Population of Brazil 2012
However, because of rapid increases, the results of the census are already out of date.. The Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), which runs the Brazilian census and compiles the latest population data, completed its latest estimate in August 2011, and reported that it believed Brazil had 192,376,496 people.
If the population increase remains at the same rate, then we can predict that the population of Brazil 2012 is likely to be 194,020,298.
Largest cities in BrazilThe largest city in Brazil is Sao Paolo. It has a population of 11,316,149 and, as well as being Brazil’s largest city, it is the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s seventh largest city.
Rio de Janeiro, perhaps the most famous city in Brazil, is the country’s second city when it comes to population. Slightly over half the size of Sao Paolo, it has a population of 6,355,949. Between 1793 and 1960, Rio was the capital city of Brazil.
Salvador, Brazil’s first capital city, is currently the third largest city in Brazil, with 2,693,605 inhabitants.
The current capital city, Brasilia, is one of the newest capital cities in the world – it’s construction was masterminded by the Brazilian Government and the majority of the city was constructed between 1956 and 1960. Despite being such a new city, its growth has been staggering, and today the population of Brasilia is 2,562,963, making it the fourth largest city in Brazil.
Population Growth Rate
Throughout Brazil’s history, population growth has been rapid and Brazil is a country of young people. Today, 62% of Brazilians are aged 29 or under.
You can see the speed at which Brazil’s population has grown in this chart, which shows the growth in Brazil’s population between 1550 and 20005. Figures for 1550 to 1872 are estimates but, since then, they have been based on the official census which has run almost continuously on a ten year cycle.
Population growth in Brazil is slowing as the country urbanises and increases its wealth (it is now the sixth largest economy in the world). Brazil’s growth rate between 2005 and 2010, as reported by the United Nations, was 1.26%. This makes Brazil the 107th fastest growing country in the world, which means it is now growing only slightly faster than the world average.
Ethnicity and Race in Brazil
Brazil’s census addresses ethnicity and race by categorising people mainly by skin colour. It asks people to place themselves into one of a number of categories, some of which would seem unusual to an American or European. As well as ‘indigenous’ (the smallest category), Brazilians are asked to report whether they believe they are white, black, brown or yellow.
The results of the census indicated that 91 million Brazilians were white, 82 million were brown, 15 million were black, 2 million were yellow and 817,000 were indigenous.
This method of classifying race is controversial within Brazil, and IBGE has been criticised for continuing to use it.
Religion in Brazil
The main religion in Brazil is Christianity, and around 90% of the population is either Catholic (74%) or Protestant (15%). In fact, Brazil has the world’s largest Catholic population.
As well as Christianity, 1.3% of people reported themselves as Spiritists, 0.3% reported themselves as followers of traditional African religions and 1.3% reported themselves as followers of a diverse range of other religions. In addition, 7% of Brazilians reported themselves as being non-religious.