Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in South America and Latin America, and the fifth largest country in terms of population and size.
Brazil’s census addresses ethnicity and race by categorizing people mainly by skin color. 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 92 million (48%) Brazilians were white, 83 million (44%) were brown, 13 million (7%) were black, 1.1 million (0.50%) were yellow and 536,000 (0.25%) were indigenous. This method of classifying race is controversial within Brazil, and IBGE has been criticized for continuing to use it.
Brazil Religion, Economy and Politics
The main religion in Brazil is Christianity, and around 90% of the population is either Catholic (65%) or Protestant (22%). In fact, Brazil has the world’s largest Catholic population of 123 million people.
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.
The primary and official language of Brazil is Portuguese.
Life expectancy has also grown in Brazil to 71.6 years for men and 78.8 years for women. It's estimated both men and women will live longer than 80 years on average by 2041, which means Brazil will also be dealing with an aging population before long, with greater demands on pensions and health care. The current median age in Brazil is approximately 32 years of age.
Interestingly, Brazil is believed to have the biggest population of uncontacted peoples on earth, and the National Indian Foundation reported 67 uncontacted tribes in the country in 2007, up from 40 just two years prior. It's estimated that about 900,000 Indians across 240 tribes live in Brazil, compared to 5 million when Europeans arrived on the continent.
Brazil Population History
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.
According to the latest census, undertaken in 2010, the population of Brazil was 190.7 million, although this number has grown significantly in the last six years.
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 2015, and reported that it believed Brazil had a population of 204.5 million people between 2014 and 2015. 2013 was the first time Brazil topped 200 million, and it continues rising faster than previous estimates as its ever-growing middle class live longer than their parents. The national statistics agency shows the population should peak at 228.4 million in 2042, which is slightly different from the United Nations projections.