Nearshore Americas

Brazil Government Says Country’s Middle Class is Expanding Rapidly

More than 35 million Brazilians have joined that country’s middle class over the past decade and today they account for 52 percent of Brazil’s total population, says a report released by the Brazilian government this week.

Interestingly, per capita income of Brazil’s middle class families range from $141 to $495 per month. Given the contents in a similar report from the World Bank, the household income of middle class families in Brazil rose between $10 and $50 a day.

Following the release of the report, the Brazilian government said the increased participation of the middle class in the economy is a key driver of growth.

“It’s essential to have an environment that promotes the participation of the middle class in economic growth. For this to occur, we need productive, well-paid and low turnover jobs. We must also ensure equality in opportunities, openness to dialogue and appropriate conditions for health and safety,” said Minister of Strategic Affairs, Wellington Moreira Franco, after releasing the report.

While 28 percent are in the lower class, the remaining 20 percent of the population is considered ‘upper class.”

The report titled “Voices of the Middle Class” also highlights inequality, heterogeneity and diversity in the middle class. This is done through a detailed analysis of the population that composes this class within groups, such as race, educational level of the household leader, situation of the working age population, employed population, and sector of activities.

Among these 36 million new entrants, 75 percent have declared themselves as Black and 25 percent have declared themselves of another race.

This massive inflow of citizens of African-descent has increased the group’s total share of the Brazilian middle class from 38 percent in 2002 to 51 percent in 2012.

The largest regional expansion of the middle class occurred in Northeast Brazil, where the middle class jumped from 22 percent in 2002 to 42 percent in 2012 – a difference of 20 percentage points.  The middle class in Brazil’s Southeast region grew by 11 percentage points over the same period (from 46 percent in 2002 to 57 percent in 2012).

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The study also points out that the number of middle class employees has increased across most economic activities, but decreased in sectors such as public administration, education, health and social services. The decline in these sectors appears to be a result of the growing share of high income employees in these sectors.

Staff Report

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