A População do Brasil


  • Giorgio Mortara


Geografia da População;, Demografia.


Giorgio Mortara, technical adviser of the Brazilian National Census Commission sets forth some basic data about the population of Brazil.

            The demographic census of 1940 permitted a good approximation of the number of inhabitants and its distribution with reference to biological and sociological traits. Based on the results of this census, the population as of July 1 1945 may be estimated as from forty-five and a half to forty-six millions This is about 2% of the world population, 16% of the Americas, and 34% of Latin America.

            The most populous states are São Paulo with eight million people, Minas Gerais with seven and a half millions, Bahia with four million and three hundred thousand, Rio Grande do Sul with three million and seven hundred thousand, and Pernambuco with three millions. The largest urban centers are those of the Federal-District including Rio de Janeiro and parts of its suburbs which has close to two million inhabitants, and the municipality of São Paulo consisting of the city of São Paulo and part of the suburbs, which has very close to one and a halt millions.

            The rural population is preponderant in Brazil According to the administrative division, the rural sections have 68 4% of the population, but in fact the rural proportion is larger because agriculture is actually predominant in some territories which are administratively classified as suburban or even urban.

            Considering Brazil as a whole, population density is 5 38 per square kilometer. However, in the North and Central-West regions which include 64 3% of Brazil, the population density is only 55 per square kilometer, whereas in the other regions of the Northeast, East, and South, it is l4 07 inhabitants per square kilometer. The state which has the heaviest density is Rio de Janeiro (48 36), and the minimum density is that of Amazonas (O 31) although some of the Federal territories in the frontier zone ate even more sparsely settled.

            During the last hundred years the population of Brazil increased toughly seven-fold from some six and a half or seven millions to around forty-six millions. The 39 million increase is due primarily to the excess of births over deaths (about 35 5 millions) and only 3 5 millions is due to the excess of immigration over emigration. The natural increase of 35 5 millions may in turn be subdivided into two groups: 31 5 to 32 millions independent of immigration, and 3 5 to 4 millions due to the immigrant population. Over the last hundred years the annual death rate has been about 25 to 27 pet thousand, and the birth rate about 43 to 45 pet thousand. A closer approximation may be made of the average annual rate of natural increase which is around 17 6 per thousand inhabitants.

            The present composition of the population may he characterized as follows:

            Color: white is most numerous, but there is still a large black and mulatto population which is tending to decrease relatively; also there is a considerable yellow group which was increased by the large recent Japanese immigration.

            Nationality: the, proportion of foreigners is low and is decreasing

            Sex: the number of men and women is approximately equal.

            Age the proportion of children and adolescents is very high and the proportion of old men is very low.

            Economic activities: agricultural and cattle-raising activities are predominant and other activities have but slight importance, but industry is beginning to assume considerable significance.

            In conclusion the author emphasizes the need for an energetic and coordinated public health program, widespread educational opportunities, and betterment of the people's economic conditions so that a future worthy of a great nation may be prepared for Brazil.