Despite Lower Fertility Rate Brazil to Reach 260 Million by 2050

Busy street in Brazil Brazil's population should grow by 39% in a little more than 40 years, reaching about 260 million people in 2050. The estimate is part of a survey disclosed today, September 28, by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).

The Synthesis of Social Indicators presented a set of demographic and social information aimed at drawing a picture of the Brazilian reality. The survey was carried out based on the results of the 2006 National Survey by Household Sampling (Pnad).

Still according to the survey, the proportion of women in the population is increasing due to the greater rate of male deaths. In 2006, for every 100 women, there were 95 men in the national average.

The metropolitan regions of São Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre recorded the most balanced rates (92 men for every 100 women). The metropolitan regions of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife, on the other hand, have recorded rates of between 86 and 88 men for every 100 women.

The survey also points to a reduction in the fertility rate of Brazilian women. In 2006, the national average rate was of two children per woman. That trend can also be observed in European countries, which have already reached rates lower than the so-called natural replacement rate, of two children.

In a comparison between countries in Latin America and in the Caribbean, whose realities were surveyed by the IBGE with the objective of drawing a parallel with Brazil, Cuba has a rate of 1.6 child per woman, contrasting with Bolivia, for example, whose rate is 3.7 children per woman. Argentina has rates similar to those of Brazil.

Still according to the survey, the regions of higher socio-economic development are also those that concentrate the majority of the Brazilian population.

Together, the Southeast, South, and Midwest concentrate more than half (64.3%) of the total population, which stood at 187.2 million people in 2006. The metropolitan area of São Paulo alone accounts for 10.5% and surpasses, in absolute numbers, any of the 26 Brazilian states.

The urbanization rate also remained on the rise, reaching 83.3% in 2006. In the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, which has the highest rate of urban population, only 0.7% of the people live in rural areas. On the other hand, the state of Piauí­ (NE) has the country's lowest urbanization rate (60.7%).

Migration movements, according to the survey, have remained stable since the 1990s. the Northeast and South regions are those that present the highest rates of people who live where they were born (97.1% and 94.1%, respectively).

The Brazilians mostly leave the northeastern states, attracted mainly by the southeastern states. With regard to foreign migration, the survey shows that the bulk of it is directed toward the southeastern region of Brazil (72.6%).

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