Brazil Is World’s Second Poorest. 22 Million Are Indigent.

With a total of 53.9 million poor people (31.7%), about a third of the total population, Brazil appears in second-to-last place on a list of 130 countries ranked by income distribution, losing only to Sierra Leone, in Western Africa, which was in a civil war from 1991 to 2002.

This was the finding of a study done by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) and released today by the Minister of Planning, Budget, and Management, Paulo Bernardo.

The study, Social Radar 2005, classified as poor those individuals who subsist on a per capita family income of half a minimum wage (US$ 50 in 2003) or less.

People whose per capita incomes did not exceed a quarter of a minimum wage (US$ 25) at the time of the study were considered very poor or indigent, categories that embrace 21.9 million Brazilians.

Poverty in Brazil is greater among blacks. According to the Ipea, 44.1% of the black population survived on less than half a minimum wage in 2003.

Among whites, the percentage was 20.5%. Nevertheless, the Ipea document says that the number of poor people in the country declined between 1993 and 1996.

To correct this situation of inequality, the study says that “it is essential to promote a development model that favors the combination of growth with job and income creation.”

Accelerating agrarian reform, expanding Social Security, social assistance, and income transfer programs, raising educational standards, and combatting race and gender discrimination are cited by the study as government policies capable of reducing inequality.

Agência Brasil


  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    Where\’s the vision?
    As a company owner I am not surprised by this data and am frustrated by this inequality
    But let me share one important aspect of looking into the future from our company perspective. There are no incentives that exist here that allow us to be globally competitive and ultimately raise the standards of our employees and families
    Taxes and duties on importing world class equipment to make our products competitive are among the highest in the world. The result is to buy domestic inferior or low quality machines and do nothing more maintain the status quo
    On a recent visit to China I was astounded to find that there are no duties nor taxes on high quality imported equipment and low interest rates for those companies investing in their future generation
    It’s pretty clear to me that Brasil has yet to figure out that a highly industrialized country is the one that creates meaningful jobs, higher payroll taxes, investments in towns and people
    There is so much potential here and so little vision

  • Guest

    Give them all passports to the countries of their choice and let them decide!

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