Brazil’s elderly population is already larger than England’s, France’s, and Italy’s. In 2003, according to a study released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 16.7 million Brazilians were 60 years old or more – nearly 10% of the population.
The survey indicates Rio de Janeiro as the state with the largest number of senior citizens. They amount to nearly two million people 60 years old or more, or 12.7% of the state’s total population of 15 million.
Rio Grande do Sul is the state with the second largest percentage of elderly individuals, 12.5%.
The study also underscores the importance of senior citizens in family income structure. Throughout the country, 30.4% of the elderly work, and most of them are the family’s chief breadwinner.
Between 1993 and 2003, there was a decrease in the number of families that live on up to half a minimum wage per capita, because, as the study shows, the participation of the elderly in family earnings increased during this period.
The percentage of the elderly in the 60-74 age bracket who receive up to half a minimum wage per capita is greater than the corresponding percentage for those who are 75 or over.
Among those whose average monthly income exceeds five minimum wages, the percentages are highest among elderly men in the 60-74 age bracket and elderly women 75 or over.
The study also demonstrates that the number of senior citizens who never attended school has decreased over the past 10 years. Nevertheless, 50% of the country’s elderly population has less than four years of schooling.
Translation: David Silberstein
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