The government statistical bureau (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística)
(IBGE), has released its 2002 Household Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra
de Domicílio) (PNAD/2002) in which the residents of some 110,000 homes
The survey found that
the vast majority of Brazilians, 87.6 percent, live in houses. Only 11.8 percent
live in apartments. Fully 91 percent of the houses were built with brick and
mortar, although many homes in the North region were wooden structures.
A total of 74 percent
of the homes the survey visited were owned by the residing family, with 17
percent of the families visited renting their homes. Another 9 percent lived
with other people or family.
A total of 89.3 percent
of the families interviewed said they had satisfactory water services (running
water piped into their homes). The highest level of satisfaction with water
services were in the cities of São Paulo and Curitiba. According to
the survey, in 2002, 87.1 percent of residences had daily garbage collection,
up from 76 percent in 1992.
With regard to jobs, the
survey found that 29.1 percent of youths between the ages of 18 and 19 only
worked and did not study. A total of 23.8 percent of youths between the ages
of 15 and 24 had jobs with wages of up to a Brazilian minimum wage (US$ 83
per month), while 16.1 percent of them had jobs with salaries of over two
There are striking disparities
in educational opportunities among Brazilians. For example, the survey found
that only 11.7 percent of Brazilian children aged up to three had access to
daycare facilities. Things improve in elementary education (ages 7 to 14 with
an attendance rate of 96.9 percent) because it is mandatory and the government
provides incentives, such as the School Scholarship program which pays parents
to keep their children in school. The high school attendance rate is around
75 percent for youths from low-income families, and rises to 97 percent for
those from upper-class backgrounds.
Almost all those interviewed
during the survey, 99.4 percent, said they had public illumination and electricity.
Of those, 91.4 percent said they had a refrigerator, 89.9 percent had color
television. But only 18 percent had a freezer, and 38.1 percent had a washing
The survey also showed
that the digital gap still exists in Brazil. Although slightly over 60 percent
of all homes have hard line telephones, only 16.3 percent of the households
surveyed had computers, and out of those only 12 percent had an internet link.
Income distribution is
another problem that persists. The survey found that in spite of government
attempts to reduce disparities a total of 40 percent of Brazilian households
have to get by on half a minimum wage per month (US$ 41.50) per person. At
the other extreme, 10 percent of Brazilians live on more than 9.6 minimum
wages per month (almost US$ 8,000).
The survey studied statistics
and found that the number of marriages in 2002 was down 4 percent, compared
to 1992. It also found that people are getting married at a later date. In
1992, the average age women got married was 23.7 and men 27. In 2002, that
had risen to 26.7 and 30.3, respectively.
On the downside of marriage,
separations were up 30.7 percent and divorces 55.9 percent, during the same
period. The average length of a marriage in Brazil, according to the survey,
is 10.5 years. The average age that women get a divorce is 35, and men 37.7.
Marina Domingos works for Agência Brasil (AB), the official press
agency of the Brazilian government. Comments are welcome at email@example.com.
by Allen Bennett