Over Half of Brazilians Get Middle-Class Status. In the US They Would Be Dirt Poor

Residential building in São Paulo, Brazil The middle class in Brazil reached 51.89% of the country's population in April 2008. The group in the middle class, with average household income ranging from 1,064 Brazilian reais (US$ 676) and 4,591 reais (US$ 2,920) exceeded the average peak of 2004, when it represented 42.49% of Brazilians.

In the United States, according to the Drum Major Institute, Americans belonging to the middle class make from US$ 25,000 to US$ 100,000 a year or US$ 2083 to US$ 8,300 a month. By these parameters, most middle class Brazilians would be under the poverty line in the US. 

The figures were disclosed Tuesday, July 5, by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), which attributed the advance of middle classes in the six metropolitan regions studied to greater employment and to the good performance of the Brazilian economy despite foreign crises.

"Brazil has done its homework over the last 20 years and is reaping the rewards," stated the economist responsible for the research, Marcelo Néri. According to him, the climb made by part of the population is also explained by the generation of income. "That is, people are making their own money and depend less on government income transfer programs."

Based on a monthly employment research by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and considering figures by the Ministry of Labor, the FGV study has also identified lower social inequality and extreme poverty, which dropped 30% over the last six years.

In April this year, 25.6% of the population was considered extremely poor. This is the lowest rate since 2002, but shows that 36 million Brazilians are in this category, according to the study, with a household income of less than 768 reais (US$ 489) per month.



  • Show Comments (7)

  • dnbaiacu

    At the end of the day , it is all “relative” , quite “imaginary” in relation to where you live , your , city, even your neighborhood. Truth is , if it were’t for television “most” who aren’t starving wouldn’t even know they were supposedely “poor”

  • forrest allen brown

    SO true dnbaiacu
    I have been to places that there was no TV and the people have nothing and are happy
    and dont care about any thing as they dont know

    They are to want to make money to spend it on things they are told they have to have to show they are well off

  • forrest allen brown

    poor is poor no matter where you are
    just you rich poor and not so poor.

    i know people in brasil think others are rae rich because they have running water in the house .

    others think they are not poor because there homes are not made of clay and sticks hammred into the ground with palms leaves for a roof .

    then some think sence they have lights and a TV they are well off .even though they live in the clay house with dirt floors

    others use a cell phone as a sign of not being poor

  • ch.c.

    as you stated : “the FGV study has also identified lower social inequality”

    You forgot to mention that Brazil is STILL ranked very close to FIRST Worlwide…for its social INEQUALITY !!!!!!

    Meaning others emerging nations have reduced their social inequality MORE than Brazil, otherwise Brazil would not be still so “highly” ranked !!!!

    And somewhat funny that in Brazil, an average worker with an average income of Brl 1200.- IS NOT SUBJECT TO INCOME TAX !
    Unthinkable in developed nations.
    But poors also pay high taxes…with your very high INDIRECT taxes, making goods even less affordable when compared with their already very low income. And then Brazilians wonder why they have so many petty or not so petty thefts.
    Internally the country poorest citizens will steal and ready to kill if needed to obtain what they want. And with the blessings of politicians and government leaders, faked goods circulate almost freely, because Brazilians politicians, are unable to make the original goods affordable to their citizens.

    2 Simple examples :
    – Brazil has the World most expensive prices for Iphones and Ipods, costing nearly twice as much as in developed nations, despite they were built in Asia. Of course due to import TAXES . Yessss…they cost a MONTHLY MINIMUM WAGE in Brazil, and a VERY VERY small fraction of the minimum wage in the USA; Europe or Japan !
    – Faked goods circulates nearlys freely, and Intellectual Property rights are not respected.

    Also, funny then that Brazil receives “a credit” adjustment from their actual GDP to adjust it upward for their PPP GDP (Purchasing Power Parity !!!!
    Not only they earn less but in many instances goods are more expensive than in countries getting “a debit” to adjust DOWN their actual GDP
    In my view the favorable PPP re-adjustments is to please the ego of the emerging nations politicians, and non favorable PPP re-adjustments happily accepted by the developed nations politicians to make them appear LESS wealthy they are when compared to the emerging nations.

    Hmmmm !!!

  • ch.c.

    Somewhat laughable !!!!
    As per the official brazilian stats, the average income of the 6 largest metropolitan regions, comprising only 40 % of the country workers, equals to Brl 1200.- per month or around US$ 800.-

    Of course the national average is then MUCH MUCH lower, because :
    – these Brl 1200.- average income are for registered workers ONLY, and only 40 % of the workforce is registered, therefore 60 % being in the informal economy, because they dont find registered jobs. Also meaning that these 60 % are either without work or partial jobs or unregistered jobs..-.-but for sure NOT in the official stats, and also for sure with a much lower income than the registered jobs !!

    Furthermore in the USA most consumers goods, probably outside of food, is much cheaper than in Brazil.
    Examples : appliances, TV, Mobile phones, Iphones & Ipods, PCs, cars, etc etc
    Even Gasoline is not more expensive in the USA.
    And in developed countries such as the USA, EU or Japan, the cost of foods baskets are much lower than in Brazil… when compared to the average income, even if prices arehigher but in fact cheaper and more affordable in view of their income.
    That leaves more money for the non foods spendings such as appliances, TV, cars etc etc.

    Lets face it, in the USA, most of the 40 % poorest people (poorest doesnt mean poor) can afford to have a car, not so in Brazil.
    And even with cars owners, the average car is of higher models in the USA and with a much lower LEASING rate than in Brazil.
    And in the USA most of the 40 % poorest people can afford to travel by plane, again not so in Brazil.
    These were just 2 examples within many more.

    Therefore the article stats have been taken out of the context, just to caress the Brazilian navels as usual.

    And sorry for Brazil, but in the USA they dont have over 20 % of the population earning LESS than US$ 2.- PER DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉

  • João da Silva

    [quote]ItÀ‚´s “dirt poor”, not “dirty poor”[/quote]

    Probably, the writer meant ” Dirty and Poor”, which also makes sense.

  • Ric

    Hold It
    ItÀ‚´s “dirt poor”, not “dirty poor”. No such thing, no such phrase. Better change it while you can.

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