Brasilia Population 2017

Brasilia is the capital of Brazil, the Federal District seat of government and a [UNESCO World Heritage site.] (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/445/) The three branches of government – the President, Supreme Court and Congress – are located in Brasilia. The natural landscape of Brasilia, its role in the country’s politics and its flourishing industries has made it the 4th most populous city in the country for native residents, immigrants and refugees.

Brasilia Demographics

Brazil has a population of 4.235 million as of 2016. The last census for the city was completed in 2010, and at that time, it was found that almost half of the residents – 48.2% -- were Pardo, or multiracial. The census also found that 42.2% of residents were White, 7.7% were Black, 1.6% were Asian and 0.2% were Ameridian. Catholicism is the majority religion within the city, with over 56% of residents identifying as Catholic. Over 26% of residents are Protestant, 3.5% are Spiritists, while Jewish and Muslim residents account for less than 1% of the population. Almost 10% of residents have no religious affiliation.

Portuguese is the official language of Brasilia, and it is taught in schools. Spanish and English are also languages that are taught in the city’s schools. There are six international schools located in Brasilia, with a seventh planned for opening in August 2016. Two universities and private colleges provide higher education opportunities. The majority of jobs are in the public administration, followed by the service industry. Important industries in Brazil include construction, food processing, publishing and computer software. Brasilia has the highest GDP in the country, contributing 3.76% to Brazil’s total GDP.

Over the years, Brazil has seen rapid growth, exceeding original estimates for growth. In 1960, there were just 140,000 residents. By the next census in 1970, there were 537,000 people living in the city. This number further expanded to over 2 million in 2000. Migration from all over Brazil led to the rapid growth, as more people came to the city for public and private sector job opportunities.

Brasilia History

Independence movement leader Joaquim José da Silva Xavier originally proposed the idea of an interior capital within Brazil, an idea that was brought up again in 1822. This idea was added to the constitution of the country in 1891, but it was some time before plans began to be laid to make this a reality. After eight years of research and surveying, the site that is now Brasilia was selected in 1956.

About that time, heavy machinery was flown in to the area to begin construction of city streets, building foundations and a man-made lake. Thousands of miles of highways were also constructed during this time to connect Brasilia to other cities. In 1960, the government began its move from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia.

In 1964, the military overthrew the government, causing a delay in the development of Brasilia. However, the civilian government was restored in 1985, during which time changes were made to the city’s structure. Unfortunately, at the end of the 20th century, the results of building the city in such a short time began to show in the form of cracked buildings, pollution in the lake and problems with population control. In the 1990s, self-government led to the creation of administrations which addressed (and continue to address) such problems with the city.

Brasilia Population Growth

Brasilia was originally intended to be a city for government and staff. However, the construction period brought about migration from both in and out of Brazil from people coming to the area looking for jobs. The continued growth is expected to continue over the next few decades, with an estimated population of 4.5 million in 2020. By 2030, the population is expected to be just under 5 million.

Brasilia Population in 2017Source: Anonymous

Brasilia Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
20304,929,0003.70%178,000
20254,751,0005.30%241,000
20204,510,0004.60%199,000
20174,311,0003.80%156,000
20154,155,00012.00%445,000
20103,710,00012.40%409,000
20053,301,00012.60%369,000
20002,932,00026.30%610,000
19952,322,00024.60%459,000
19901,863,00019.50%304,000
19851,559,00020.60%266,000
19801,293,00056.30%466,000
1975827,00057.50%302,000
1970525,00095.90%257,000
1965268,00095.60%131,000
1960137,00095.70%67,000
195570,00094.40%34,000
195036,0000.00%0
Brasilia Population Growth

Brasilia's 2017 population is now estimated at 4,311,000. In 1950, the population of Brasilia was 36,000. Brasilia has grown by 156,000 in the last year, which represents a 3.80% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Brasilia, which typically includes Brasilia's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics - Brasilia population summary and statistics