woman (1995 average estimate). Population growth curtailed sharply
since 1975 with one of world's most successful family planning drives.
Female sterilization (tubal ligation) and birth-control pills most
common forms of contraception: 27 percent of women of child-bearing
age have been sterilized, and 26 percent use birth-control pills.
According to the new Family Planning Law of January 12, 1996, family
planning is right of every citizen.
Health: Public expenditures on health as percentage
of GDP: 2.5 percent (1995). Central government health expenditures
as percentage of total central government expenditures: 6.7 percent.
Total health expenditures as percentage of GDP: 5.8 percent. Physicians
per 10,000 people: 13 (1990). Nurses per 10,000: 3.7 (1990). Hospital
beds per 1,000 people: 3.6 (1990). Maternal mortality rate: 141
per 100,000 live births (1994). Mortality rate for cancer among
women: 60 percent (1995). Cholera cases: 49,956 (1993), as compared
with 30,054 in 1992. Malaria cases: 577,098 (1991). Cumulative cases
of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) reported to PAHO/WHO
as of September 1997: 10,845 (fourth highest rate in world); total
AIDS deaths: 54,813. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) estimated
prevalence in 1994: 550,000.
Housing and Sanitation: Country has serious problems
resulting from growing demand for new housing and basic sanitation,
in part because urbanization rate has increased from 47.0 percent
in 1960 to 78.2 percent in 1991. In 1991, 70.7 percent of Brazilian
households served by public water supply system, with 92.2 percent
having indoor plumbing equipment. In urban areas, 95 percent of
dwellings receive water and sewerage service, and 98 percent have
electric power. Discrepancies, such as inadequate sanitation, exist
between poor and better-off favelas. Disposal systems cover 84 percent
of urban areas and 32 percent of rural areas. In rural areas, only
61 percent of dwellings have water and sewerage access, and only
55 percent have electricity. Roughly 70 percent of all Brazilian
households have refrigerators. Approximately one installed telephone
and one automobile for every ten Brazilians.
Ethnic Groups: Portuguese, who began colonizing
in sixteenth century, and various European immigrant groups--mainly
Germans, Italians, Spanish, and Polish--constitute about 55 percent;
mixed Caucasian and African, 38 percent; African (brought to Brazil
as slaves), about 6 percent; and others--Amerindian (principally
Tupí and Guaraní linguistic stock), Japanese, and
other Asians and Arabs--less than 1 percent. São Paulo has
largest Japanese community outside Japan, except for Hawaii.
Amerindians: Indians do not have ownership of
land that they occupy permanently. Brazil has 651 Indian reservations
totaling 94.6 million hectares. Largest is Yanomami (Amazonas and
Roraima states), with 9.6 million hectares and a popula-tion of
18,000 members. Guaraní total 20,000 members.
Language: Portuguese, official language, spoken
by all but few isolated Amerindians, who retain their languages,
and immigrants who have not yet acquired proficiency in Portuguese.
There are no official regional dialects. Brazil only Portuguese-speaking
country in South America.
Education: Investment in education (as percentage
of government budget): 2.7 percent (1995). Education system organized
on three levels: primary (eight years), secondary (three years),
and higher education. States and municipalities largely responsible
for primary education; states control secondary education; private
institutions largely administer higher education, except for federal
universities. School enrollment figures reported in last census
(1990) were: preschool, 3.9 million in 57,614 schools; primary,
29.4 million in 206,817 schools; and secondary, 3.7 million in 10,928
schools. Primary school free and compulsory for children between
ages of seven and fourteen. Average student in Brazilian public
school receives four hours or less of class time per day, although
national guidelines suggest six hours per day. Primary and secondary
schools enroll only 88 percent of Brazil's children. High drop-out
rates and grade repetition endemic problems. Only about a third
of students enrolled in primary school finish eight-year "mandatory"
schooling. Estimated 5 million children and 25 percent of poorest
children do not attend school. Of sixty-eight major universities
in Brazil, thirty-five are federal, twenty private or church-related,
two municipal, and eleven state-supported. Nearly all states and
Federal District have one or more federal universities, all of which
operate directly under Ministry of Education. In many states, there
are also one or more state universities and one or more Catholic
universities. About 800 other colleges and institutions of higher
education grant degrees in areas such as engineering, medicine,
agriculture, law, economics, and business administration. Three
military academies train officers of Brazilian Army (Exército
Brasileiro), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil), and Brazilian Air
Force (Fôrça Aérea Brasileira--FAB), granting
diplomas equivalent to a B.A. degree. Only army and FAB schools
of engineering grant graduate and postgraduate degrees.
Literacy: Of total number of Brazilians over fifteen
years of age (100.7 million), 81 percent literate; 19 percent illiterate
(1991 census), as compared with a 25.9 percent illiteracy rate in
1970. By 2000 illiteracy will be estimated 16 percent.
Religion: Official statistics: Roman Catholic,
70 percent; Protestant, 19.2 percent; other, 10.8 percent. Affiliations
not necessarily mutually exclusive. Practice of folk religions and
Afro-Brazilian cults based on animist beliefs and slave and Indian
traditions--such as umbanda and candomblé--widespread among
all ethnic groups. Also significant trend in evangelism among Catholic
and Protestant groups, particularly in São Paulo area. Mormon
Church of Latter-Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses active in Brazil
as well. Important Jewish communities in states of São Paulo
and Rio Grande do Sul, especially in respective capital cities of
São Paulo and Porto Alegre, as well as in Rio de Janeiro.
Data as of April 1997