About this blog
Thrill of Brazil is a travel blog all about Brazil written by Moon Brazil author Michael Sommers. Michael blogs about Brazil travel, culture, and more. He welcomes questions, comments, and story ideas.
- Care for a Drink with your Film? (or a Film with your Drink?)
- Brazil’s Homegrown Tourism Boom
- Brazil's Best and Write-est
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part II)
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part I)
- The Dawning of Brazil's B&B Age
- Rio's Alternative Points of View
- Taxi Trouble in Santa Teresa
- Obamas Take to the Campaign Trail in Brazil
- Plans and Punctuality
- Reliving Tropicalismo - On and Off Screen
- Food and Lodging that Make the Grade
- The Making of Moon Living Abroad in Brazil
- U.S. is Number One Source of Immigrants to Brazil
- Best English-Language Blogs about Brazil
Changing Face(s) of Brazil
No matter where in the world you live, come the end of the year, you get to thinking about the changes going on in your life and in the country you call home.
Brazil has certainly undergone profound transformations in recent times, some of which were revealed in statistics that were recently released as part of the 2010 census. Conducted by the IBGE, (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), censuses are carried out every decade in Brazil. The most surprising result of the latest one was the fact that, for the first time ever, non-whites made up the majority (more than 50 percent) of the Brazilian population.
Of a total population of 191 million Brazilians, 91 million identified themselves as white, 82 million as mixed race, and 15 million as black.
As a result, whites made up only 47.7 percent of the population compared to 53.7 percent in 2000. At the same time, between 2000 and 2010, the number of people identifying themselves as mixed race rose from 38.5 percent to 43.1 percent, while the number of people identifying as black increased from 6.2 percent to 7.6 percent.
These findings are encouraging because, despite Brazil’s much-vaunted myth of racial harmony, historically there has been a veiled, but deep social stigma attached to being black. As a result, tragically, there has long existed a tendency among some Brazilians to define themselves as lighter skinned. Fortunately, as a result of changing legal, social, and economic realities, this phenomenon known as “embraquecimento” (“whitenening”) is receding.
The 2010 census also revealed some other interesting changes that have occurred in Brazil over the last decade:
- Adult illiteracy fell from 13.6 to 9.6 percent.
- The proportion of children not attending school dropped from 5.1 to 3.1 percent.
- The fertility rate decreased from 2.38 to 1.86 children.
Meanwhile, there are still plenty of changes that need to take place in a country where:
- The richest 10 percent of the population gained 44.5 percent of total income compared to just 1.1 percent for the poorest 10 percent.
- More than half the population earned less than the minimum wage (which beginning on January 1 will rise to R$622 (US$334) a month)
- White and Asian Brazilians earned twice as much (on average) as black or mixed-race Brazilians.
Here’s hoping that, in 2012, changes for the good prevail – in Brazil, and all over the world.